the architecture and construction industry
While substantial progress has been made, there is still much work to be done to ensure that sustainable practices become the norm rather than a rarity.

Saurabh Goenka - Senior Associate, S9 Architecture, New York

Sustainable design practices are gaining momentum in the architecture and construction industry with growing awareness regarding the contribution of the built environment to carbon emissions. Green building certifications such as GRIHA and LEED are increasingly gaining popularity among developers and owners not only because of marketing benefits, but also due to increased long-term value of their projects. In fact, green buildings often command higher property values, leading to increased occupancy rates and potentially higher rental or resale prices.

the architecture and construction industry

However, lack of awareness or motivation, the associated upfront costs, short-term focus, and limited availability of skilled labor and resources, are some of the challenges that often impede widespread adoption of sustainable practices. Collaborative efforts from owners, designers, contractors, and manufacturers are needed to push the industry forward towards standardization, which would in turn lead to cost reduction.

While the savings achieved by sustainable projects can vary depending on the scale and the context, there are certain strategies that can be implemented to realize energy, resources, and cost savings. These could include energy efficient lighting and air conditioning systems that lower utility bills, low-flow fixtures, rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling to reduce water consumption, waste recycling programs to reduce waste disposal costs etc. Some of these strategies may come with higher upfront costs, but it is important to weigh them against the long-term benefits and operational savings.

the architecture and construction industry

Governmental incentives such as tax breaks or floor area bonuses for projects pursuing sustainable design would help advance this shift to sustainable construction. The government’s initiatives and future goals for renewable energy have led to adoption of solar power, and materials such as low-carbon concrete and recycled steel are becoming increasingly popular.

Our Hunters Point South project in New York, is LEED certified and uses a combination of conscientiously sourced construction materials, enhanced HVAC and air filtration systems, and passive solar orientation strategies. Apartments have smart thermostats programmable to regulate temperatures, bath and kitchen fixtures have low flow rates, thus lowering the building’s water usage, and the expansive green roofs help mitigate the heat island effect and reduce stormwater runoff, while also providing outdoor amenity spaces for residents.