Sustainable construction covers two main facets: following protocols that will reduce the impact on the environment during the building process and creating something that will have a positive impact in the future.
Not only does sustainable construction help protect the planet, but it also often results in great cost-saving initiatives in the long-run. Here are five aspects of sustainable construction that make the idea easier to understand and implement.
The adage “measure twice, cut once” has evolved with technology, creating a whole new way for contractors to get the supplies they need and mitigate costly mistakes. Part prefabrication creates parts that are cut or moulded (learn more about 3Erp for construction projects) ahead of time. These parts are cut to spec, having a direct impact on sustainability through waste reduction.
Prefabrication also has a long-term resonating effect throughout a construction project, as fewer errors mean a shorter timeline and less energy usage. Prefabrication can be used for everything from steel components to resin used for lighting innovation prototypes in green buildings. Having these materials created in advance reduces time spent on the job site, which ultimately saves construction companies labor fees.
Supply Chain Management
As the world becomes more aware and proactive regarding the state of climate change, businesses are trying to get ahead of the curve by altering their standard operating procedures to be compliant with future regulations. Supply chain management is a significant area of focus for all industries, particularly construction.
Supply chain management monitors how raw materials are procured and transported, stored and developed, and ultimately processed and shipped as finished goods. In the construction industry, this can be extremely complex as different projects have vastly different requirements, and various teams come together. Green supply chain management means looking for ways to source sustainable products that are moved with fuel efficiency in mind, in packaging that isn’t going to put added strain on landfills, with the ultimate goal of reducing the carbon footprint of the project.
Waste Management and Reduction
By taking a proactive approach to supply chain management and prefabrication, it’s possible to drastically reduce the waste created from a construction project. That being said, it’s impossible to be entirely waste-free in the construction industry. What matters is properly handling and disposing of waste in a way that protects the integrity of the surrounding environment.
Proper waste management includes disposing of materials properly, ensuring that recyclable materials are separated from garbage and dangerous chemicals are handled safely as not to be leaked into the soil or water. It behoves modern construction companies to work with sustainability experts to ensure things are being handled properly.
While every project might be a little– or entirely– different from the last, many aspects of the job will be the same. Nails need to be hammered, walls need to be hung, doors need to be installed, etc. Creating a set of standard operating procedures that act as a basic framework for every project creates efficiency from planning to execution to the post-mortem review of what went wrong and what went right.
Standardization allows for employees to start on the same page, allowing projects to be completed in a more streamlined manner. As a result, the project takes less time and results in less waste, be it materials or energy consumption. While some adaptations may have to be incorporated into the plan for different projects, having the same set of steps in place for repeated tasks will have a positive impact overall.
One of the biggest impacts standardization will have on a construction project is the reduction in energy consumption. It takes a lot of power and fuel to run the machines and tools required to create something from nothing. Even sitting idly can use a lot of power over time. As such, policies should be put in place regarding idling machines that could be turned off during periods of disuse and unplugging power tools while on break.
These small protocols make a significant impact over time. It’s estimated that “standby power” accounts for 5-10% of energy consumption in residential settings. Imagine the impact unplugging tools could have in an industrial setting.
In addition to managing the site in a way that mitigates the impact on the environment, incorporating green designs and innovations into a building can also have a long-term impact. Using sustainable materials and designs that promote natural light and airflow can go a long way when designing a building. Construction businesses should look at getting LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) certified to assist with the green building process.
LEED certification not only provides the framework for designing green, sustainable buildings but also provides resources for different things to include and recognition for those efforts. A LEED certification is a powerful thing in the modern business world.
The Future of Construction
The best way to ensure that sustainable construction is at the top of your priority list is to make it a key part of your business model. By revisiting your business mandate and making sustainability a primary part of your business mission and brand standard, you not only keep this important topic at the forefront of everyone’s minds, but you also use it as a driving force for your business.
The return on investment for prioritizing sustainable construction is worth the effort. Not only will you save money on energy use and materials management in the long run, but it will also become a selling feature for your business in a conscientious consumer environment. We live in an age where the key decision makers care about corporate social responsibility, starting with ethically sourced materials and ending in buildings that use natural solutions for noise reduction and energy restriction.
Sustainable construction efforts are no longer a choice. The world is changing, and new laws and regulations surrounding how things are built are evolving every day. By taking a proactive approach to sustainable construction, contractors are setting themselves up for continued success.
How to Apply for a Green Job With the demand for green jobs skyrocketing so far in 2017, giving yourself a unique edge can be difficult—yet absolutely necessary—in order for you to become a proud worker for Mother Earth. Follow these steps to successfully claim your next environmentally friendly employment opportunity. 1. Resume: Make sure … Continue reading..