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Going Green: Sustainability in Construction


Posted on January 23rd, 2020

construction worker on phone next to solar panels.

Sustainability has been making quite the buzz in the construction industry as of late. From more eco-friendly materials, to paperless field management, to creating buildings that utilize renewable energy, new ways of going green in construction are coming up constantly. Adopting sustainable construction practices can mean a whole lot more than helping the planet—you’ll also be saving money and potentially winning more business.

Saving the planet, one new building at a time

Construction has always been considered an industry with an enormous carbon footprint, and only recently that's started to change. With a few adjustments, the construction industry is doing its part to go green, and with that comes the introduction of more green construction technology. Green construction technology extends far beyond the scope of the duration of the construction project. In fact, green construction technology is really more about the what than the how.

Materials that are made by low-impact manufacturers help reduce the carbon footprint of a project, and by incorporating green technologies into a building's infrastructure, it will thrive as an environmentally friendly structure for years to come. Actual construction tools are also experiencing a green technology transformation. New machines create less emissions, and even entire specialty trades are adopting new methods that leave less of an environmental impact. We have seen a steady increase in the amount of green construction projects over the last few years, and that number is expected to continue to rise.

construction worker using reporting software on tablet.

Embracing more software, less paper

Another great way for subcontractors to reduce their carbon footprint is to go paperless. Most of us can agree that filling out paperwork at the end of the day can be a huge hassle, and can take up valuable time that could be used to finish projects faster. By switching over to a paperless field management solution, you will be able to get your reporting done faster while saving trees (a win-win).

When paperwork gets lost in the shuffle, it can cause delays and end up costing you time and money in the long run. With a digital construction reporting app like Raken, information is stored online and can be accessed anywhere, anytime. This means that going paperless lets you go above and beyond the scope of what traditional field management can offer, with the ability to add photos and videos to reports, or manage tasks remotely. In addition, a lack of proper documentation can lead to legal disputes down the line, bringing additional costs and potential rifts in relationships.

construction worker working on solar panels.

Building an eco-friendly reputation

By embracing the use of sustainable materials and processes, you can actually win more bids. Some GCs and project owners have specific requirements for green construction, and will only accept bids from contractors who are willing to follow them—so it’s wise for any type of construction firm to adopt green construction practices. Plus, if you focus on sustainability and the projects you are bidding for don’t require green construction, you’re still doing your part to help the planet.

How to get started

Going green doesn’t have to mean chaining yourself to trees or riding a bike to work (unless you want to, of course) and is easier than you may think. Making the switch to sustainability could be as simple as checking out what eco-friendly materials are available for your trade, or trying out some new software that can help digitize the traditionally paper workflows. Platforms like Raken offer easy-to-use field management solutions that help contractors stay more organized and on track. By choosing to operate a more sustainable business, you can save yourself time and money, while doing your part to help the earth, too.

Ready to go paperless?

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