Commercial construction is the art of building and/or remodeling non-residential structures, including offices, retail stores, restaurants, hotels and medical facilities. Although relatively unchanged for many years, the industry has undergone several significant shifts recently, chiefly due to advancing technology and a growing understanding of our impact on the environment.
It’s not just the look of the finished product that’s important anymore—sustainability is now also a top priority.
Consumers today are much more environmentally conscious than years ago. This awareness of how our actions positively or negatively affect the planet has carried over into the construction industry, and thus, the emergence of living walls, recycled material usage, and other “green” practices have also risen in prominence.
"The USGBC continuously reevaluates and updates LEED standards as new strategies emerge."
In fact, eco-friendly expectations even prompted the formation of the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1993, and its LEED—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—certification. LEED is a rating system that awards both residential and commercial buildings points, and thereby, specific certification levels—certified, silver, gold, platinum—by meeting green criteria, such as utilizing certain materials like glass. This encompasses energy use, property location, indoor air quality, and other key elements that affect public and environmental health. The USGBC continuously reevaluates and updates LEED standards as new strategies emerge.
For instance, new commercial construction buildings can earn up to two points if it reduces “outdoor water consumption” in one of two ways:
“Show that the landscape does not require a permanent irrigation system beyond a maximum two-year establishment period” or “Reduce the project’s landscape water requirement (LWR) by at least 50% from the calculated baseline for the site’s peak watering month.”
Technology is changing the commercial construction industry, as well.
As aforementioned, the construction industry as a whole has remained pretty much the same for a long time, slow to adapt to new technologies. This is unlike many other fields, such as marketing and advertising, which were almost required to refine how they work to stay in business. However, this has changed, especially in recent years.
New software is just one example of how technology has disrupted building and renovation processes. Such software offers construction companies, whether working on a project for a healthcare center or corporate headquarters, a unique solution that can increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness, generating faster leads times—without sacrificing quality—and happier clients. DIRTT Environmental Solutions is one company that developed this type of software and enables its partners to utilize such technology for various interior and exterior projects.
The Dillmeier Glass Company fabricates interior glass for commercial applications across various industries. Contact us today to find out more.