More widespread use of sustainable building methods could save the Northern Ireland economy millions of pounds every year, according to leading property and construction organisation RICS.
RICS global head Steve Williams said Northern Ireland could become "more profitable, more professional and less detrimental to the environment" by employing sustainable techniques in design, tendering, planning, material selection, recycling and waste minimisation.
He recognised that the region has "a very healthy, professional and profitable construction sector", but said that failure to use sustainable methods "is currently resulting in unnecessary costs to the economy".
He identified sustainable construction as "the creation and responsible management of a healthy built environment, based on resource efficient and ecological principles".
"Employed effectively there are major savings to be made, by using less energy, minimising waste and choosing more efficient materials. Cost savings can then be passed on to business," he said.
The construction industry directly employs over 35,000 people in Northern Ireland and is worth around ý3 billion.