Every industry wants to know how they can have a smaller impact on the environment in the ways they operate on a daily basis. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a certification used to encourage companies to build structures with the environment in mind. Buildings that follow LEED guidelines can better serve the planet. How sustainable a building is all starts at the beginning when it’s planned out. Today, there are over 90,000 projects that utilize LEED. Discover some effective eco-friendly construction strategies below.
Carbon Footprint Awareness
A carbon footprint calculates how much carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds a person or a group of people release based on the amount of fossil fuels they use. This calculation applies to engineers and operators on a construction site. A constriction site’s carbon footprint involves everything from transportation to the project’s design. An obvious way for a site to reduce the carbon footprint is to establish how much carbon the project will release before you even begin. This allows you to determine where you can reduce it in any areas. The carbon footprint also results from how many fossil fuels an individual uses. For instance, if the workers have the opportunity to car pool or take public transportation to work, those options can better serve the environment.
Taking advantage of emerging technology is another way construction strategies can become more economically friendly. An example of this is by using robotic demolition. Not only is robotic demolition safer for everyone involved with a construction project, but it also produces less emissions. Using technology like robotic demolition offered by concrete companies like Diamond Concrete Sawing can help projects keep the environment in mind, as work is completed with the necessary tools.
As 3D printing continues to progress, it also shows more promise in various applications, even in the construction industry. With 3D printing, many materials can be printed out and used in building construction. This leads to a decrease in waste, especially when you use recyclables to print materials. While this idea is still in the early stages, this may eventually become the norm for how buildings all around the world are constructed.
Another piece of technology that can benefit the environment is virtual reality. VR allows designers to visualize construction sites before work begins. Using VR can reduce costly mistakes that can cause a lot of waste. To be even more environmentally efficient, you can use a Google Cardboard, which is a VR headset made from cardboard.
An obvious way to be more eco-efficient is by using sustainable materials, such as recycled glass, lumber, plastic, and paper, as they can be as effective as the less-sustainable alternative. Using these materials that are better for the environment in your construction project can go a log way in the attempt to better our planet. After a demolition, you can also make an effort to reuse removed materials for future projects, instead of just throwing them away.
As work is performed, it’s much better for the environment that it’s done with precision. Exactness in execution is a key way to reduce any unnecessary waste that might come from sawing materials or in other work performed on a construction site.
Local Material Usage
A major contributor to a carbon footprint is transportation, and there are a lot of materials needed for a construction project. To easily reduce your project’s environmental impact, get as many materials as possible from local areas to reduce the amount of transportation throughout the project. Using local materials also helps small businesses in the area.
Take Advantage of a Space
A lot of pollution has to do with wasting extra space. This is why when you plan a construction site or building, it’s important to take advantage of all the space you have. This doesn’t mean you should have a congested area, but the environment can benefit from a layout that doesn’t have a lot of open space, which can be seen as wasteful. Consider creating a building for multiple purposes rather than leaving empty space.
Solar and Wind Power
One part of planning a construction project is determining the building’s power source. Consider if you can use other sources that doesn’t use fossil fuels to create energy. Some great eco-friendly options to power a building include solar and wind. Installing solar panels and wind turbines are often an expensive initial investment, but it can save much more money down the line. If financially feasible, then use solar and wind power as your building’s energy source.
In addition to using sunlight to power an entire building, you should also consider the actual lighting inside the structure. You don’t want to create a building that doesn’t allow for any natural light, as that will cause you to include large amounts of fluorescents to compensate. Plan the position of windows in the building to maximize on how much light comes into the building to reduce costs and energy consumption.
It’s incredibly important to have heat and cool air in a building for safety. With geothermal heating, the ground can serve as the source of a heating or cooling system for a building. This also means electricity and carbon emissions are reduced. If you want to implement this, use ground penetrating radars prior to construction so that you can determine if the option will work.
If a building doesn’t take advantage of geothermal heating, you can make heating and cooling systems environmentally conscious in other ways. The focus should be put into the building’s insulation. Quality insulation ensures consistent temperatures, which will lead to less use of a cooling and heating system. High use of these systems can harm the environment if it has to constantly turn on and off.
Using eco-friendly practices in construction work can set the stage for buildings that want to become LEED certified by saving water, energy, and producing less waste. These solutions can go a long way in helping the planet for years, as it will become more of a priority in construction and other industries.