Sustainability is a hot topic across all industries. Backed by growing consumer demand, environmental responsibility is something that organizations must consider as they look to the future. As part of the construction industry, United Companies has put significant thought into how we address this topic, and more importantly, how we act on the insights that come from our discoveries. With that expertise, we’ve put together a list of things that can be part of your next green construction project.
1. Green Materials
As of one of the more obvious options, green material usage is a great place to start. In many areas of construction, the choices can be plentiful. For instance, in road construction, recycled asphalt pavements can be used in place of fresh asphalt manufacturing. In masonry applications, lime mortar can be used in place of Portland cement, which allows bricks to be reused in the future. Recycled materials can even be used for temporary items during construction. Add to that a focus on obtaining as many of those materials as possible from local sources, and you’ll drive down your transportation footprint as well.
2. Prefabricated Materials
It’s not uncommon for a construction project to intentionally stockpile surplus materials on a site so that they can avoid running short. In applications where it makes sense, using prebuilt materials (walls for a structure for instance) reduces, if not eliminates, the need to bring in extra materials. Moreover, when assembly isn’t required on site, you also minimize the potential danger involved in those activities.
3. Waste Tracking
Construction waste is an inevitability but tracking the consumption and disposal of that waste will give you an advantage. Activities such as presorting waste or leveraging technology built into waste management systems will allow you to see where changes can be made to drive down waste production. Even cutting wood and metal products in a factory means less waste and more assurance that the waste gets recycled or disposed of correctly.
4. Equipment Utilization
Picking the right tool for the job is an adage you hear often in construction. By leveraging renewable fuel sources and making sure equipment is maintained appropriately, especially via lubrication, you’ll decrease fuel usage. You can even perform some quick calculations and determine the correct generator requirements for the site so that you aren’t creating energy that’s unnecessary.
5. Energy Management
Conserving energy on a construction project is paramount. That means that quickly insulating a structure once the outer shell is completed will provide protection against things like heat leakage. For work being done during the day, this can translate into using natural light to illuminate the work area or using solar-powered lighting if work is being done at night or when natural light is fleeting.
We could go on and discuss water usage, pollutant management, supply chain, and many other valid topics, but the point to all of this begins with awareness. Educating yourself on what you can do to make a positive impact on the green potential of your next construction project is half the battle. Begin planning and identifying small changes that you can make now. It’s likely that you’ll find savings in resources, project costs and decreased impact on the environment. If you’ve got questions on how you can make some changes, or if you’d like to use professionals like United Companies to manage your next project, give us a call today!