Balancing Sustainability and Construction

Construction is an essential part of the real estate industry’s development and is required for the industry to grow as the demand for properties increase. A lot is being said and done about sustainability within the different segments of proptech. But, the involvement of the construction segment in it is yet to be spoken about at a large scale.  Balancing sustainability and construction has become imperative as the issues of climate change loom over everyone’s heads globally.

On the one hand, construction methodologies globally haven’t seen much of intervention in the last three decades when it comes to adopting eco-friendly building techniques. However, there have been sporadic bursts of sustainable construction ideas in select regions.  The outcomes of these bursts are innovative and ideal for use at a larger scale by construction industries all over the world.

Balancing Sustainability and Profitability

Profitability is one of the main features or incentive that is keeping the construction segment rooted in old ways of building activities in many parts of the world. Everything from the material used to the procedure of building a structure is more cost-effective most times when developers do not have to worry about ensuring sustainable practices. However, the adoption of sustainable practices has become necessary as the implications become more serious. Clearing a land of forests/ vegetation for developing buildings creates a loss of essential resources for the earth, greenhouse gas emissions from the cement industry, and the sheer amount of water used for resources are all proving to be detrimental to the environment as time passes. All of these consequences give rise to the need for balancing sustainability and profitability. The two areas have become a hot button issue within the industry as both facets grow equal in importance. For example, constructing an entirely solar-powered building would come at a high cost. This would mean less money for other aspects of construction and may also reduce profitability. Balancing sustainability and profitability has beckoned the need for innovation in this space.

Giving Back to the Environment

One of the ways real estate developers are trying to minimize the adverse effects of construction is through the creation of buildings that encourage continuous preservation or replenishing of resources over time. A typical step in this direction is developing structures that help in the harvesting of rainwater or designing terraces that can be lined with vegetation to help keep the buildings cool. Zero energy buildings are an excellent example of this. But these buildings only pertain to the area of energy efficiency and come into play only after the building has been constructed. Balancing sustainability and construction also involves aspects like the building materials used, how buildings are built, and a lot more.

Innovation in Building Materials and Processes for Ensuring Sustainability

The last decade has witnessed an emergence of innovative building materials that are helping achieve sustainability and profitability. These new materials do not compromise on the integrity of the structure and at the same time, do not require construction to be an area that consumes a lot of essential resources like water. Innovative practices like the use of hydrogel for helping with keeping rooms cool or using materials that have been made from recycled materials are some of the many disruptions within construction that are reducing carbon print of the companies using them. Alternative materials like synthetic spider silk or bricks made of recycled materials can help reduce the dependability of the construction industry on conventional materials like steel and concrete over time. These materials are cost-effective and an excellent solution to sustainable construction.

There are still many ways for construction companies to ensure sustainable practices even when they are not using any of these innovative building materials. The lack of accessibility to such products could be one reason to not use them. In such cases, construction companies can look for other ways to make their work more sustainable. Simple things like recycling balance materials to create new products or even purchasing leftover materials can help in ensuring eco-friendly practices and profitability. Waste management is also an essential aspect of sustainability that should not be overlooked, and such practices can be a way of guaranteeing reduced carbon footprint in the longer run.

Balancing sustainability and construction is not a mammoth task anymore. There are a host of proptech companies that are striving to make it easier for real estate companies. Apart from the openness to adopt these products and services, the industry also needs to put its best step forward for supporting the proptech ecosystem. Real estate incumbents can aid by collaborating with such startups, helping them with the deep industry insights to create scaleable and practical products.

This article has been authored by Diyar Al Muharraq 

Diyar Al Muharraq is one of the most visionary and progressive urban developments in the Kingdom of Bahrain; an all comprehensive, fully integrated modern city best described as a complete society incorporating a strong line-up of projects which include a vast variety of residential and commercial properties, ideal for both personal and investment purposes. Aimed at creating a long term and sustainable township, Diyar Al Muharraq is located on the northern shores of Muharraq and comprises of 7 reclaimed islands of 10 square kilometers and total area spanning 12 square kilometers. Upon completion, Diyar Al Muharraq will encompass over 40 kilometers of waterfront with sandy beaches, and all the elements of a vibrant community ranging extensively from fully equipped educational facilities and schools, medical centres, recreation facilities, shopping malls, expansive parklands, hotels and marinas. Diyar Al Muharraq is to be a first of its kind development, one that aims to offers its occupants a safe haven for the ideal life.

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