How Can Businesses Build More Sustainably?

Mallika Khandelwal

11th Mar'22

These days, sustainability is embedded in every aspect of business – and the construction industry is no exception.

The construction industry, by its very nature, is a massive consumer of natural resources, making it one of the most important areas of climate change intervention. As climate change continues to pose an existential threat to livelihoods, communities, and nations, buildings are likely to play an integral role in cities’ efforts to achieve net-zero emissions. After all, buildings form the very fabric of cities.

Green building is one of the best ways to future-proof companies and reduces the construction industry’s environmental burden on communities and global resources.

Let’s see how your business can build more sustainably, resulting in buildings that use less energy and water, reduce emissions, and increase resilience.

 

Business build more sustainably

 

1. The Modular Construction Approach

Moving heavy machinery from site to site consumes a lot of fuel and labor. The modular construction approach involves prefabricating standardized building components in an offsite facility and assembling them on site. Prefabricated buildings are both energy-efficient and sustainable in that they:

  • Reduce material waste

  • Result in safer working conditions

  • Reduce operational energy

  • Reduce transportation-related environmental impacts like emissions and noise and air pollution

What’s more, it allows for economies of scale, leading to greater speed and efficiency, which translates to significant cost savings.

 

2. Construction Waste Management

Responsible management of waste is a crucial aspect of sustainable building. Most construction and demolition waste end up in landfills even though it’s highly reusable and recyclable. Some construction waste may be inevitable, but a surprising amount can be reduced and reused.

  • Concrete can be broken down and used as a base course for driveways and footpaths

  • Construction products can be selected on the basis of being shipped with minimal packaging

  • Design with standard sizes for building materials to prevent waste

Effective construction waste management can lessen the burden placed on landfills and make construction practices greener and less resource-intensive.

 

3. Prioritize Suppliers Who Source Locally

The embodied carbon consists of all the GHG emissions associated with building materials, from the mining processes to transportation and manufacturing. Transportation, in particular, is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

Considering the building and construction industry contributes 40% of annual GHG emissions, sourcing materials from local or regional sources can make serious inroads towards reducing the industry’s carbon footprint.

 

sustainable business

 

 

4. Optimize Operational and Maintenance Practices

Improving the energy performance of new and existing buildings is crucial to reducing their dependence on fossil-fuel derived energy. Some of the ways to optimize energy use include:

  • Employing climate-responsive design, passive design strategies, and daylighting practices to reduce heating, cooling, and lighting demand

  • Utilize renewable energy sources such as solar water heating, geothermal space heating and groundwater cooling to reduce dependence on the grid

  • Optimize building control strategies such as occupancy sensors to reduce energy consumption

  • Integrate water-saving technologies to reduce the demand of supplying potable and non-potable water

Not only is it essential for construction to be climate-conscious, but it’s also just as important for buildings to be climate resilient. As such, measures must be taken during the building and maintenance phases to reduce structural damage as natural disasters, like storm surges and wildfires, increase in frequency and intensity.

 

5. Optimize Site Potential

Site selection is a crucial aspect of sustainable design. It’s becoming increasingly important to reduce the impact of the built environment on the natural environment. Ideally, buildings should not be developed on greenfield sites so as to help in the restoration and protection of natural habitats. Other than location, the orientation and landscaping of a building could also affect local ecosystems.

Once a site has been selected, measures must be implemented to prevent environmental degradation such as reducing stormwater runoff, which can pollute rivers and other water bodies.

 

We at OpenGrowth, are committed to keeping you updated with the best content on the latest trendy topics from any major field. Also, both your feedback and suggestions are valuable to us. So, do share them in the comment section below.

A staunch proponent of karma, Mallika believes in what goes around, comes around philosophy. She is ecstatic with her life and strives to live it to the fullest.

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