What Are the Benefits of Green?

ustainability, energy efficiency, green — these have been common buzz words around the construction industry for several years. More and more customers, architects and building owners want to know what contractors and builders are doing to be green, both on the jobsite and within their companies.

I see a growing number of contractors, even contractors who aren’t necessarily devoted to environmental causes, making changes within their companies to reduce waste and conserve energy. These changes make sense because in addition to contributing to a sustainable construction project, in most cases these changes save contractors money. In fact, I don’t think it will be long before some of the “green practices” of today become standard practice because they just make sense.

Over the years I have met contractors who traded in a portion of their pick-up truck fleets for more energy efficient vans and cars. A few ways I’ve seen contractors reduce paper and energy use around the office and on the jobsite include online scheduling programs that eliminate the need for printed employee schedules, printing only the necessary pages from job plan files, and lighting systems around the office and storage areas connected to motion sensors.

As we enter 2012, a year that most economists see offering little if any uptick in the construction economy, every place you can save money is worth considering. If you can choose office paper with recycled content over office paper made of virgin materials, go with the recycled content. If something is broken, try to fix it before throwing it away and buying something new. Make fuel consumption a higher priority when you buy vehicles for your company.

If you have employed changes in your company that can be considered green and also resulted in money savings for your business, please contact me via email at Rebecca.Wasieleski@cygnus.com or by phone at 920-568-8321. I want to know what changes, big and small, you have made to your business or on your jobsites that help you save resources, and in turn money.

Loading