We're living in challenging and even dangerous times as a viral pandemic sweeps the globe.
Right now, the majority of the world is relying on the healthcare and food services industries to help us navigate this new normal. That is leaving many otherwise vital industries, such as construction out in the metaphorical cold with services shut down and projects put on hold to reduce risk and slow the spread of the virus.
At the moment, we’re slowly moving toward a post-COVID world. We’re not there yet but we’re taking steps in the right direction. What can we do to help the construction industry recover in a post-pandemic world?
Keeping the Economy Moving
The Australian construction industry represents roughly 13% of the country’s GDP, generating more than $360 billion in revenue every single year. In March, with the pandemic in full swing and countries shutting down everything but the things they considered essential, many industry experts feared that the industry might be on the brink of collapse.
Unlike many other countries around the world, Australia has allowed construction to continue as an essential industry. This is vital because it keeps everyone in the industry employed which serves to support the economy and takes a bit of stress off of their shoulders. As long as crews can carry out social distancing practices, construction in Australia will continue.
Instead of moving forward with the status quo, this is the perfect opportunity to start adopting something new and making the transition to sustainable construction.
Making the Transition to Sustainable Construction
Sustainable construction has become a bit of an industry buzzword, trying to encourage companies around the globe to abandon traditional practices that can be wasteful and harmful for the planet in favor of something a little greener and more sustainable.
Companies can make a lot of these changes without needing to alter the way they construct buildings. Steel, for example, is 100% recyclable and the process of recycling this building material prevents more than 900 metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere every year.
Many new techniques are also starting to emerge. Pre-fabricated construction uses components assembled in a factory and shipped to the job site for final construction. These pre-fab modules can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a structure, reducing overall carbon emissions by shrinking the amount of time that heavy equipment is necessary on these jobsites.
Can Sustainable Construction Make a Difference?
With the world going mad around us, is sustainable construction something that can help make a difference by supporting the economy and keeping things moving forward? Industry experts believe that is the case. Internationally, the switch to green and sustainable construction is expected to save more than $1.1 trillion USD by 2050. Green buildings are good for both the economy and the environment.
This isn’t the first time countries have used sustainable construction as a tool to recover from a financial crisis. After the Great Recession in 2008, The Republic of Korea created a stimulus package that offered incentives for retrofitting existing buildings to make them more energy-efficient. This sort of stimulus package encourages people to spend, which supports both the economy and the construction industry as a whole.
Similar incentives could do the same today, as the world tries to find ways to recover from the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Looking Toward a Post-Pandemic World
It might take a while before we can say that we’re living in a post-pandemic world, but we can start to plan for the future today. Making the switch to sustainable construction isn’t just good for the planet. It also helps to support local economies, something that is desperately needed in these unprecedented times.