With the environment in a mayhem, it is imperative for construction companies to adopt methods that do not impact the environment in a negative way. However, this at times could mean that the company will have to adopt measures that cost quite a bit for the sake of creating a greener, healthier environment. While adopting green constructing methods could mean making great sacrifices, there are practices companies can adopt that would not only save them money but also make their practices even greener, allowing them to have a more positive impact both on their finances as well as the environment.
1. Avoid wastage in the design stage
If it is possible for one to be involved in the design stage, it offers a great chance for one to be able to make some prime changes. This is a great place for you to be able to set the tone for saving and how vigorous you expect this to be. In this stage, there are a few thing you can do to save even more on materials. You can start by using standard building materials while setting certain waste reduction goals when the project is just starting. The best way to go about this is target the products that are most likely you be misused. Estimate the time and place that you will be generating the waste. That way you can plan on how to handle the waste.
2. Reduce wastage on the construction site
This is among the most notorious places when it comes to generating waste. However, this also means that it is here that you can make boat loads of savings. You can start by using the suppliers to buy back the items that you will not use. Of course this may be at lower price but at least you will be able to save plenty of money. You can also ask the suppliers to replace any materials that might be damaged to ensure that you don’t have to throw this away. It is also a great idea if you can get suppliers that are able to deliver the materials in pallets and containers that are retainable. That way you’re able to return those that you will not use in the proper packaging. This also makes storage much easier. Speaking of storage, you may also want to change how you store the materials. This way, you’re able to reduce those that are damaged by weather and as such you have less to throw away saving you money and also the environment.
3. Purchase cleverly to reduce construction waste
Buying materials wisely can go a long way toward helping you save money as well as the environment. However, this is a place that you’re able to even stop the waste from getting to the site. The first thing that you can do is make sure that while buying the supplies, you go for those that have less packaging. That way you’re able to bring less waste into the site which you will not be able to use in most cases. Also make sure to evaluate your estimation process to avoid buying too much, which is wasteful; or too little that you have to keep making trips to the store, which is also wasteful on human resource and fuel.
4. Reuse and recycle waste at the construction site
The only limit that you can have here is your creativity. There are very many ways of recycling construction materials. However, it is important that you make sure that you are well aware of the local laws and more so in regards to recycling construction site materials.
One of the easiest things to do is using blocks and broken bricks for backfill. This includes any masonry rubbles and concrete chunks. You can also use the spacers and fire blocking lumber as fillers in dry areas. The bushes and trees that you may have cleared in the cause of the building can be used for mulching while the saw dust collected can be used for mulching the landscape as well as pathways. The options are virtually limitless. The only barrier present could be your creativity. However, for this to work, it starts with you having to set aside a designated area where you can have easy access to the materials.
5. Go green in your security
It is estimated that construction companies lose over $1 billion annually due to theft of their materials, if you were to do the math, your percentage of this $1 billion loss could be several tens of thousands of dollars. Start by installing solar run security cameras so that you’re able to cut back on wastage through theft. You can then double up on the security by employing real live guards to make sure that the cameras are not vandalized. That way you don’t spend extra on electricity and at the same time, you’re able to cut on wastage of construction materials caused by theft.
6. Make new friends with the recycling and salvage companies
One of the most frustrating things that any construction company has to deal with is waste. While you might do all there is to make sure that you deal with the waste and reuse as most of it as you can, there are bits and pieces that are hard to do away with. However, this does not mean that you should have to keep the waste around. By making friends with local recycling companies they should be able to help you recycle a good amount of your waste. The best news is that some the waste that you may be dealing with can actually be turned into cash. This means that you actually get paid to get rid of it. In the long run, you’re able to get savings and also put the waste to good use.
7. Filter or divert your water run off at the site
In this case, you have to be very careful about how you dispose the pollutants from your trucks, or the washed away top soil. There are a variety of rules against this and not being able to follow this carefully could land you in trouble and even cost you the ability to work for a given time due to restraining orders. To avoid this especially because you don’t want to waste your most important resource which is water, make sure that you prevent run off. This ensures not getting caught on the wrong side of the law. Make sure that you plant rye grass which is a great stabilizer to prevent top soil run off and considering this is a plant, it may also be sucking in some of the carbon dioxide being produced in the site and make sure that you have all the drain inlets and outlets covered with rocks arranged in the same manner as in a check dam to ensure you have the appropriate silt fencing. This makes sure that you retain the integrity of the soil and avoid erosion.
You can also make sure that you check your drain measures regularly to make sure that there are no problems and that you’re within you limits. You also need to keep checking the vehicles servicing the sites regularly for leaks and make sure that you have a spill kit at hand and ensure that you’re able to use this on the spills as soon as you spot one. The importance of making sure that you follow any of these tips can be very important and a great plus for the environment.
8. Use alternative green construction materials
With all the awareness that is going around right now about the importance of making sure that we use materials that are friendly to the environment, the green construction material industry is enjoying quite the spike as companies are striving to meet their obligations in creating a healthier environment. As such it is vital for companies to make sure that they are able to substitute some of the conventional materials with those that are friendly to the environment like the roofing options for instance.
9. Design for Deconstruction
This is the one place most companies overlook since they do not expect their creation may someday be required to be brought down or modified for something else. This is why it is important to make sure the structure has been built in such a way that make it easy to take apart or add components later on.
This makes it economical and very environment friendly since there is minimal damage to the surrounding area as well as pollution of the air and noise due to the repeated actions of demolition. This makes some of the parts of the building very reusable in the event that the building has to be taken apart.
10. Document your green efforts
Most of the companies would differ greatly in this but this is not done to get recognition but to help spread the awareness to other companies and help to join the fight and the good cause. Some of the societies that you can join that are strong in terms of green constructions are the Green Star (Australia) and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), or Green Building Initiative (both in the US) .
Benefits of adopting these practices
While some of these practices may sound like they are very intensive on the contractor, there are a variety of undisputed benefits that come with adopting green constructions and using this strategies to maximize on the same.
One of the best benefits that the constructor is able to feel almost instantaneously is the light nature of their budget. They waste less and as such are able to save more. That means that they are able to get the best constructions using the best practices but at the same time being able to adopt the safest building methods and practices.
Needless to mention, most of the constructors that are doing this are able to sleep better at night knowing well that they are doing their part diligently in making the world a better place.
While green construction has been highly touted, it is the responsibility of every industry player to make sure that they adopt practices that favour the environment and their business in the long run and more so if they intend to keep it. These practices just ensure that they are able to benefit while at the same time benefiting the planet.