The Green Shift: How Building Codes are Shaping Sustainable Design

Building codes worldwide have been undergoing a green revolution. This means exciting opportunities to future-proof your design and contribute to a more sustainable built environment.

Globally, the European Union's Green Deal aims for carbon neutrality by 2050, with stricter building code requirements for energy efficiency, zero waste and renewable energy integration.

The International Code Council (ICC) 2021 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) offers a comprehensive framework for sustainable design, gaining traction in several US states.

In Aotearoa, our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, will drive the push for sustainable building practices and the use of circular materials.

With this mind, how might designers today prepare for this shift?

⚡ Staying ahead of the curve: Early adopters of circular design principles will be well-positioned in a market increasingly focused on environmental responsibility.

🌳 Meeting future client demands: As zero waste and low carbon awareness grows, more and more clients will prioritise eco-conscious design solutions.

And I'm excited to seeing designers responding to this shift like Amanda Wijaya who is exploring the use of Critical. Cleanstone as a circular material for whiteboards in an upcoming fit out that is today's Cleanstone Sample 023. Made using 100% recycled soft plastics, it's a subtle variation of our Clear Cleanstone without the white flecks and if you look closely you can see a slight transparent speckle.

Here are 3 actionable tips you could apply into your practice today:

👓 Embrace Transparency: Partner with suppliers who prioritize sustainable materials with clear life cycle assessments. Explore options like recycled plastic panels with a lower environmental footprint compared to virgin materials.

♻ Life Cycle Thinking: Consider the environmental impact of materials throughout their lifespan. Choose options that are durable, easy to maintain, and potentially recyclable, contributing to a circular economy.

📯 Educate and Advocate: Collaborate with clients and stakeholders to raise awareness about the benefits of sustainable design. Share success stories and highlight the long-term cost savings and environmental advantages.

By working together, we can leverage the power of evolving building codes to design a sustainable future for our built environment. What trends in the building code are you seeing happening? Comment below!

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