The following article is a guest post written by Amanda Bead, a recent college graduate and avid writer. While her primary focus in college was Psychology, Bead minored in English Literature and Accounting. She draws on her knowledge of these subjects to create online content that addresses human needs in a simple way. Bead is a writer for the cost segregation company, ELB Consulting. They save businesses money with energy efficiency guidance through the use of R & D studies, cost segration, energy audits and tax credits as well as a myriad other large and small scale services. Since 2001, ELB has helped our clients save millions by applying engineered cost segregation, energy efficiency solutions, 179D and 45L energy audits, tax credits, and facility assessment reports.
Green innovations have served to change the construction industry in many ways. Building green is the way of the future, so adapting can have benefits for both construction firms and the customers that will use the new buildings. While materials may cost more and it may take a little effort to acquire certifications for green building, having the ability to offer green building expertise can help construction firms stand out. Operating from a green building can also help clients in several ways.
Green Building Is In Demand
The U.S. Green Building Council reported that about 63 percent of construction firms had plans for commercial green building projects between 2013 and 2015. It is estimated that about $960 billion will be invested globally in green commercial renovations between 2015 and 2023. For a construction firm, being able to offer the most cutting edge green renovations may act as a competitive advantage.
Green Standards Are Good for Inhabitants
Green standards generally include indoor air quality as a focus point. With improved ventilation and building envelop, workers or residents that inhabit green buildings are exposed to fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and allergens, which may help to preserve health. Green buildings are also usually designed to optimize lighting, temperatures, and other characteristics that directly improve comfort levels. Companies that have switched to green standards generally report increased productivity levels.
Going Green May Increase Customer Revenues
Many consumers are willing to pay a slightly higher price for goods and services that are offered by companies that have environmental awareness as a value. Tenants are also generally willing to pay more to rent an apartment or home that is energy efficient and built with sustainability in mind. By investing in green renovations, companies and real estate investors may see increased revenues. Not only is it possible to justify higher prices, environmentally conscientious customers are also more apt to “buy in” to the green values.
Energy Efficiency Saves Money
Energy efficiency directly saves money on utilities, which can help to expedite the return on investment. By purchasing a green building or renovating for greater efficiency, clients may also become eligible for tax incentives. To obtain the greatest benefit, commercial clients should have a cost segregation study performed shortly after the building has been constructed or renovated. A cost segregation study can help clients to take advantage of tax incentives that may have been missed and take certain deductions faster.
Concrete is an extremely strong building material, but has a notoriously weak tensile strength. In order to resist tension, bending, and shear forces, steel rebar or other reinforcement materials are added either prior to the placement or into the mix. Even with reinforcement, concrete is still extremely rigid and prone to cracking. In the event of a major earthquake, the uneven and horizontal forces can cause structures to crack and, in the worst case, cause failure.
Concrete can adapt to any shape its formwork calls for while it’s being placed. While it’s POSSIBLE to make intricate designs with the material, it’s not always easy or practical to do so. Researchers from ETH Zurich have designed a new method of forming and placing an ultra-thin, curved concrete roof system that they plan on installing on a construction project next year.
As electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular around the world, researchers are trying to find ways to adapt the technology to heavier duty applications. Due to the large size of projects and amount of money in the industry, the mining industry has seen its fair share of technological advancement. Several manufacturers, like Komatsu, have developed and released driverless dump trucks for mining operations in the past few years. A team of companies in Switzerland is now working on a gigantic battery powered dump truck that will be tested for 10 years.
Rapid growth and the industrialization are the major contributors to China’s noted air quality issues. 4 years ago, the Chinese government issued a “war on pollution” aiming to improve air quality and reduce other environmental hazards, such as land and water contamination. Air quality is at its worst in the winter months across the country, due to households relying more on coal power to heat residents’ homes.
Asphalt is one of the world’s most popular pavement materials. Because of that, researchers and scientists are constantly looking for ways to improve upon it. Additives have been included in some asphalt mixes for years to improve strength, but recently researchers have been getting pretty clever with the types of additives they’re testing.
As great as a product as asphalt is, there’s no doubt that there is room for improvement. Scientists all over the world are trying to solve its most common issues, such as potholes, cracking, ice build-up, and storm water drainage. Los Angeles is now tackling another issue with the material: heat island effect.
In March of this year, Elon Musk announced that Tesla would begin taking orders on their Solar Roof Shingle concept. Tesla Solar Roof is a solar power roof system that eliminates the need for bulky solar panels installed over top of traditional roof materials. Instead, the shingles themselves, which come in a variety of different styles, are the solar panels.
At the company’s second quarter earnings report, Tesla announced that the first solar roof installations have been completed.
Standard vertical elevators have had it too good, for too long. After the first cable dependent elevator was unveiled in 1857, not much has changed in the elevator industry. They’re still using cable systems and still only going up and down. But not anymore. ThyssenKrupp has officially made a multi-directional elevator a reality.
There’s no shortage of company’s trying to improve the world’s roadways. Asphalt and concrete each have their own disadvantages, especially when maintenance environmental factors are taken into consideration. Plastic is a major problem for landfills, as well, as it can take an estimated 500 years to fully decompose. One UK company believes they can solve both maintenance and environmental problems through the use of recycled plastic.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is constantly researching ways to improve construction process and materials, like this material 10 times the strength of steel, or this solar cell that’s lighter than a soap bubble, or this “reversible concrete.” This time the Institute is showing off its autonomous robot that can spit out building structures on site within hours.