Sustainability is a core focus objective of just about every industry these days. This is especially true for the construction industry, which touches the environment across every stage of development. When it comes to a more sustainable future, it’s up to commercial land developers to quite literally build one.
But what does sustainability in commercial land development actually look like? It depends on who you ask. There are opportunities for ecologically-minded initiatives throughout the development process, from site prep to the finishing touches. As sustainability climbs to the top of the priority list, developers are becoming more mindful of environmental impact. They’re starting to look at the lasting ramifications of each project decades into the future.
The result? A host of new trends that are influencing the way we think about building—and how we actually build.
Key Trends in Sustainable Development for 2022
Several key trends have emerged over the past decade as environmentally-minded building becomes a standard in the commercial construction industry. Here’s a look at some of the ones that will continue to distinguish themselves in 2022:
- Renewable Building Products. Building material producers have answered the call for sustainability with a range of exceptional, innovative products. From recycled composite insulation to insulated concrete framing, to smart glass windows and beyond; we’re building better because we’re using environmentally-minded products.
- Sustainable Materials Sourcing. It’s not enough to use sustainable materials and building products—the supply chain also matters. Developers focused on sustainability are finding ways to source materials locally, to reduce the carbon footprint of the supply chain used to source them.
- Environmental Land Planning. Beyond the usual Environmental Impact Survey recommendations, conscious developers are looking for ways to ensure a net-neutral impact to the local ecosystem where they’re developing. Whether that’s offsetting with greenspaces or incorporating sustainable elements into master-planned communities.
- Integrated Site Management. Construction vehicle emissions. Noise pollution. Ecological disturbance. The longer a development takes, the more of an impact it has on the environment. Integrated site development is a strategy that expedites development and reduces environmental impact by orchestrating the most efficient possible approach.
- Electric Vehicle (EV) Friendly Design. In planning for the future, developers should account for EV charging in new developments.
- LEED and BREEAM Certifications. When it comes to proving the sustainable efforts behind a commercial project, developers recognize LEED and BREEAM Certifications as the gold standards. Setting, striving for, and earning these certifications is the most encompassing way to approach sustainability.
These are some of the most prominent trends in sustainable development and are not representative of all of them. There are numerous other efforts by developers to ensure the future is built with sustainability in mind.
Doing Our Part: Encouraging Sustainable Practices
At Sandbox Development, we recognize the importance of sustainability in every project we take on. We’re continually taking steps to ensure our developments feature sustainable materials, employ green practices and minimize negative environmental impact wherever possible.
Take, for example, four of our current developments use HercuWall, a new, energy-efficient panelized shell system that expedites build time, reduces carbon emissions, and improves the efficiency of buildings. Our commitment to using renewable building products and sourcing from local suppliers (HercuTech is an Arizona company) affirms a responsible approach to commercial development.
We’re also proud of our relationship with Isola Homes and our contributions to the company’s eco-friendly building initiatives. We bring an environmentally-minded development approach to the company’s green-focused building strategy, to create sustainability from concept to fruition.
Building Toward a More Sustainable Future
Commercial development plays a significant part in shaping our communities. As climate change looms large, it’s communities that’ll feel the biggest impact of this threat.
To safeguard ourselves—and to beat back climate change—we need to change the way we build. It’s why Sandbox Development and other environmentally conscious developers across the country are embracing the trends mentioned above. The more we think about how we build, the more we can do to ensure we’re building a future that’s sustainable.
Want to learn more about sustainable commercial development trends? Check out insights from the World Green Building Council.