Sustainability in the construction industry

Being one of the most important industries in the world, today, the construction industry is a necessity for livelihood. From building skyscrapers to providing employment opportunities to skilled labour, this industry offers a variety of benefits but at the same time, has its drawbacks as well. 

According to Supply Chain School, the Construction Industry uses:

  • 25-40% of total energy
  • 30% of raw materials 
  • 30-40% of global greenhouse gas emissions 
  • 30-40% of solid waste generation

This is the reason why the construction sector is moving in a direction which makes it more sustainable despite the presence of various conflicting goals and challenges.


How is a sustainable project different from a traditional project? The use of specific types of materials and hiring experienced people for specialized tasks is essential for sustainable construction. They are:

  • Building materials: Here, the construction companies use the materials which improve sustainability and reduce carbon footprint, such as:
    • Wood
    • Recycled Metals
    • Sustainable Concrete
    • Mud & Wood Bricks
    • Straw Bales
  • Staff: Specialized staff is hired in order to plan and execute sustainable projects:
    • Environmental Advisor, who ensures that environmental regulations are met
    • Environmental Engineer, who works in development of renewable energy and environment friendly materials
    • Sustainability Manager, who develops and monitors sustainable strategies


The major concern of all the big players in the industry is that if they shift to sustainable construction, the costing will drastically increase but they are not considering the fact that though sustainable construction costs more, the constructed buildings are way cheaper to maintain due to reduced operating costs which are a result of sustainable materials used.

Factors influencing sustainable construction

Given the complexities, a majority of construction companies are still hesitant to use sustainable methods. There are three factors that influence the construction industry in using sustainable methods, they are:

  • Government Regulations: The governments are enforcing new regulations, such as the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) and the European Green Deal, which demand more prominent environmental measures and focus more effectively on designing, construction, and maintenance of construction projects.
  • Controlling Costs: It is a well known fact that sustainable construction costs more than traditional construction. Hence, the cost of raw materials is a major factor affecting the sustainability projects. In addition to this, hiring specialized employees adds to the cost of the project. Fortunately, there are a number of companies which are working towards reducing the costs of raw materials required for sustainable construction and hopefully, in near future, the costs of sustainable construction materials will be equal to the cost of traditional construction materials.
  • Expanding environmental concerns: Another major factor of sustainable construction is the rising number of house owners who prefer an eco-friendly structure. Due to this rising demand for sustainable buildings, many investors are promoting sustainable construction companies and are idealising sustainable construction as the industry of the future.

In conclusion, the Construction Industry has a great potential to move towards a sustainable future. At the moment, lack of a common vision and unavailability of resources is a major concern which is affecting this ideology but given the increasing awareness in industrialists, investors, and home-owners, we can expect sustainable constructing to be the next big thing in near future. This is the right time to switch to sustainable construction in order to make the best out of the future opportunities and make earth a better place to live.

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