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The Importance of Choosing Sustainable Materials in Industrial Construction

Updated: Apr 12

It is no secret that the cost of construction has gone up significantly in recent years. Material increases and labor shortages are just a couple of the issues affecting the bottom line of construction projects. Greater environmental mindfulness is another critical concern for the industry.

Nonetheless, demand is showing no sign of slowing down. The industry was worth approximately $1.3 trillion in 2022, with compound annual growth of 5.5% expected through at least 2026.

To balance these various concerns amid continued demand, it is more important than ever to leverage sustainable building materials to the fullest. Keep reading for a detailed breakdown of the importance of choosing sustainable materials in industrial construction.

Green Construction

Durability and energy efficiency are two primary components in green construction. Many people use these two terms interchangeably, but there are some subtle distinctions between the two.

Durable materials are those that can stand the test of time. They hold up well in all types of weather conditions and do not readily wear out from use. Examples would be steel siding and terrazzo flooring. They are a fundamental component in green construction because they will limit ongoing energy and resource consumption from cleaning, maintenance, and upkeep.

Energy efficient materials are those that limit overall energy consumption during building use. Examples would be solar panels that supply renewable energy back to the grid and larger windows that reduce electricity consumption by transmitting sunlight.

The good news is that many materials, such as the best insulation for exterior walls and hurricane grade storm windows, are both durable and energy efficient. However, it is important to understand the subtle difference between the two terms and how each is necessary for green construction.

Cost Effectiveness

Sustainable materials will decrease the lifetime cost of ownership for a building. Due to their outstanding durability, they will come with fewer maintenance and upkeep costs.

They will also last longer before they need to be replaced. A good example is in roofing. Basic asphalt-based products will usually need to be replaced every 20-25 years, while more durable metal roofs are rated to last 50 or more years. Whatever the cost of an asphalt roof, it is a good idea to multiply that by two since it will need to be replaced at least once in the building’s lifetime.

It is very important to factor in all of these lifetime costs when considering sustainable building materials. Some sustainable products will carry a higher upfront price tag than less durable options, but their lower lifetime costs will make them the more cost-effective solution for the project.