Strategies for an Environmentally-Friendly and Sustainable Construction
The construction industry is embracing sustainable and eco-friendly building practices. Key stakeholders similarly appreciate the need to invest in the environment and adopt sustainable construction solutions.
Consequently, green properties, eco-friendly features, and green construction methods are increasingly gaining popularity with the new generation of homeowners. These sustainable solutions are offering a lot of new business opportunities to the business sector.
Whether you’re constructing residential or commercial properties, embracing green solutions offers significant benefits to a client. Let’s explore some strategies that are expected to revolutionize the construction industry.
- Reducing demolition waste materials
Construction engineers pull down buildings to construct newer ones where the former once stood. Consequently, the demolished building comes down with tons upon tons of waste materials.
At times, an investor can choose to keep the former structure and fix it anew, but the inevitable happens with time. The building has to be demolished to make room for better structures. In such cases, constructing companies must repurpose and reuse dilapidated construction materials to capitalize on the resources.
Some of the building materials commonly dumped in landfills include steel and concrete. So the construction engineer can reuse these waste materials to build other projects and use them in processes that have a lesser environmental impact. The resultant alternative projects save money and make profitable use of specialized equipment and construction machinery.
There’s more to reusing, recycling and repurposing. For instance, ceiling materials, flooring options, and carpets can be made from such waste. These options cut down production costs and create other operations for sustainable construction.
- Switching to environmental-friendly construction materials
More real estate investors and new generation homeowners increasingly prefer buying properties developed with an environment-friendly mind from the foundation up.
Moreover, governments across the globe are setting eco-friendly and sustainable construction rules and regulations. Implementing such regulations is an incentive to investors in the industry to use more environmentally friendly materials.
The industry is using more sustainable building structures such as noise barrier wall to help absorb excess acoustic pollution from nearby industries and busy cities. Other sustainable construction materials include recyclable wood, cork, metal, and bamboo.
Sustainable, Green Building Materials used in Construction
This is one of the most common eco-friendly building materials in construction projects. Bamboo is allegedly said to proliferate up to three feet in24 hours. More so, it regenerates and continues growing even after its harvested.
Bamboo grows in almost every continent across the globe. Unlike what many people think, bamboo is not a tree; it’s perennial grass.
It has excellent comprehensive strength and a remarkable strength- to-weight-ratio greater than brick and concrete. Bamboo is incredibly long-lasting. This quality makes it ideal for cabinetry and flooring. Bamboo is continually gaining acceptance in the construction industry.
Precast concrete slabs
These concrete slabs are manufactured from the source and shipped to the construction site as a whole. Precast concrete slabs come in two forms: concrete blocks and air-spaced-hollow slabs.
The former is ideal for building facades and walls because they hold up well to all weather elements. Others are used for flat roofs and flooring.
Conventionally, concrete is an excellent way of conditioning air in a building. It is also affordable. However, precast concrete slabs are more eco-friendly because they use lesser energy to assemble and produce than ordinary concrete.
Precast slabs are cured under a controlled environment. This allows them to dry gradually, therefore, resisting structural faults and cracks during demolition.
Cork grows very fast and can be harvested without cutting the tree down. After that, it regenerates to produce more tree bark, which is cork.
Cork is flexible and resilient. It also reverts to its former shape even when sustaining intense pressure. Its resilient and resistant features make it quite long-lasting.
It’s commonly used for flooring purposes. Cork is an excellent shock absorbent widely used for acoustic purposes. It absorbs noise from busy cities and industrial plants making it ideal for noise barrier walls.
Cork is impermeable and does decompose. It is a reliable thermal insulator and thus, fire-resistant. Therefore, requires less energy to transport using less energy while on transit.
Straw is an eco-friendly material used for framing in construction projects. Thus, it is also a good thermal insulator used as soundproof solutions. It’s used as fill material in between framework and columns. And because it has some fireproof properties because it does not allow air through.
Straw is a seasonal grass that can be harvested and replanted with no environmental impacts. Straw can be used on ceilings, walls, and attics.
- Recycled plastic
Already used and disposed of plastic can be reused to reduce their negative impact on the environment. Manufacturers are using scientific technology to produce concrete from ground-up waste.
Instead of sourcing, milling, and mining new construction material, manufacturers reduce gas emissions by reinventing further use for waste plastic.
Plastic blends are found in polymeric timber used to make a picnic and outdoor tables, timber, and other construction materials. Recycled plastics are used to make carpets and products such as PVC manholes and windows, cable pipes, floors, and roofs.
- Reclaimed Wood
The effort to go green seeks to increase tree cover in an area. Reclaimed wood is one of the most eco-friendly ways of saving trees.
Reclaimed wood is found in excavation firms, home remodeling companies, retired barns, pallets, and shipping crates.
Reclaimed wood is ideal for flooring, cabinetry, and structural framing in construction. And because reclaimed wood is lightweight, each piece should first be assessed to determine its suitability for an individual project.
- Reclaimed steel
Steel is mostly preferred for framing purposes because it’s durable and strong. Therefore, it is used in regions prone to strong winds and earthquakes.
Steel is up to 99% recyclable. This significantly brings down the ecological impact of new projects. Sourcing, mining, and heating aluminum and steel products require a lot of energy.
Consequently, reusing and recycling steel into new products reduces the amount of energy used. Reclaimed steel is long-lasting thus, requires less frequent replacements.