Eco-friendly and sustainable practices are becoming more and more popular in industrial projects. Construction is no different. Aside from the conservation benefits these practices bring to the environment, they are also becoming increasingly cost-effective for builders and for the building owners after the structures have been completed and are in use.
This trend is a positive response to a growing environmental concern. But how exactly is eco-friendly construction done? Which areas of the building process are affected? This article will answer these questions.
From the very beginning of the project, environmentally friendly measures have to be included in the planning and designing phase. This means the materials have to be selected with this in mind too.
When using wood, it’s important to consider whether recycled or reclaimed timber is an option. Aside from saving trees, these materials can be bought with less cost. Sourcing wood from local and sustainably managed forests ensures that they were obtained responsibly. Doing this will also reduce its carbon footprint compared to having these materials transported over long distances.
Recycled concrete can also be used for construction. This is made by crushing existing concrete, which is usually sourced from demolitions, and turning it into dry aggregates for new concrete.
There are also several other materials like rebar chairs and paper insulation that have recycled options. As a general rule, recycled and recyclable materials should always be on top of the list.
Using non-toxic and lead-free paint has a lot of benefits too. These kinds of paint help make the site safer for workers and future dwellers alike. They also reduce the costs associated with disposing of toxic materials.
According to the World Green Building Council, the worldwide construction industry contributes to 39% of all carbon emissions. This is because aside from the transportation considerations mentioned above, heavy machinery used in building projects is usually powered by fuel. This is why even the simple act of making sure these machines are not used more than they have to, can already yield massive eco-friendly effects.
Newer and more advanced machines are also generally more energy efficient. If the project cannot afford these machines, well-maintained ones can also help reduce emissions.
Water is important for both the construction process and how the building is run in the future. Establishing water-recycling systems, like rainwater collection, wastewater treatment, and HVAC water drains can drive down water costs and help conserve this resource.
The use of solar power is also a sustainable alternative both during construction and permanently, after the structure has been built. Installing suitable solar panels is a worthwhile investment because of how it can eventually pay for itself and because there are rebates and financial grants associated with it.
When saving energy, it’s important to also consider using materials like low-energy LED lightbulbs that are often even brighter and more durable than regular ones.
It’s important to look to the leaders of the industry to find out what they’re doing right and how these methods can be applied to new designs. When On Earth made a gorgeous and informative list of sustainable buildings around the world that set the standard for how future construction projects ought to be.