Renewable energy, sustainable green design features and incorporating energy efficiency into construction projects has become a top priority to designers, project managers and every other person who is in the construction industry.
Why energy efficiency is so important? Because construction projects like buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 35% of CO2 emissions in the EU. Most of that energy is a product from fossil fuel and the burning of fuels such as coal and oil release pollutant that contribute in the global warming. There are numerous ways to improve energy efficiency of your project, but offer you the best two ways to achieve that goal and be social responsible company:
- Waste management
- Efficient use of your resources
Construction waste management
High-level management of construction waste is an essential aspect of sustainable construction project. Waste management means eliminating waste where is possible, reducing waste where is feasible, and reusing materials which otherwise would become waste. A good waste management practices identified the reduction, recycling and reusing of waste as most important activities for sustainable management of resources.
Construction waste is expensive and often come with undesirable consequences. However, failure to reduce, reuse and recycle is the greatest challenge that construction companies face these days. Effective management of construction project-related waste coordinated action of governmental, business, and professional groups and their activities.
A great number of the wastes generated from the construction project can be eliminated. For example, durable modular metal form systems for use in concrete construction may be selected on the basis of being readily demountable and reusable on other projects, thus eliminating wood waste associated with formwork fabricated of plywood and dimensional lumber.
Recycling of the waste from construction materials can be beneficiary for the company, since save money by cutting the disposal costs. Also, it is important that recycling is improving the relationship with community. There are two main ways to recycle the waste:
- Source-Separated Recycling: This means collecting the materials into separate boxes as they are generated. Afterwards, the recycling hauler places the materials directly to a recycling facility or a transfer station that accepts source-separated materials for recycling. This process is recommended for new constructions.
- Co-mingled Recycling: Materials which can be recycled are gathered in one drop box as they are generated. Afterwards, the recycling hauler takes the materials to a material recovery facility where they are sorted for recycling. This process is best for demolition, renovation or remodel.
Some construction materials can be reused. Materials, (such as doors and windows) which are in good and usable condition, can be reused by donating them to another project (or if they are in almost a perfect condition, can substitute the new). In the end some materials can not be eliminated, recycled or reused efficiently and effectively can be collected and disposed at the lowest cost.
Efficient use of resources
Efficient use of resources means best use of the materials, water and energy needed during every lifecycle of the construction project in order to minimize embodied and operational carbon. This goal can be achieved by reaching the highest potential of the materials through the lifecycle. Doing this, the company can cut the costs and reduce the business risk.
Supplement your energy efficiency knowledge bank with this post on the benefits your construction projects will get from smart buildings and energy savings. Complement this with how BIM is making construction greener and the other article dissecting how conscious choices are driving the development of new building materials and methods.