What is Sustainable Construction?

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Did you know the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that 569 million tons of debris were generated in the U.S. just in the year 2017? Construction waste has an impact on the environment and efforts toward a greener future.


With the growth happening in the Phoenix metro area in the past few years, one may wonder what sustainable practices are being executed during this time. Here’s a quick overview of some best practices in the industry.


What exactly is Sustainable Construction?

Sustainable construction focuses on five core principles according to Professor Charles J. Kibert, including:

  • Conserve
  • Reuse
  • Recycle
  • Protect nature
  • Create a non-toxic and high-quality environment 


The goal of green construction is to reduce the impact on the environment. To accomplish this, practices including energy efficiency, using green technology and use of sustainable materials are required. When executing green construction projects, developers must involve all steps of the process including planning, designing, building, and operations to be sustainable. 


What are the Different Types of Sustainable Construction Practices?

Materials are an important part of sustainable construction. Materials that can be decomposed after are changing the disposal process of construction waste to be more green and not as harmful to the environment. Some examples of sustainable materials are:

  • Bamboo
  • Recycled Plastic
  • Laminated Timber
  • Rammed Earth walls – a mixture of gravel, sand, clay, and slit. 


What are Some Green Construction Methods? 

With advancements in materials and technology, new sustainable construction methods have surfaced with the underlying goal to be efficient and reduce waste. Green construction methods include:


  1. Transform and preserve old buildings. Instead of completely destroying everything from an old building, incorporate some of the old designs and look into a new building. 
  2. Accurate, 3-D printing and cutting of materials is now possible and will reduce waste. Companies are now able to print building parts on the job site. This will cut down on mistakes, and shipping costs. 
  3. Managing waste by separating recyclable materials from hazardous materials.
  4. Conserving energy from design to implementation and constructing green energy sources for the building. The process called Solar Thermal Cladding can hold buildings’ heat in the winter. Also, using electronic glass for the windows can help eliminate the majority of UV rays into the building thus keeping it cooler.
  5. Green Roofs – adding grass, plants, flowers, and more greenery can reduce heating and cooling costs. 


Plaza Companies incorporates sustainable practices into building and property management.

We do this by:

  • Using the most state-of-the-art green building practices and materials.
  • We create buildings that have a minimal environmental impact, conserve energy and use water resources efficiently.
    • We accomplish this with energy-efficient lighting and climate control.
    • We use equipment to limit emissions from buildings and water-conserving plumbing fixtures.
    • We input fluidtron systems in our buildings’ cooling towers, which are designed to eliminate chemical use and minimize water use at our properties.
  • We also utilize public transportation in our building designs.


Read more here about Plaza Companies’ sustainable practices.


At Plaza Companies, we want to ensure a bright future for the generations to come. With all the growth going on in the Valley, we want to use as much green construction whenever possible. 

Our 40 years of experience has allowed us to provide creative and innovative solutions to each of the clients we work with. If you’re a property owner in need of assistance, feel free to contact us to learn what we can do for you.

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Whether you are looking to us for management, leasing or development services, we can help you find the perfect space. With almost 40 years of experience, you can trust Plaza Companies to assist you with your real estate needs.

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