Green Initiatives and Sustainable Construction
As humanity confronts climate change, pollution, and other environmental hazards, sustainability and business success have become inseparable. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the air conditioning industry, where innovative businesses have lowered the cost and environmental impact of heating and cooling a building through increased efficiency. This development has given homeowners a chance to save money while creating new markets for environmentally conscious metal manufacturers.
The Growth of Green
Green building techniques are designed to make climate control more efficient, reducing the amount of energy it takes to heat or cool a building. Popular green initiatives include:
- Floor Level Heating– As heat rises, it is more efficient to distribute heat from beneath the floor rather than from air ducts.
- Window Insulation– With insulated glass and protective sealants, you can reduce the amount of heat that enters or leaves your building through the windows.
- Reflective Shades– Green builders use shades specially designed to reflect heat away from your building, reducing cooling costs during the summer.
The green building industry has expanded rapidly over the past few years, particularly for non-residential buildings. The number of non-residential construction projects using green techniques has grown from 2 percent in 2005 to more than 44 percent in 2014. This trend has also affected residential housing, with 23 percent of new houses being built with green construction methods in 2013.
An Enticing Investment
Besides helping the earth, green building is also a lucrative investment. Although sustainable heating and cooling systems cost roughly 25 percent more than ordinary ones, property owners will more than make up for this cost through:
- Energy Efficiency– Green building techniques reduce the amount of energy you have to use to heat or cool your building, lowering your gas and electric bills.
- Incentives– The Federal government provides tax credits and subsidies for home and business owners who install sustainable heating systems.
- Property Values– Recent studies have shown that installing green technology will raise the value of your property substantially.
The green building boom has created new opportunities for metal manufacturers, particularly those who use lean manufacturing techniques and other sustainable methods. Green builders need metal parts for their air conditioning and heating systems, and are more likely to buy from producers that make those parts sustainably. Through lean manufacturing, my business has minimized waste and pollution in our production process, making us a favorite among environmentally-conscious builders and building suppliers.