Consumers across the country are quickly becoming aware of the advantages of eco-friendly, or green, construction. A construction method that benefits the environment usually also benefits the people in the building where it’s used. People choose these construction methods for a lot of reasons. They allow home and business owners to save money, have a healthier space, and make their own small contribution to the wellbeing of our planet. That’s why a lot of your clients might be looking for environmentally-friendly contractors who use green building materials and eco-friendly construction. Here’s why it pays to fit that description:
Give the Customers What They Want
The primary reason to do environmentally-friendly construction is that it could be what your clients want and could be a great way to grow your business. With the trend growing throughout the United States, it pays to offer eco-friendly contracting and to advertise it. If you really want to use this as a prime feature in your marketing, you may even want to consider getting certified. Although there’s no formal government certification process, there are a number of organizations around the country with recognized certification programs. These include:
• National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) – ICC 700 National Green Building Standard
• National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) – Green Certified Professional (GCP)
• Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) – LEED Professional Credentials
• Green Advantage (GA) – Green Advantage Certified Practitioner (GACP)
• Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) – Certified Green Contractor
Most people who want to build or renovate a home or workspace choose their contractor carefully. Given how expensive construction is, people generally don’t sign on with the first contractor in the phone book. That’s why you have to carefully brainstorm marketing ideas for contractors and find ways to set yourself apart. Today, most contractors don’t have certification and aren’t advertising eco-friendly construction methods. That gives you the opportunity to get ahead of the game. As the trend grows, you’ll already be positioned as the go-to contractor for green building.
It’s Good For You, Too
Sure, if it’s good for your customers, it’s good for you. But using eco-friendly building materials also helps you directly. You spend all day, every day, working up closely with these materials. Safe, natural products are better for your health in the long run and will help you attract and retain talented young employees who care both about their health and their environmental impact. Sometimes, these health benefits can even lower the cost of your construction insurance and workers comp. In some cases, eco-friendly methods and materials can even be cheaper to work with than their traditional counterparts. Here are a few ideas:
• Wood – There’s nothing wrong with good old wood. It requires relatively simple processing to become a building material and, with proper forest maintenance, it is an entirely renewable resource. If you want to go a step further and recycle, you can even use reclaimed lumber which comes from demolished buildings.
• Bamboo – Bamboo is lightweight and strong enough to build an entire house. While that probably isn’t the right choice for most people, it is becoming more and more popular to use bamboo in small parts of construction projects. Bamboo grows fast, so it’s easy to reforest, and it’s available in a variety of climates so you may not have to ship it far.
• Recycled Steel – You may be surprised to learn that steel is the world’s most recycled material. With 42% of crude steel made from recycled material, you were probably going to use some recycled steel anyway but you can source steel that is 100% recycled and maximize this easy step toward green construction.
• Concrete Substitutes – There are numerous versions of concrete substitutes available and in production. Many of them involve mixing concrete with reclaimed waste materials ranging from sawdust to the ash from coal combustion.
• Eco-Friendly Design – This goes beyond any one material to look at the bigger picture. Simple things like maximizing natural light, choosing exposure carefully, and investing in good insulation all help lower energy usage, making your client’s footprint, and their bills, lower over the long-term.
Green building is a great opportunity for contractors to be a part of an important movement. Eco-friendly construction is one of those lucky situations when changing the world for the better also happens to be good for your bottom line. So start learning about eco-friendly construction and don’t forget to advertise it!