How a $1,000-a-square-foot building could save you money in California
The next big thing in building materials may be the material we use to build homes.
And it turns out it could be cheaper than you think.
Building materials may soon be cheaper to make than you might think.
With a $15.6 trillion federal stimulus package already signed, there’s been a surge in the use of recycled materials for the construction industry, said Jeff Davis, vice president for the University of Southern California’s Center for Sustainable Construction.
“We have an opportunity here to use materials that have a lower carbon footprint, that are less expensive, that can be recycled and then sold as building materials,” Davis said.
That’s the goal of the California Reinvented Building Act, which requires the state to make sure its construction contractors and contractors do not use materials with a carbon footprint of 30 percent or more.
The act also requires California to take steps to make its construction materials more environmentally friendly.
California Reinvestment Act, approved in February, requires that California’s construction materials companies use sustainable materials.
For example, they must use renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydropower, as well as waste-water and composting, Davis said, and they can minimize the amount of energy they use when producing materials.
The law requires companies to meet carbon reduction targets, and it includes a new requirement for the state’s new building materials suppliers.
Those companies have until March 1 to start producing materials in the state, according to the California Building Materials Association.
The association also wants state and local governments to do more to protect the environment.
“I’m a little disappointed that the building industry hasn’t gotten a bigger piece of the pie,” said Steve Miller, a spokesman for the California building materials association.
“That is a very good thing.”
The state’s Building Safety and Health Administration is also in the process of reviewing the industry’s materials and certification programs.
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to make the building construction industry more green,” Miller said.
Building manufacturers say the state is doing a good job, but it still needs to do a better job.
The state is one of the largest building material markets in the world, according the Building Materials Institute, with the largest market share in the United States.
And with more and more buildings going up and more people living in them, it’s important to have the right materials, said Greg Gresham, president and CEO of the San Francisco Building Materials Guild.
“They’re the best-constructed buildings we know of,” Greslam said.
“If we don’t have the best materials, it won’t last as long.”
The building materials industry has a lot to learn, said David J. Dang, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
“The industry has had a great deal of innovation,” he said.
He said there is still a lot we don