The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that construction and demolition materials produced a huge amount of waste, which came to 600 million tons. According to the EPA and past statistics indicate that the amount of waste coming from the construction industry is growing, not declining. The awakening of becoming more sustainable has spared a number of green building trends in 2022.
Sustainable/green Material and Eco-Friendly Upgrades
Materials such as sustainable or green materials are now readily available. The three most environmentally friendly materials used within materials are bamboo, recycled steel and sheep’s wool. All three of these materials are used for different purposes within construction. However, there are other green materials such as composites, stone, fibre cement and fibreglass that are also used.
For any construction company, all these green materials are excellent options for sustainable construction. Although construction companies are now using similar materials, alongside smart technology, due to eco-friendly upgrades to older buildings. Construction has now started to utilise new ways in which they can save energy and use clean renewable energy sources. These eco-friendly upgrades include:
- Smart windows, protect against heat loss, increasing heat retention.
- Energy-efficient lighting, such as LED light bulbs
- Natural products which are used for insulation, such as sheep’s wool and hemp.
All of these new materials and eco-friendly products are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, less biodegradable waste and a decrease in construction companies’ carbon footprint. Any construction company that is incorporating more of these products and changes into their building process, shows that their taking action on the push from a lot of consumers, meaning they’re more likely to be more successful in the long run.
Although modular construction is something that has been around for decades, it is still growing in popularity. The manufacturing process of all components takes place in a factory, which is then transported to the construction site where they are all fitted tpogther using a crane. Modular construction is performed in a controlled environment, which allows materials not used in one project to be used in another project within the same factory, which creates fewer waste materials.
The great thing about modular construction means that different materials can be used in different locations, reducing the amount of environmental impact. A modular building creates 90% fewer site deliveries, which also creates fewer carbon emissions. The increase in modular construction has created fewer transport emissions, which is one of the main contributors that come from the construction industry. Therefore this more efficient way of building has a huge impact on the overall sustainably within the construction industry.
Recycling/Reusing of Waste Materials
Demolition of debris is one the biggest contributors of waste within the construction industry, so recycling and reusing these materials is a huge environmental movement. When new building materials are manufactured on these landfill spaces, this results in pollution due to the disposal of waste resources. The deconstruction process can be changed on a number of levels in order to salvage usable materials, which will lead to a significant cut down on waste and reduce disposal. Reusing structures or foundations, selecting assemblies and systems and the careful removal of specific materials to reuse are all great ways to save materials from the demolition process.
There are so many sought-after materials that come from deconstructed buildings such as unique woods, hardwood, flooring, windows an even architectural mouldings. With the waste management market growing it is important that the construction industry try more with their sustainability efforts, as recycling and reusing materials keep down the amount of waste produced.
More green building news
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Check out the infographic below for more tips to keep your construction project eco-friendly!
Infographic provided by Rock Solid Stabilization & Reclamation, Inc., a full depth reclamation asphalt company