Why is sustainability the next step of revolution in construction? Part 2
Construction demands natural resources from the beginning to the end; from its planning phase to the completion of construction. It doesn’t end there, the established building is also going to require resources to function normally. While the AEC industry contributes significantly to the world economy, it also acts as a big player in global warming due to its exploitation of natural resources.
A lot of firms in business have made moves toward sustainable development, yet a majority of them are still moving in the same direction. In the previous part of this article, we described the reasons and major obstacles faced by companies in adapting to sustainable development.
To continue, we are going to discuss what solutions can be applied to those issues. For example, experts can perform Energy Analysis of buildings in the conceptual stage. Post that, experts can implement multiple methods to achieve sustainable development. And, it isn’t the only way, a lot can be done by governments and individual firms worldwide to make global sustainable development a reality.
Means to achieve sustainable development
1. Sustainable construction materials
- Green concrete and other alternatives to cement: As mentioned earlier, concrete alone contributes around 8% to the world’s CO2 emission. Green concrete works as a partial substitute for cement, where more eco-friendly resources such as fiberglass, burnt clay, fly ash from coal power plants, rice hush ash, ground granulated blast slang sawdust, and foundry sand are used. More alternatives to concrete include hempcrete (a product that utilizes woody fibers present in the hemp plant), timbercrete (a mixture of sawdust and concrete), papercrete (recycled wastepaper), bamboo, etc.
2. Sustainable construction techniques
- Green roofs: As an aesthetic and sustainable piece of innovation, it adds beauty to the buildings. Not only that, but the vegetation also helps with stormwater management and improves air quality. Furthermore, it brings employment in horticulture as well.
- Grid Hybrid System: A grid hybrid system is similar to your regular grid-tie solar system. What makes it better are the hybrid inverters and batteries. They store energy for it to be used at night. Using the same application, they also work as a backup power supply.
- Solar Thermal cladding: Solar heating and cooling technologies use perforated metal cladding materials and coat them on an existing external wall. They are used to store and circulate energy throughout the interior part of the house. An HVAC technician can install and optimize many innovative green products such as geothermal heat pumps, green air conditioning units, hydronic radiant heating and cooling, etc.
3. Sustainable construction equipment
- Battery-powered generators: We have successfully replaced gas-powered equipment with electric-powered tools on many fronts of the construction industry. Prime examples of power tools include cordless jigsaw, mini circular saws, cordless drills, electric demolition jackhammers, and many more!
4. Adapting to the new process
- Prefabrication: Prefabrication refers to building units within a closed environment like a factor instead of onsite. Experts deem it an eco-friendly procedure as it facilitates lesser waste of resources. If the pieces of equipment required in construction are pre-designed, then they can be manufactured in the factory and brought and assembled on the site. In case of a change in plan, the same tools lying in the factory can be recycled and reused later. As a result, they wouldn’t be thrown, conserving energy and resources.
- BIM: BIM, also known as Building Information Model, is a process of creating and managing all the construction data throughout the construction procedure and later. It is a revolutionary technology that can help with most construction aspects, from designing to calculating the required material and time. Companies benefit from BIM Services as it increases the efficiency of their workers and provides accurate results in designs for better implementation. Moreover, corporations save resources like time and money, etc. by using this innovative technology
5. Roles of construction corporations
An entrepreneur conducts any business for profit with the aim to provide the highest quality products/services at the least possible cost. While sustainable development does add additional expenses to the client, they can recover the same with lessened operational costs. The construction companies can research the same and advise clients to opt-in for sustainable developments.
6. Functions of government regulatory bodies
Government regulatory bodies can provide incentives such as tax exemption or increased value of the buildings constructed per sustainable standards. These exemptions would also allow firms to get more investors for their corporations. The government can further plan and implement various schemes to raise awareness of sustainable development.
Sustainability is the future of our world as the diabolical effects of climate change are becoming more visible. Although many experts and firms are working towards achieving the goal of sustainability, it is still a distant dream for the world. We can only earn it if we make sustainability a global mission and work towards the same as a worldwide community.