A few years ago, sustainable design was all that anyone could talk about. Why is it then that the buzzword seems to have fallen by the wayside recently? Well, it could be that sustainable practices are now somewhat inherent in design, becoming more of an expectation than anything else. Plus, there’s always some new trend coming in and grabbing our attention.
But the importance of sustainable design is something that cannot be denied. That simple truth is one that is here to stay, so it’s about time we revisited the world of sustainable design.
Importance of Sustainable Design
Sustainability is one of those catch phrases that has become standard nomenclature in today’s world. Some of the reasons for this include the growing concern about environmental matters, especially global warming, which is driving efforts to make western society carbon-neutral over the next 20 to 30 years.
There has also been a shift in emphasis from containing initial construction outlays to minimizing the long-term costs of facility operation. Today’s clients are willing to pay higher upfront fees in exchange for more affordable maintenance. And, as we all know, sustainable designs are created with an eye towards ongoing economy.
Behind it all, there is a desire on the part of organizations to cultivate a positive public image. Companies that show a concern for conserving natural resources enjoy more favorable press coverage and an improved reputation overall. Over time, this leads to increased business and higher revenues.
Of course, the ideal way of promoting sustainability is to incorporate the necessary features in the structure from the initial planning stages. However, economic realities do not always allow for this. Both private and public organizations are often forced to use existing construction as part of a cost-saving strategy. For example, hospitals and medical clinics in many rural and poor urban areas are located in buildings that were once public schools, warehouses or other facilities.
Sustainability Pays in Many Ways
The good news is that, even in these cases, it’s possible to revamp the existing premises to realize many of the benefits of sustainable design. These benefits include:
Lower operating costs, thanks to reduced use of electric power and other utilities. For example, solar panels can provide a large degree of a building’s electricity while cisterns can collect water from the local environment for later use. At the same time, features such as low-flow toilets and motion-sensitive lighting features prevent any unwise use of those same resources.
Healthier internal environments, thanks to the use of green materials like paints with low amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A healthy environment promotes greater worker productivity, which benefits everyone. This is especially important in medical facilities, given that their function is to treat the sick.
A reputation as a desirable place to work, which will, in turn, draw a better talent pool to the organization. Fields such as health care and information technology often see marked inter-institutional competition for qualified personnel. The healthier and more progressive the work environment, the more competitive any organization can be. This makes the prospect of incorporating sustainable features into buildings a smart move from both a business and a world community perspective.
Work with Modern Construction Corporation
As leaders in the sustainable design/sustainable building movement, our experts offer a wealth of knowledge and experience that can benefit your organization. Contact us today to find out more about the benefits of sustainable design.