Green development initiatives are underway all over the world, ranging from sustainability conditions on planning permission here in the UK (with some local authorities now requiring a sustainability assessment for even minor home extensions) to ambitious carbon neutral skyscraper proposals from architects around the world. There are even entire cities under construction in China and Malaysia incorporating vertical forests into the construction of residential towers, to minimize environmental impact and maximize visual amenity. In fact, green construction has become so popular (and so profitable) that the eco-building sector has rapidly become an industry in itself, and is something that all industry professionals should be aware of.
The eco-building sector focuses on incorporating sustainable, environmentally friendly materials, designs, and construction methods into new development. There are a number of aims, but broadly speaking an eco-building is one which efficiently uses resources, such as water and power, protects the health and wellbeing of building occupants, and reduces the impact of buildings on the environment and the amount of waste and pollution which they create. It affects every stage of the building process, combining a number of concepts such as sustainable design, green architecture, renewable energy installations, and even green demolition, to ultimately make the entire lifespan of a building involve as little impact as possible on the delicate natural and human environment in which it stands.
This can be a daunting prospect for the uninitiated, and it isn’t made any easier by the confusing system of regulation that has grown up around green buildings and businesses. A huge number of accreditation and certification systems have arisen in the industry, some of which are voluntary (such as BREAM) some mandatory for every new building (such as the EPC) and some of which apply not just to buildings, but to materials and tools themselves. The result is that suppliers and contractors need to be very knowledgeable to ensure that they are giving recommendations and solutions to project managers and investors that will actually meet the requirements of the accreditation they are ultimately trying to achieve, and meet the specific green needs of their development.
This puts providers of products and services in a tricky position. It is no longer sufficient to merely have a high-quality product or a highly useful skill – thriving in the eco-building industry requires business development skills that are as much about education and conservation as sales. Business development and lead generation in this increasingly crucial area can often be an integral part of the design and planning phase, adapting the design to a specific goal or accreditation, and incorporating green products and techniques that professionals didn’t know were beneficial (or even essential) to achieving it.
Crucially for everyone involved, however, the eco-building sector is also very conscious of the economic realities of building projects. As such, the sector is as focused on economic sustainability as it is on environmental sustainability, meaning that the most successful green initiatives are affordable to both install and maintain. This is possibly the eco-building sector’s greatest strength.
Whether it’s a granny who wants a new conservatory, but is worried about the heating costs; or an international developer planning to build a city that satisfies their CSR requirements, there are myriad green products and services available to make sure that they can do so without breaking the bank. A good lead generation team with in depth knowledge of green products and methods can help suppliers ensure that their products and services are a key feature these projects for many years to come.
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