The rise in technological and economic advancements has increased the demand for natural resources in recent years. This includes the physical structures where we work and live, whether they are open spaces or tall buildings. In fact, a Office for National Statistics report on construction output showed a 7.4% growth in new work in private housing constructions in Great Britain. Non-housing and private housing maintenance spending grew to 9% and 4.7%, respectively.
However, these developments can also have adverse effects like pollution and excess carbon emissions that can harm the environment. The way buildings are developed and built have since then had to change with a more sustainable approach. If your firm has just begun planning ways for a more sustainable future in construction, then here are some of the things you should know:
Sustainable Construction: Understanding the Initiative
Sustainable construction entails using renewable materials when building and demolishing various types of buildings. This also takes into account the energy and waste produced while creating these structures. The objective of sustainable construction is to reduce the environmental impact these buildings create.
Truly sustainable efforts take into consideration the entire lifespan of an object, and buildings are no exception. As buildings reach the end of their life span, their designs will ultimately determine how much of the material will impact the environment. These range from solar panels that reduce energy consumption, recycled concrete aggregate, and insulation.
Saving the Environment: Lowering the Carbon Footprint
One of the biggest considerations in sustainable construction is the incorporation of alternative energy sources. Usually, this will involve solar panels that can generate the building’s partial electric needs. For one, solar panels are a popular choice for sustainable buildings. Hoymiles points out how firms that use solar energy are in a position to become smart sustainability leaders. More importantly, these panels allow them to harness equitable energy from the sun all year-round.
Other sustainable constructions opt for renewable wind energy, another type of sustainable resource that is slowly replacing traditional sources such as oil and natural gas. Not only has it become more attainable in recent years, but it is also much cheaper than it was. The Independent reports that wind energy costs are 50% less than traditional energy sources. Given that wind energy is almost self-sustaining financially, with greater efficiencies thanks to technology, it is another very popular investment for companies that wish to lower their carbon footprint.
Benefits for Businesses: Financial Sustainability
Sustainable construction does not just benefit the environment; it is also quite advantageous for businesses. One of the first considerations many corporations have for choosing more environmentally-friendly options when constructing a building is to reduce costs. While the upfront expenses may be more expensive initially, the ROI can pay in dividends. For instance, as the UK meets this demand with affordable options, businesses that choose solar panels can pay for themselves within three to five years, after which the savings turn into profit.
Green buildings, as sustainable structures are often called, also come with lower operating costs. This is possible when firms use sustainable technologies in construction processes, such as renewable materials like reclaimed or recycled steel. It also depends on sustainable equipment and tools, such as the ones we feature in our article on ‘The Eco-Friendly Forklifts You Need to Lower Your Carbon Footprint’. The same goes for more efficient vehicles, which will save you plenty on fuel costs during construction. With sustainable construction, businesses can cut down on costs while reducing their impact on the environment.
There are several steps to take to ensure that your construction methods and processes truly lend to a sustainable effort. But considering the positive impact on the environment and various groups of people, it’s definitely worth the effort. For more information do check out Our Construction Blog.