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BRITISH COLUMBIA CONSTRUCTION ASSOCIATION

Faster, cheaper and

greener

- making the link between sustainability and innovation By Helen Goodland

There are powerful forces of

Envelope assemblies are layering on so many more components and mechan-

change at work in Canada’s

ical systems are becoming so much more intricate that the risks of something

building country,

industry.

architecture,

the

going wrong are also increasing – especially because these components

engineering

are frequently being put together high above the ground and in inclement

Across

and construction (AEC) companies are facing profound

weather conditions.

regulatory, technical, demographic, macroeconomic, and consumer disruption.

Are we reaching the limits of what is technically or economically feasible within the “business as usual” context of how buildings are designed, tendered

In the context of sustainability, understand-

and put together? Why are owners willing

ing the business realities facing AEC com-

to take such risks? These are relevant ques-

panies is important. Pressures to achieve

tions but it’s more useful to plan for a resil-

environmental performance goals are being

ient, responsible construction industry that

superimposed on an industry that is already

is motivated to deliver affordable, carbon-

being pushed to deliver projects faster and

free, zero waste projects -- while providing

cheaper while facing rising prices and, in

a fair financial return to all parties.

many regions, a looming labour shortage. The design and construction process needs to be re-tooled with a focus on The root of the problem is the demand for ever-increasing

the entire construction supply chain: where sustainability intersects with inno-

performance expectations within the traditional mechanics

vation. For AEC companies to get to grips with the demands being placed on

of the design-bid-build process. To date, green building

them – to be faster, cheaper AND greener – they need to invest substantially

has largely been about making adjustments to conven-

in innovation.

tional practice. Bottom: BC has many strengths necessary to succeed – particularly in green building and innovative wood technologies. There is momentum and interest among BC construction industry leaders in the role innovation might play in improving the performance of buildings and the prosperity of the businesses involved in creating them. Photo Courtesy of Wood Works! BC as nominated by CEI Architecture (now HDR | CEI Architecture Associates Inc.) for the 2012 Wood Design Awards.

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SPRING 2016 | BC FOCUS


Bc focus digital spring 2016