Across the country, construction sites are going green. Like many industries in the past few decades, the construction industry is embracing the challenge of becoming more ecofriendly, identifying ways to reduce waste and pollutants, and use more environmentally sound materials.
How are they doing it? Let’s take a look at some of the steps the construction industry is taking to become greener.
How Big Is Green Construction?
Since the turn of the last century, the estimated value of green nonresidential construction in the United States has exploded. According to McGraw-Hill construction, green nonresidential construction in the U.S. was valued at $3 billion. Just five years later, in 2010, that number had skyrocketed to between $43 and $54 billion. In half a decade, the value of green nonresidential construction increased by a factor of 14 – despite the economic recession of 07-09 and the construction industry slump that accompanied it. By the end of 2015, the market for green nonresidential construction in the U.S. is expected to be worth $145 billion.
Along with the increase in money being generated, green construction also accounts for a growing portion of employment in the construction industry. Between 2000 and 2008, green construction supported around 1 million construction workers, out of 7.8 million in total, but between 2009 and 2013, projected growth numbers put the number of employed green construction workers at 3.3 million – a more than three-fold increase, according to bls.gov.
How Is Construction Going Green?
One of the main ways that U.S. construction is going green is by using more environmentally sustainable and energy efficient building materials. In the last decade, the use of ecofriendly building materials such as recycled steel, insulating concrete forms, and plant-based polyurethane composites has increased dramatically. In addition to being more environmentally friendly, these building materials are often less expensive than the less green materials they have replaced.
The greening of the construction industry isn’t contained to just building materials, either. As construction firms have adopted more ecofriendly building policies, they’ve also turned to textile suppliers to provide them with rental uniforms and supplies. According to a TRSA research study, 70% of industrial sector business owners reported that renting reusable textiles and work uniforms reduced solid waste output, while 63% said similar rentals helped reduce hazardous waste concerns. On top of that, a whopping 84% said that using a rental service for their industrial uniforms improved their company’s image.
It’s easy to see why U.S. construction is choosing to go green. Ecofriendly policies not only improve the industry’s image, they help generate hundreds of billions of dollars in income and millions of new jobs, and, if that wasn’t enough, they help contribute to the country’s environmental sustainability. Given these facts, the greening of the construction industry should continue uninterrupted for years to come.
Over the last decade, the value of green construction in the US has grown by tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars. Green construction initiatives include using sustainable building materials, and increased awareness toward the environmental impact of using rental work uniforms and supplies.
Prudential Uniforms is a leading supplier of work uniforms and other supplies, as well as a proud member of the Clean Green movement of American businesses. For decades, Prudential has supplied industries ranging from the construction industry, to food service, to office workers with high quality work supplies. Learn more at www.prudentialuniforms.com.