At this time, most of the global population is depending on the healthcare and food service businesses to assist in the navigation of a challenging new world. In the world of building, however, many projects are on hold.

In our global effort to finally achieve a post-COVID world, how can we help the building industry regain its bearing?

The Australian building business provides about 13 per cent of the nation’s GDP, producing more than $360 billion in revenue annually. In March, with the pandemic in effect and nations putting a hold on all but essential services, a good number of industry experts believed that the industry might collapse.

Unlike other nations, Australia has deemed construction an essential business. This helped boost the economy, as many industry professionals were able to keep their jobs. Providing that workers respect social distancing procedures, building can continue.

This situation would seem the prime opportunity to proceed with the concept of sustainable building design.

Sustainable building has become a surefire motto, one that encourages corporations to refrain from conventional practices that are wasteful and harmful for the environment in favor of more ecoconscious practices.

Companies can shift their procedures without having to change the way they build homes. Steel, for instance, is 100% recyclable and the process of recycling steel prevents more than 900 metric tons of CO2 from penetrating the atmosphere annually.

Many fresh building techniques are beginning to be introduced. Prefabricated construction utilises parts put together in a factory and transported to the construction site to complete the job. These prefab modules can shorten the timeframe required to build a structure, lessening carbon emissions by reducing the timeframe that heavy equipment is needed on these jobsites. 

Yet in these troubled times, can sustainable building truly make a difference? Industry experts think so. Around the world, the preference for green and sustainable building is anticipated to produce more than $1.1 trillion USD by the year 2050. Green buildings benefit the economy and environment.

It might surprise someone to know that sustainable construction is a time-honoured tool used to recover from a fiscal crisis. In the wake of the Great Recession in 2008, the Korean government devised a stimulus package that provided incentives to retrofit standing buildings to render them more energy efficient. This type of stimulus package impels individuals to spend, which supports the economy and the building industry alike.

Similar plans could achieve the same result today, as we strive to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the economy, for the nation, for the planet, we must go sustainable.