Three Sustainable Construction Trends in 2021

2021 has seen an increased focus on sustainability in construction, aided by the development of exciting new technologies and a broader social focus on sustainable practices.

Incorporating eco-friendly and sustainable elements into design has become increasingly popular among architects, providing benefits not only for the environment but also building owners seeking more energy-efficient design. The top sector for sustainable construction in Australia and New Zealand was in commercial buildings as a response to client and market demand. This demonstrates the importance for contractors to embrace sustainable construction methods, as concerns around global warming, the environment and habitat destruction continue to grow in the global cultural zeitgeist.

Here, we discuss three emerging trends in sustainable construction and design.

Green Energy

An increased emphasis on incorporating green energy into architectural design is shifting attention away from traditional energy sources. With Australia being the global leader in building new renewable energy sources, there is a clear demand from the Australian public for greener alternatives.

Australian buildings account for more than half of Australia’s electricity consumption, a significant cost to homeowners and businesses who rely on traditional energy sources. Buildings which run on or generate solar, wind or hydro energy have a variety of benefits to offer building owners, including reduced power consumption as well as a reduced electricity bill and carbon footprint.

Renewable energies, coupled with energy-efficient design, can also help reduce the significant load that commercial and residential buildings put on the electricity grid. 

Increased Focus On Sustainable Materials

Innovation in green building and design are at the forefront of Australia’s construction industry, posing new challenges in accommodating the Australian consumer’s demand for sustainable construction methods and materials.

With clients increasingly focused on reducing the carbon footprint of a project, the soaring variety of sustainable materials available for use in construction means that project managers have a wide array of eco-friendly options at their disposal.

Sustainable materials like bio-based self-healing concrete or Hebel can be processed and created with low CO2 emissions, meaning that their use in a project is a great way to drive down the carbon footprint.

Living materials are also another fascinating trend, consisting of materials like self-healing concrete which are saturated with bacteria to bind the material together.

Recycled materials (such as recycled brick or timber) are also seeing increased adoption as an excellent way to create a greener supply chain.

Green Space in Buildings

Integrating natural features such as gardens or hanging gardens into commercial buildings is becoming a more sought-after trend in commercial construction, with occupants and staff recognising the significant benefits to mental health and productivity that green spaces can create.

Aside from producing a healthy, natural ambience for people to operate in, green features also help to create a positive company image which demonstrates that management are environmentally forward-thinking and concerned about keeping their staff happy and healthy.

Research by the University of Technology Sydney has also found that indoor plants can help reduce carbon dioxide levels by about 10% in air-conditioned offices, and by about 25% in buildings without air conditioning.

Looking to Implement These Trends in Your Next Project?

At Ashley Cooper Construction, our management team are experienced in creating green spaces and incorporating eco-friendly practices into our construction projects.

If you would like to work with a fully-licensed construction team who are experienced, innovative and dedicated to results, get in touch today and let’s discuss how we can help bring your project to life.