The climate crisis saw new heights in 2019 across the board, according to a UN report. Therefore, global governments across Europe, the UK, and America have their eyes set on achieving net zero by 2050. At the moment, a large contributing factor to high carbon emissions is the construction industry, which needs to find more sustainable methods to lower its carbon footprint.
Unfortunately, taking the green route typically means higher costs, which is a concern for many businesses as the cost of living rises through the roof. Fortunately, thanks to government incentives and technological innovations, construction businesses can combine sustainability with profit – here’s how.
What Is Net Zero?
Put simply, net zero is the name given to reaching zero carbon emissions, or as close as. The initiative involves global governments working together, which have their sights set on 2050. The largest contributor to global emissions is the construction industry, which accounted for a whopping 38% in 2019.
However, throughout 2020, the industry successfully dropped this figure by 1%. Unfortunately, this reduction hasn’t continued, which leads us to believe the global pandemic had an impact here.
Governments are leading the charge when it comes to net zero and have instilled incentives and penalties for businesses. For example, the 45L federal tax credit can be claimed by construction businesses that built energy-efficient dwellings between August 2005 and December 2021.
For each eligible home, contractors can gain $2,000, which can help bulk up the bottom line. Additionally, the US government has allocated a whopping $555 billion that will be invested in clean energy projects.
Many net zero tactics involve using smart technology, which benefits property owners and allows construction companies to take another step toward net zero. The following are all examples of innovative carbon emission-reducing technologies:
- Construction companies are retrofitting homes with innovative technology that targets lighting, heating ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), insulation, roofing, walls, windows, and plumbing. Construction companies aiming for net zero can leverage these technologies to support building operators and improve energy efficiency along the way.
- Automation systems for lighting and HVAC systems are being used to effectively manage the energy performance of buildings. All innovative technology should be integrated into a home holistically, as opposed to focusing on one area, such as fitting HVACs. For example, window positioning makes the most of sunlight, which can reduce the heat and lighting needed during the day.
- Construction companies can use education and certification to promote awareness surrounding conservation awareness. For example, contractors can become LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, which demonstrates a high level of green building awareness. Having this certificate will reduce costs because contractors won’t need to call on external assessments.
The global climate crisis isn’t new, but it’s only recently started being taken seriously; worldwide governments are aiming to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The construction industry is the largest culprit for carbon emissions. Fortunately, through government incentives, innovative smart technology, and further education, contractors can protect their bottom line and move towards net zero.