01 Aug 5 Tips for Going Green With Your Next Construction Project
Buildings are responsible for 39 percent of total energy use and 30 percent of landfill waste in the United States, according to reports from the Green Built Alliance. In efforts to reduce its environmental impact, the construction industry has started to adopt green building practices that focus on energy efficiency and sustainability. If you’re looking to go green, then adopt these sustainable practices on your next construction project.
1. Use Sustainable Materials
A great starting point for any green building project is to use eco-friendly products and recycled materials. Because construction projects often involve the demolition of concrete, it’s common for concrete to collect in landfills. Fortunately, this concrete can be recycled into gravel, paving materials, and aggregates. Repurposing this building material is a great way to keep concrete out of landfills while saving money.
Another material to consider includes recycled glass, which can be turned into the fiberglass for doors and windows. Then, paper and recycled carpet can be repurposed used to make new countertops and new carpet. A few of the top sustainable building materials also include bamboo flooring, wool bricks, blown paper insulation, and solar tiles.
2. Dispose of Materials Responsibly
Various building materials are coated with preservatives, sealants, and other coatings. Construction material waste is often taken to landfills—where it can infiltrate underground water supplies. Builders can decrease or eliminate much of this waste by recycling concrete, tile, wood, plastics, windows, insulation, and carpet.
Habitat for Humanity will take doors, windows, countertops, flooring, and many other building materials for use in their homes. Recycling companies help builders responsibly dispose of unused building materials. Builders themselves can help by using only what’s necessary for the job and recycling packaging.
3. Embrace New Technologies
New technology is transforming the world of construction into a cutting-edge and sustainable industry. Where shortages in personnel occur, robotics and autonomous equipment complete the job. Builders are now using machine learning and AI to increase efficiency and improve site safety.
One of the most notable green building innovations is energy-analysis software. This will allow you to analyze your project plans in terms of projected energy usage so that you can make adjustments early in the project—saving you money, time, resources and producing a greener build.
4. Use Green Building Standards
Six hundred green building codes and rating systems exist worldwide. Almost 100 exist in America alone. These were designed to decrease or eliminate harmful emissions from residential and commercial buildings as well as from renovations, demolition, and new construction.
Green codes are mandatory, whereas rating systems are applied to secure compliance to the codes. The most widely used rating system is LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Structures are inspected for compliance with both.
5. Source Materials Locally
The processing and transportation of building materials is a large part of the carbon footprint within the construction industry. Many builders have decided to use locally sourced materials to help minimize the need for transportation. The builder usually goes with a local lumber yard or building materials manufacturer.
Almost every town or city has a building materials manufacturer or lumberyard. Beyond that, you can typically find recycled materials in most areas as well. Regardless of your project, finding nearby products will save time, money, and keep the carbon footprint of the project smaller.
With cutting-edge technology and advanced building practices, the construction industry is moving ever closer to a greener, more sustainable future. These are just a few green building tips, but we hope they help in your efforts to go green.
RAMCO provides high-quality recycled aggregate and concrete disposal services to locations across Southern California. Reach out to us to learn more about our materials, facilities, or services.