Sustainability in construction is one of the greatest challenges the industry is facing nowadays. Climate change has forced the implementation of new technologies and construction methods, as well as the design and development of new materials with a positive or neutral impact on the environment, achieving greater energy efficiency and more sustainable use of resources.
According to a UN report, by 2050, 68% of the world’s population will be living in cities. Considering that the construction industry has one of the highest carbon dioxide emission rates and consumes large amounts of natural resources such as wood, water, and minerals, it is crucial to be aware of the need to invest and develop a long-term sustainable construction model.
This is a challenge that everyone in this sector (companies, developers, owners, etc.) must take on as their own.
In this sense, at Hydrodiseño we are committed to sustainability in construction throughout our value chain and in each product we offer to the market as is the case of our prefabricated modular bathrooms.
In this article we will share some statistical data that, on the one hand, highlights the importance and need to promote sustainability in construction, and, on the other hand, demonstrates how many companies and players in the sector are already committed to this change.
What is sustainable construction?
First, it is important to define and specify what sustainable construction is and its benefits. Sustainable construction encompasses the entire construction process, from the selection of materials to waste management.
This type of construction must consider the respect and sustainable use of the urban environment, as well as its development, and adequate management of natural resources, both in terms of the construction and the subsequent use of the buildings
The result must be a building and an environmentally friendly environment, and at the same time, the economic viability of the project must be guaranteed.
10 revealing statistics on Sustainability in Construction
Below, we’ll share 10 surprising statistics about sustainable construction, according to the Autodesk research report developed by Frost & Sullivan: Digital Sustainability: The Path to Net Zero for Design & Manufacturing and Architecture, Engineering, & Construction (AEC) Industries
1. 82% of AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) companies have a dedicated sustainability team
This figure shows the importance that companies attach to sustainability in construction.
Dedicated teams, as well as the right financing, are essential to address sustainably and promote sustainable construction in the industry.
2. Average large architecture, engineering, and construction companies plan to spend €3.5 million on improving their sustainability efforts over the next five years
Construction, architectural, and engineering firms are committed to generating a shift in the industry toward sustainability.
In this sense, resources are mainly directed towards regulatory compliance. However, a substantial part is also allocated to the development and implementation of technologies and software.
3. 74% of AEC companies are investing in technology to improve sustainability
The use of technology not only improves construction production processes (Building Information Modelling) but also decision-making to promote sustainability.
4. 52% of construction companies report using technology to collaborate with their supply chain and sustainability partners
Technology also facilitates collaboration between all supply chain actors, as well as important partners, for their sustainability initiatives.
5. 3 out of 4 construction companies report that sustainability initiatives led to better use of resources
75% percent of the companies in the industry that are pursuing sustainability efforts in construction indicates that they have achieved a better and more efficient use of resources. This is due to the design of products that require fewer materials as well as the reduction of errors and, therefore, waste, among other factors.
These companies also report a reduction in energy consumption of about 62 % and a higher quality of completed projects.
6. 87% of construction companies report that customer retention is a driving force for their approach to sustainability
The majority of the companies surveyed in this study have some active sustainability focus in their organizations. 35% percent identify it as an important part of their business, and 9% perceive it as a fundamental part of their corporate strategy.
Customer relations, as well as customer retention, is one of the main driving forces behind these sustainability initiatives.
7. 2 out of 3 companies in the construction sector report that their employees are a major driving force behind their sustainability policies
A significant number of the companies surveyed indicate that they see sustainability in construction as an effective method for recruiting and retaining employees (67%).
Also, 64% of these companies say it is an important factor in retaining supply chain partners and agents.
8. 40% of construction companies identify lack of financial resources as a key challenge to overcome on the road to sustainability
Despite the evident enthusiasm and commitment in the construction industry to drive sustainability, 40% of companies indicate that a lack of financial resources directly affects this goal.
In addition, 40% say that difficulty in accessing adequate training is another obstacle. Finally, 33% see poor acceptance by some clients as a difficulty in adopting a constructive sustainable approach.
9. 54% of construction companies report that they see lean construction as a promising area for increasing sustainability in the next two years
The use of alternative materials (57 %) and lean construction (54 %) are areas seen as promising for improving sustainability in construction.
Also, sustainability as a service (47 %), smart infrastructure (59 %), and net zero energy buildings (55 %) are perceived as potential opportunities for future sustainability initiatives.
10. 43% of construction companies see circular construction as an area with a great opportunity to increase sustainability
The companies surveyed say that BIM can play a key role in providing owners with a detailed understanding of the materials used in the construction process. This would help them know precisely how to maintain or recycle assets.
The use of this technology is also one of the trends in modular construction.
Conclusions: Sustainability in construction is a pressing need
As you can see, a significant number of actors and leaders within the construction industry understand and assume the need to commit to the development of sustainability in construction.
There are many ways to drive this change. At Hydrodiseño, for example, we produce prefabricated modules as a sustainable alternative. However, we have a full commitment, from our facilities to the production processes we use, to follow sustainable construction policies.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about whether we can support you in your projects. Our team of highly trained consultants will be able to answer all your questions.
Autodesk.com. (April 19, 2021). 10 Eye-Opening Statistics About Sustainable Construction. Recovered from: https://constructionblog.autodesk.com/sustainable-construction-statistics/
Autodesk. (February 23, 2021). What is lean construction? An empowering process [Infographic]. Recovered from: https://redshift.autodesk.es/construccion-ajustada/
GlobalABC. (2022). 2022 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction. Recovered from: https://globalabc.org/our-work/tracking-progress-global-status-report
UNEP. (November 9, 2022). 2022 Global Status Report on Buildings and Construction. Recovered from: https://www.unep.org/resources/publication/2022-global-status-report-buildings-and-construction
UNFCCC. (June 29, 2022). UN-Habitat Launches its World Cities Report 2022. Recovered from: https://unfccc.int/news/un-habitat-launches-its-world-cities-report-2022