Global climate change is a key issue that’s on all of our minds. For the construction industry, a crucial initiative is to concentrate on increasing sustainability. The construction sector is one of the most prevalent consumers of natural resources and minerals by its very nature. With the significance and need for sustainability in construction becoming a more widely debated topic, here are some ways construction companies can implement sustainability into their practices which will be more environmentally friendly.
Smart Buildings and Technology
One game-changer for sustainability in the construction industry is the introduction of ‘smart buildings’. These serve to make the purpose of a building much more enjoyable and efficient. Although internet connectivity is a major component of smart buildings, like with lights and modern speakers, they’re much more than that. The great thing about smart buildings is they can track their own energy consumption to provide details on how a building can be made more efficient.
Smart buildings also have the power to remotely change temperature and lighting. Because of this, there’s a reduced need for electricity. This helps to keep unwanted emissions in check. More and more smart buildings are popping up and are far more common than you may believe. With a greater incentive to concentrate on sustainability, there is set to be a significant increase in smart buildings in the coming years.
Find Sustainable Suppliers
Leading on from reducing emission-intensive materials, the construction sector needs to find sustainable suppliers to do just that. When you have numerous suppliers involved with a build, it can be complex to keep your site emissions down. Although, seeking suppliers who prioritise sustainable practices will make sure everyone on site is working in an eco-friendly manner.
If you are using cement for a build project, it’s wise to look at a cement supplier such as Hanson. They provide a wide variety of low-energy cement products that can be used for all kinds of purposes. Its aim is to be a leading sustainable company that is respected and trusted by stakeholders for the ethics they adopt and the products they supply.
Improve Waste Management
As with any project build, waste is a huge part and hindrance to sustainability within the construction field. Therefore, looking at new ways to repurpose or recycle waste materials should be your first step. This will involve seeking out recyclable materials in the first place. When ordering building materials, you should do this responsibility. This will ensure there isn’t excessive ordering taking place which can result in excess waste.
It’s also advised to repurpose leftover materials into other usable materials such as aggregate. Doing this can help in promoting a more circular economy, as well as reducing emissions. Repurposing leftover materials can also eliminate the need for wasteful over-ordered or by-product goods.
Reduce Emission-Intensive Materials
Some materials, like steel, are incredibly emission-intensive. While sustainability in the construction industry won’t be easy, sourcing more eco-friendly materials is a brilliant method for reducing the carbon footprint of a building. While it’s not viable in every instance, construction companies should prioritise local materials when seeking resources. Doing so will drastically lower the amount of transportation emissions that are produced.
Timber-based builds are far more environmentally viable than their masonry counterparts. This means choosing timber over steel can help reduce the carbon footprint of brickwork and stone practices. Even choosing resources that are primarily recycled materials is a fantastic way for lowering emissions from the get-go. Although recycled materials tend to cost more, they’re of a higher quality and will last for much longer.
Vehicles and Equipment
This should come as no surprise. When using heavy equipment or vehicles in construction, they’re a leading factor for emissions. Many vehicles used in construction produce greenhouse gases and are resource-intensive. For sustainability in construction to happen, it’s recommended by many leading organisations to switch vehicles to environmentally friendly alternatives.
As diesel and petrol are primarily used to power fuel-guzzling vehicles and machines, there are tactics you can try which can help in cutting down on such emissions. This includes switching machinery and vehicles off when not in use and swapping to electric power, if possible. Some environmental firms in the Capital have required that construction companies can only use equipment that is less than 10 years old. This ensures that any equipment used is as efficient as can be.
2050 is the target for the UK to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing emissions within the construction trade has become an increasingly pressing issue in recent years. Sustainability is already a key focus for many construction businesses, which are now concentrating on creating builds that are environmentally friendly by design.
Implementing any of the advice above in the construction sector and making gradual changes can go a long way in achieving the target set and lowering the climatic impacts that the construction industry has.