Sustainability and what we can do to protect our planet are topics discussed globally in 2018.
'Sustainability' is the term used to describe the act of carrying out activities without having a harmful impact on the environment, and without exploiting resources.
Currently, the construction industry accounts for 45% of the UK's carbon emissions- both from domestic and non-domestic buildings. 32% of landfill waste comes from the construction and demolition of buildings, and 13% of materials and products delivered to sites are sent straight to landfill without being used. There's clearly room for improvement when it comes to sustainable construction.
So what can the construction industry do to improve its environmental footprint?
The way we build homes and commercial buildings is certainly evolving. According to a recent Guardian article, tests are being developed to measure the success of bio materials. Even fungi has been trialed as an option for a building material!
The benefits of sustainable building are undoubtable. Whilst homeowners will benefit from cheaper energy bills, investors and business owners will find sustainable buildings more valuable.
For an office block project in Amsterdam, design was key in making the building as efficient as possible.
Despite there being 3,000 employees to be based in the building, space for only 1,000 work desks was constructed. They realised that only 25% of people were using their desks simultaneously, and so implemented a smart app to digitally organise the spaces. Not only this but lighting, CO2 levels and humidity were controlled by 30,000 sensors placed all over the building, so that every aspect could be managed.
How can you make your project more sustainable?
- Think about energy - Minimising energy usage is one of the most obvious ways we can cut down our environmental footprint. Integrating renewable energy into designs is a great step for not only cutting energy but cutting bills, too.
- Maximise reuse of materials/use of non-toxic and ethical materials
- Consider life cycle
- Ensure wildlife and land quality are protected
- Environments should be considered in the design, construction and operation
Taking on a new project?
Speak to BelowGround about how we can help with piling and underpinning