When you spot a rare sight of Arabian Oryx on Farasan Island, you may not realize that the animal faced extinction in 1972. In the words of former AIA President, Susan Maxman:
Sustainable Architecture isn’t a prescription. It’s an approach, an attitude. It shouldn’t even have a label. It should just be Architecture.
Since construction is one of the largest natural resource consumers, we can dive into the barriers to sustainable construction to mitigate such negative environmental impacts as the extinction of the prized Arabian Oryx.
So, what are some of the barriers to sustainable construction?
The complexity of the construction projects: Most construction projects involve a wider web of stakeholders. When there is no cooperation among the industry stakeholders, the implementation of sustainable practices is rendered impossible due to varying conflicts of interest.
Dwindling demand for sustainable buildings. The dwindling client demand for sustainable buildings has significantly contributed to limited interest among investors. However, the continued desire for healthy workplaces is a trend that will soon stabilize the demand.
Overemphasis on costs: Studies show that costs constitute 66% of the barriers to sustainable building. However, the increasing number of those willing to pay extra for eco-friendly goods is a positive indicator that the industry will soon overcome this barrier.