Green Construction Being Continuously Innovated in Florida

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Commissioned News Story (Source: Phillips Development & Realty)

Green construction enables builders to use resources more efficiently and create more energy-efficient buildings. This efficiency ideally lasts throughout the lifetime of the building, including its design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.

Close collaboration between designers, architects,and engineers is required throughout various stages of the product.

Sometimes known as "green building" or "sustainable building," green construction has been getting an increasingly large amount of attention in the United States. Not only is it about being environmentally responsible and resource-efficient, but a lot of businesses simply prefer green building for financial reasons.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics points to a 2009 McGraw-Hill Construction survey of high-level executives in firms that own green buildings, in which 72 percent say that their firm participates in sustainability efforts to lower operating costs.

The green construction trend is certainly in effect in Florida. Inc. Magazine's Issie Lapowsky talks about a builder in the state:

The trouble with the construction industry is it somehow manages to be both remarkably fragmented and dominated by a few major incumbents. In other words, it's hard for a new entrant to get noticed, let alone hired.When Stephen Ellis and his co-founder Grant Castillow launched MyGreenBuildings, a luxury residential green building company, he started with his own home, vowing to make it the greenest home in Florida. When the renovation was complete, Ellis began to give tours to members of the community (not to mention the American Institute of Architects and local master gardeners groups)  to show off his handiwork."A lot of what we did to break into the marketplace was to create a marketplace," he says.

It's important for contractors to adopt sustainable construction techniques, and use green building materials.

Donald Phillips, managing director of Florida-based Phillips Development & Realty, who's been in the real estate industry since he was 19, agrees.

"It will become increasingly required by an ever more knowledgeable public and the ever increasing prices of energy resources," he said.

Asked if he's had to change his business to adapt to the Green Movement, Phillips said, "Yes. We are moving away from less efficient environmental systems to more efficient systems like geo-thermal and reducing our design dependency on wood frame structures in favor of more robust envelopes."

Green construction, he said, will become "more favored as public sensitivity increases and operating efficiencies are sought."

As far as the next innovation, Phillips said, "Lighting will continue to trend much more efficient thanks to federal mandates and environmental systems will follow suit. The present boom in rental housing has moved decidedly urban as more demand for walkable living has surged."

As Inc. magazine recently reported, the days of green building being a niche market are gone. It's now the future of the construction industry.

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