Green initiatives sound good, but practical applications often lag behind good intentions. Demand is growing for environmentally friendly construction so fast that builders aren’t able to find enough reliable, skilled professionals to do the work.
The U.S. Green Building Council has found the number of building industry professionals seeking LEED certification in the past two years has doubled to over 60,000. A McGraw-Hill Construction Survey predicts that between 40 percent and 50 percent of new homes built in 2010 are expected to meet green standards.
Builder management software systems will provide critical help. Constellation has an initiative to have all its products address the green data collection needs of its customers in 2009, says its vice president Craig Schweikart. Future software updates will manage credits, points, or dollars for a variety of green building programs, keeping a running green score on each house.
BuilderMT’s approach emphasizes cycle-time reduction. “Reducing construction time by even one day can have a substantial environmental impact,” says company president Tom Gebes. BuilderMT’s own studies show cycle times reduced by as much as 95 days per home.
One complication for all software developers is the need to accommodate the variety of metrics from the various green standards developers. Unfortunately for builders seeking simplification, the likelihood of a universal environmental standard emerging anytime soon is considered remote.