One of the biggest challenges in implementing sustainable construction.

The construction industry consumes resources in a way that is not sustainable, using large quantities at a high rate. According to the World Green Building Council it generates an estimated 39% of global carbon emissions.
As we must move towards greener construction, we should consider what sustainable building really means and how complex this issue is. Sustainability in construction must meet social, environmental, and economic principles. Balancing these three pillars is one of the biggest challenges in implementing sustainable construction.
In construction, sustainability is about creating projects that have a positive impact on society and the environment.

  • Is a building sustainable simply because it is a zero-energy building?
  • Is a building sustainable simply because it uses wood, a renewable resource?
  • Is a building sustainable simply because it has an energy-efficient heating system based on renewable energies?

Hardly – This means that not only the building itself but also the entire supply chain must be considered, which makes it complex.

  • Sourcing and recycling: Ethical sourcing of renewable and recyclable materials; reuse of materials to avoid landfills, renovation instead of new construction.
  • Logistics: Use of processes that optimize deliveries to reduce mileage, emissions, and carbon footprint.
  • Employment: Labour standards and fair humanitarian practices.
  • Green Footprint: Targeted outcomes related to a circular economy and net-zero emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
  • Construction process: Sustainable design, engineering, and construction practices.
  • Operations and Management: Energy-efficient operation of facilities and equipment.

Possible impacts on sustainable construction

To date, there is no holistic concept, but the players in the construction industry are working intensively on individual aspects of the above. Future trends in the sustainable construction industry:

  • Smart or applicable materials,
  • Sustainable materials,
  • Recyclable materials,
  • Modular buildings – reusable and mobile,
  • Efficient planning and building site operations,
  • Green logistics on site.

Yvonne Jacoby
Market Intelligence Senior Expert