The construction industry, by its nature, is one of the top users of natural resources. With the growing concern of finite natural resources and climate change, there is increasing pressure in the construction industry from the government and some private sectors to minimize their environmental impact.
While there are some challenges involved in embracing sustainable construction methods, there are also a lot of great benefits in adopting these methods.
What is Sustainable Construction?
Sustainable construction means using recyclable and renewable materials in building projects and minimizing energy consumption and waste production. The primary goal of the sustainable construction method is to reduce its impact on our environment.
Sustainable construction does not end after the completion of the building project, the design of the building itself should have a minimal impact on the environment over the structure's lifespan. It means that the design of the building should incorporate elements and materials that have a continuous influence on the structure's environmental impact. These can include energy-efficient roof hatches on the rooftop, solar panels, appropriate insulation to prevent heat loss, and minimizing energy consumption from the grid that mostly comes from fossil fuels and long lifespan building materials.
Is Sustainable Construction Important?
From the emission up to the energy consumption, the construction industry contributes a significant impact on the environment.
Aside from its potential for building structures over wild habitats, its energy consumption is high. Most of the heavy machinery and equipment still heavily lean on fuels. Even inefficient electricity usage will result in unnecessary combustion of fuels to sufficiently supply those grid power supply lines. The construction industry contributes 36 percent of energy usage and 40 percent of CO2 emissions worldwide.
The shipping and fabrication of materials can significantly impact carbon emissions. Mining raw materials such as metals can result in water pollution. The concrete manufacturers or cement plants have resulted in tons of CO2, increasing significantly every year. Construction can also produce hazardous waste due to improper disposal or management, resulting in the pollution that affects the environment and the people in that area.
Ways to Make Construction Project Sustainable
There are several ways to make construction or building structure projects more sustainable.
There have been significant steps made in bringing renewable energy to construction sites. One of the popular solutions is the modular battery system that can quickly deploy onsite and recharge via solar panels. These systems can power vehicles, electric power tools, and security equipment in construction sites. These batteries can offset tons of CO2 and about a hundred liters of diesel per week, resulting in a significant positive impact on the environment when applied on large construction projects.
Building With Sustainable Construction Materials
- Wood - Adequate management of forests will provide habitat for wildlife and supply valuable building materials.
- Alternative Bricks - Wool and mud is excellent raw material to create bricks that are just as strong as traditional brick materials without using a kiln in its process, resulting in harmful emissions in the environment.
- Sustainable Concrete - Recyclable materials and plastics are an ideal substitute for traditional concrete and can significantly minimize carbon dioxide production.
Plastic Construction Materials
Plastic is one of the significant destroyers of the environment or ecosystem. However, it can become a considerable strength when appropriately used in construction. One of the main goals of sustainable construction is to build longer lifespan buildings. The fact that plastic materials won't degrade for an extended time means it doesn't require much replacement or maintenance. Manufacturers can start incorporating plastics to produce durable and recycled construction materials.
The construction industry adopts sustainable practices. The sooner the global construction companies adopt these methods, the better the environment tenders all construction projects. We can minimize the negative environmental impacts on the construction industry as we move into a more innovative, advanced world.