Extreme weather conditions seem to increase annually. Climate experts predict more extreme temperatures, heavier precipitation in the winter, and drier conditions in the summer will become more prevalent. Intense storms, with strong winds and flooding rain, are expected to become more common as well. Welcome to the world of climate change.
These changes put more pressure on designers, contractors and, most importantly, the building envelope. To prevent failures and premature aging, materials must be carefully selected to withstand the specific extreme weather conditions of the region where the building is located. Material science is working to develop more sustainable construction materials while keeping an eye on how creating those new materials has an impact on the climate as well.
Recent studies revealed that energy is top of mind for construction stakeholders. For owners and occupants, it’s all about costs:
- Gasoline and diesel prices are expected to rise even more this year, increasing the cost of operating heavy equipment and further straining construction budgets which are stretched thin by rising materials costs.
- Energy expenses account for one-third of the typical operating budget of an office building.
- At the same time, energy usage for air conditioning is expected to rise faster than any other use.
Planning and constructing a well-sealed building envelope is vital for reducing that burden. Owners noted that seals and joints were common areas of failure, meaning that it’s more important than ever to use materials that interact well and join together easily.
Energy is needed in vast amounts for many manufacturing processes including manufacturing houses. Prefab design-build company Clark Pacific, recognized the impact that non-renewable sources of the energy needed to create their buildings was unsustainable, so they are converting their facilities to renewal solar energy.
Through a partnership with NewGen Energy, the move to solar marks a significant leap forward in Clark Pacific’s long-standing commitment to a more sustainable future. By installing solar arrays across its facilities and transitioning its consumption to nearly 100% renewable energy, Clark Pacific is reducing its “carbon footprint” and looking forward to both energy and monetary savings.
How much savings? Upon completion, Clark Pacific’s use of solar energy will offset the impact of 14,976 passenger vehicles, or the energy consumption of 8,293 single-family homes, per year and is equivalent to planting 1,138,654 tree seedlings over the past decade. During the past 25 years, the move to solar is estimated to save more than $19M, which can be reinvested into the company and its sustainability efforts.
Driven to deliver better buildings, the company has led the way for making prefabrication acceptable in the marketplace, bridging the gap between manufacturing and site construction to deliver high-quality, cost-effective buildings on budget and on time. The solar arrays, which NewGen Energy began installing at Clark Pacific’s properties across California in December of 2021, will be fully operational in Q4 2022.
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