Green construction policies are a deeply welcome trend that’s slowly and steadily taking over the vast, multibillion dollar construction industry, one of the industries that most needs to maintain sustainable materials and energy use policies. Through a multifaceted and creative approach to both creating a smaller environmental impact and saving clients’ money, major construction contractors are following through with many of the following strategies.
1. Recycled Construction Materials
Recycling is one of the oldest and easiest ways for a company or anyone to implement an eco-friendly set of rules in their workplace. Thus, it’s no wonder that construction companies, which use far more materials than any normal workplace, are starting to do exactly this as part of a general environmental protection strategy.
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From wood fiber building materials to things as simple as buying paper made from recycled pulp for the vast amounts of documentation that the administrative side of a construction company has to manage, the opportunities for recycling are enormous.
Another major aspect of recycling that’s being implemented in the construction industry involves the waste generated by a building project or general admin. Many businesses are making sure to implement green policies that oblige everyone to separate recyclable waste from other trash while demolishing and taking away building-related scrap. Additionally, again coming back to administrative levels, construction company offices are also separating their paper, metal and other waste from trash that can’t be reused in some way.
2. Emissions Control
Any major sector of the construction industry, from products manufacturing to actual construction project management, is almost always involved in a process of generating carbon emissions on a daily basis. This is an unavoidably dirty part of the business but there are ways to manage those emissions effectively.
Minimizing them as much as possible and taking care to clean up what does get produced is a powerful dual policy that many companies are implementing. On the manufacturing side, producers of materials such as cement and wood products are implementing emissions controls at their plants so the amount of harmful materials that get released into the atmosphere is kept to a bare minimum. This might involve the use of filters, or simply better production technologies and ingredients.
As for on-site emissions control in construction settings, newer generations of building and earth moving vehicles are making emissions regulation much easier than ever: Companies such as Volvo are creating parts and machinery that can reduce emissions from diesel engines by as much as 38 to 40% through improved fuel injection technologies and engine airflow management.
3. Soil Remediation
Soil remediation, either pre or post-construction is a powerful environmental improvement and cleaning strategy that more and more major construction contractors are implementing every day.
As the name suggests, soil remediation is all about improving the quality of ground soil so that it’s not only free of overt contaminants but also distinctly conducive to a healthy ecosystem. This is something that can be done through a number of chemical, hydraulic, filtration and mechanical processes, but the ultimate goal of all of them is to create a soil environment surrounding a construction site or building development that is free of dangerous pollutants and great for plant or animals health.
RW Collins soil remediation services, along with a whole plethora of other related cleaning procedures that any green conscious construction contractor should carefully consider when finishing up or even starting a building job.
4. Using Natural Features
Construction doesn’t always have to be a deeply scarring artificial process of imposing man-made order on the natural sweep of a local environment. On the contrary, more and more contractors are seeing an increasing demand from aesthetically minded clients that want their buildings and housing developments to blend as much as possible into the natural landscape or, where it’s already lacking, regrow it around their new buildings.
We’re seeing this in the form of buildings that are built around natural rock or forest features, garden areas that incorporate the trees that already grow on the land into their green landscape and parking areas that are built underground, paved over and then covered with a layer of soil on which trees and grass are grown –a notable example of this being the enormous new Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.
The innovative variations that are possible with the incorporation of natural elements into a finished construction project will depend enormously from site to site but the essential idea of minimizing impact and maximizing the continuity of previously existing natural features is catching on.
5. Green Insulation
Here we see a very simple but very powerful green building innovation that can be easily applied to almost any newly built structure in the areas of the world that see fall and winter cold every year: Green insulation. With effective building insulation of any kind, the energy savings that result are a major contributor to a cleaner world with fewer carbon emissions that come from increased heating needs. Thus, the additional step of making the widely used insulation itself eco-friendly is a major bonus in the quest for cleaner construction methods.