As society has become increasingly environmentally conscious over recent years, industries, governments and individuals across the world have been devising a plethora of innovative methods for reducing our shared impact on the natural world.
The construction industry in particular has historically been highlighted as a cause of environmental damage, so it should come as no surprise that amid growing concerns around climate change, eco-friendly construction trends are set to continue to grow into 2023 and beyond.
With the UK Government aiming to achieve net-zero status by 2050, and the global construction industry expected to reach a value of £8.7 trillion by the end of the year, adopting environmentally friendly practices is sure to be a positive for the future of your business, as well as the future of our planet.
With this in mind, here are some of the top eco-friendly trends shaping the construction industry in 2023 and beyond.
Use of sustainable materials
Skyrocketing energy prices and labour shortages have caused the prices of construction materials to rise considerably in recent years. But more and more construction companies are now using sustainable materials such as bamboo, recycled plastic, and reclaimed wood to build structures. These materials have a lower carbon footprint and are often less expensive than traditional building materials. They can also improve the energy efficiency of buildings and reduce waste.
One particularly interesting trend to monitor is the use of living building materials such as calcifying bacteria, which have the potential to absorb carbon emissions and even repair cracks in structures.
Prefabrication and modular construction
Prefabrication and modular construction, which involves building components off-site and then transporting them to the site to assemble them, is also becoming more popular. This method reduces waste and minimizes the environmental impact of construction projects. It also reduces construction time, which can save money and reduce disruption to the surrounding environment.
This method of construction proved invaluable during the pandemic, but has also showed no signs of slowing down in the following years.
Energy-efficient building design
Energy-efficient building design involves designing buildings that require less energy to operate. This can include features such as passive solar heating, natural ventilation, and high-efficiency insulation. These designs can significantly reduce the amount of energy required to heat, cool, and light a building, further reducing its environmental impact.
This can also be taken further to create 100% net-zero buildings, which is becoming a target for more and more businesses in the face of new legislation.
One exciting way to do this is by covering a building partly or fully with vegetation, which also has the added bonus of making the building look more natural and full of life.
Recycling and waste management
Construction companies are increasingly implementing recycling and waste management practices to reduce the amount of waste generated during construction projects. This can include recycling construction debris and using recycled materials in construction projects.
Buildings are also being designed in such a way that the materials used to build them can more easily be reused in the future, a practice that has become easier with the development of modern technology such as 3D printing.
It’s clear then, that the construction industry is taking significant steps towards sustainability, and these trends are likely to continue in the future. As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, the construction industry will need to continue adopting green initiatives to reduce its impact on the environment. By using sustainable materials, reducing waste, and implementing energy-efficient designs, the construction industry can become a significant contributor to a more sustainable future, rather than putting it at risk.