Construction is a fundamental step in housing the ever-expanding human population. It’s also a step with a sometimes destructive reliance on the environment: as urbanisation increases, so does our dependence on natural resources.
2007 marked the first time in history when there were more of us living in towns and cities rather than rural areas. Now, with buildings in the EU bearing responsibility for huge amounts of carbon dioxide emissions and energy use, it’s clear that our approach to construction will have to change.
Fortunately, there are companies sprouting up with innovative approaches to building that could help both the environment, the economy and prove lucrative to investors.
Building a Sustainable Future
Inspiring construction companies could be paving the way for a new variety of environmentally-friendly housing.
Luxury tree house builders Blue Forest use their sustainable construction expertise for a range of glamorous camping (or glamping) accommodation, eco-schools and studios across the UK. Their designs may become the norm for future housing rather than the exception.
Thanks to a joint engineering research project between the University of Bath and architectural firm Modcell, there are currently straw houses on sale in Bristol. Made from timber-framed prefabricated walls, stuffed with straw bales and surrounded by wooden boards, they don’t appear out of place next to regular brick-built homes as they are encased in brick.
According to specialist crane hire company Emerson Cranes sustainable materials like timber and straw are viable alternatives for housing construction. Timber can even be made as resilient as steel when pinned into tight and precise layers.
Investing in Green Growth
Bristol is not the only site in Europe that’s seeing a sustainable and novel approach to construction. In Amsterdam, factory-made prefabricated homes made from wood and steel are making the headlines thanks to their cheap cost, elegant design and energy efficiency ratings. Meanwhile, Australia is busy introducing revolutionary prefab homes that create more energy than they use.
Back in the UK, the construction sector is facing strict requirements to reduce its energy consumption by 50% and its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. As a result we could start to see investment-attracting breakthroughs in low-emission buildings and green heating and cooling systems. If all goes to plan, there will also be a huge economic benefit from job creation in the manufacturing and environmental sectors.
It is clearly an exciting time for green growth, and investors should start start to look towards the construction companies of the future.