Builders hat on building plans
City skyline with building construction

Ways Construction Has Become More Eco Friendly

We recently looked at the main kinds of pollution that construction is responsible for. These are, primarily, Large Particle Pollution (dust), Chemical, Water, and Noise – with noise having a startlingly important impact on environments. But is the construction industry doing anything to address these issues?

Let’s find out.

Environmental regulation

The primary driver for change has been the implementation of various environmental protection regulations, standards, and policies. This is coming in light of increasing realisations about just how bad the world’s environments are getting – and, arguably, pacing quite slowly for where it needs to go!

Some regulations, like the Energy Performance Certificate, are legally required for landlords and by development companies planning new builds. That said, companies are also able to choose to self-certify with environmental standards certifications like ISO 14001 or BREEAM. These schemes are great because the more that companies choose to self-certify, the more that others are implicitly forced to. In some cases, contract applications from companies without desired certifications can even be rejected by local planning authorities.

More effective materials planning

With a growth in tech-integrated working, construction companies are able to better assess, estimate, and order the correct materials for each job. And with the sophistication & accuracy of modern 3D software for architectural planning, this can result in a dramatically reduced amount of waste.

The benefit here is that companies waste less money on surplus materials, save money on delivery costs, muckaway, and hardcore disposal, and can create buildings to more exact specifications.

Using more recycled and recyclable materials

A great deal of the ancient structures we can still see today are as deteriorated as they are not simply because of atmospheric degradation but because their materials have been consciously stolen for building use elsewhere. When you consider the huge amount of energy required to produce bricks – from extracting the minerals, crushing, reforming, and baking – it makes immediate sense to reuse those bricks as much as possible in construction.

The wood from decommissioned ships was quite frequently repurposed to build homes – after all, the tree had already done the hard part centuries before! Thankfully, this attitude of preserving and reusing building materials is increasingly coming back in vogue.

The task, of course, is to design buildings in such a way that the disassembly of those buildings doesn’t result in the complete demolition of their materials. The city of Portland, Oregon, for example, passed a law in 2016 requiring old buildings to be disassembled rather than demolished!

Let’s build together

Building low-impact, energy-efficient buildings is a crucial foundation on which to build a green future. After all, we can’t live in a green future if what we’re living in is opposed to it.

If you’d like to build more environmentally friendly buildings, our void former solution creates perfect voids without costing the earth.

14 March 2023