The Green Building Advantage

Scott Beckman, Director of Sustainability, PCL Construction

In the early days of sustainable building, “going green” meant diverting some of our job-site waste or using recycled materials. A good start, but few of us could have predicted how green building solutions would evolve over the next two decades.

Today, builders and clients alike are increasingly concerned with making buildings more energy efficient, reducing overall emissions and creating sustainable job sites. Yet green building solutions do more than help just the environment. As the director of sustainability at PCL Construction, I’ve learned they help builders be more competitive, too.

I’ve worked in sustainability a long time, and I’ve seen construction evolve with the advent of LEED, green building codes, sustainable technology and more. Technology is crucial to this evolution, and materials such as low-carbon concrete and mass timber are gaining traction. But these are only a few pieces of the puzzle. We’re witnessing a profound cultural shift and a greater demand for sustainable solutions, driven by the public, our clients and our own internal objectives.

I want to share my insights on the reasons that a builder’s success depends on the ability to not only meet these demands but anticipate them and educate clients about them.

LEED Certification Leads to Bigger Questions …

As a builder, we must understand the kinds of green building solutions that clients look for. In the past, LEED certification commanded a lot of attention. These days, LEED certification is still important but is just one part of the sustainability suite. Clients are asking deeper questions about green building:

  • What is your business doing internally?
  • How can you reduce our building’s energy requirements?

 

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