The process of adopting sustainable business practices for companies involved with the built environment is costly and will hurt the bottom line.
Fiction. Adopting green business practices and generating a profit do not need to be mutually exclusive. In striving to construct more environmentally-friendly structures, many of Europe’s most successful construction-related companies were able to enhance profitability and reduce costs.
Enhanced profits resulted from the construction of higher-quality products, which, in turn, provided companies with both a marketing advantage and the ability to charge premium pricing. These consequential benefits of making the transition to green building improved the rate of sales and profit margins.
Cost reductions were achieved by automating manufacturing processes and, equally important, installing systems that can help safeguard against hefty fines, which result from accidents involving environmental waste.
Offsite construction of wood-frame houses results in lower-quality structures.
Fiction. Among consumers in the United States, a wood-frame house – often referred to as a “prefab” – is generally considered to be of lower quality, as it is often confused with a mobile home. In reality, with the exception of the United States, most parts of the Western world readily acknowledge that wood-frame houses are actually of higher quality than traditional “stick-built” homes.
Offsite construction incorporates state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies, which result in houses and building components that incorporate energy-saving designs and are engineered to the highest level of accuracy. To better understand the quality difference between offsite construction and traditional methods, an analogy to the automobile industry illustrates the point: would you rather buy a car that was built in a factory or one built with parts shipped to your home?
The manufacturing of a factory-engineered wood-frame house also has less impact on the environment than traditional methods of construction. Prefabrication techniques reduce waste and simplify on-site construction. The structural integrity of these buildings, which meet or exceed current building codes, makes them less costly to both heat and cool.
Green construction involves the cutting of trees.
Fact. Wood is the ultimate sustainable building material. As trees grow, they remove carbon dioxide from the environment. In fact, one ton of timber products will sequester one ton of carbon dioxide. In addition, unlike other materials, when a tree in cut down to produce building materials, another tree can be planted to grow back in its place and continue this beneficial cycle.
Wood building materials also require less energy to produce. A ton of brick requires four times the amount of energy to produce a ton of softwood. Concrete requires five times the amount of energy, glass six times, steel 24 times, and aluminum 126 times.
Wood also possesses the best thermal insulation properties of many of the most commonly used construction materials. It is five times better than concrete, 10 times better than brick, and 350 times better than steel. (Source: www.sustainable-construction.co.uk)