Guest Blog: Green Construction Trends

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Conserve — and Save Money!

By Sam Marquit

If you’re a commercial contractor and you haven’t yet gotten involved in environmentally friendly construction, now is the time. The worldwide market for green construction is set to explode, from a total of $116 billion in 2013 to a staggering $254 billion-plus by 2020.

Plenty of major construction projects in recent years serve as models for green designers. The Palazzo in Las Vegas, for instance, is adept at water conservation. Forty-two percent of this complex’s footprint is outdoors, but it saves water with motion sensors that automatically turn off sprinklers, drip-irrigation and planters that keep run-off to a minimum, and artificial grass in several of its landscaped areas. Even the Palazzo’s air conditioning system is water-efficient: Its high-tech cooling capabilities save the resort ten million gallons of water every year. Water conservation is not just a matter for large-scale building projects, either. Because of its green practices, the hotel was recently named the “Most Eco Friendly Hotel in America”.

Many private homes are now being built with water-saving features. Consider the underground drip-irrigation systems that many residences now come with, especially in warmer climates. This technology sprinkles gardens with water recycled from showers and washing machines.

Many commercial enterprises are also launching major efforts in recycling, reducing, and reusing. Take the ARIA, another Las Vegas hotel. The ARIA gathers 80% of the waste from its show floors and sends those materials to recycling centres. Even the scraps of food that customers leave on their plates are reused: They become pig feed at a local farm.

That type of ingenuity can be applied to households as well. In fact, through a process of up cycling, all kinds of items that you might tend to throw out can actually be reused. Broken furniture and tools may be repaired to functional condition — sometimes with duct tape alone. Meanwhile, you can use the reverse sides of printer paper, and plastic grocery containers can become storage units for pens, pencils, staples, and all sorts of other objects. Moreover, file folders, paper bags, plastic bags and Baggies, and envelopes may be used many, many times before they finally wear out.

What’s exciting about these methods of conserving, reusing, recycling, and reducing are that they’re so simple to implement. Businesses are going to continue to innovate the industry, much like the new Las Vegas hotels are. Whether you’re a contractor, business owner, or homeowner, you don’t need to take drastic, life-altering steps in order to go green. Even better, these measures not only save the environment, they also save people a great deal of money over time.

Guest blogger BIO: Sam Marquit
I am an entrepreneurial independent contractor and home renovation/remodelling expert in New York. I’ve made it a point to share with my readers a day in the life of sustainable building. Forecasting the possible application and implementation of new green building materials and technologies is just one small part of my effort to reduce everyone’s carbon footprint.

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