Construction Industry Challenges and Hurdles

Axis Capital Group, a construction company based in Singapore has written a lot of articles about the development of the construction of eco-friendly companies not only in our main base in Singapore but also to our branch out company in Jakarta, Indonesia and to other countries as well. The new wave of Green Movement as many people have called it is totally a trend in the turn of the century. The Green Building Revolution spawned new catchwords such as sustainability and green collar jobs. However, it cannot be avoided that there are conflicting issues and hurdles in the task of keeping track with green evolution.

1. Separate Capital and Operating Budgets

- According to a review by Vijaya Yellamraju, an accredited professional with Leadership Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating, the long term benefits of an initially expensive construction are more often not fully explored and this frequently unwitting shortsightedness can ultimately cost a building owner a great deal. Achieving environmental friendly maintenance in building construction may cost more than it should.

2. Split Incentives for Owner-Tenant

- A developer may not be interested in paying for green features, such as solar panels, when benefits will be passed on to the new tenants and owners - unless, of course, he is able to recoup the additional cost of green features in the sale price. The public is also threatened by contractors who offer green features to be installed during construction and turned out to be fraud in the end.

3. Lack of Transit Oriented Development

- Green Building is booming, but the infrastructure necessary to achieve the greatest efficiency remains almost stagnant. Yellamraju even added, “it appears that we are building in isolation, without having much community structure or transit system in place to make our efforts worthwhile”.

4. Greening Existing Buildings

- The focus of the government nowadays is the construction of new buildings to incorporate green movement in their development. However, the percentage of new building to arise only represents a small portion of building industry. The vast stock of older buildings promises a big opportunity of expanding green movement through energy consumption and reduction of gas emission.

5. Green Education

- Many of our kids grow up and do not know the difference of green infrastructures when what they are all seeing is modern and chic buildings full of glass and gray concrete. What we need is to encourage the development of technical skills such as energy simulation, passive solar and day-lighting design and make them part of the way we build design.

6. Resistance to Change

- Many people have thought it hard to convert from the modern concrete buildings to green infrastructures. They have so many complaints citing the issues above as the cause of the hurdles and would end up not accepting green projects for their construction needs. However though, the government in different countries already has laws regarding required incorporation of green movement in construction.  

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