Green Practices for the Construction Industry

A greater public awareness of the environmental impact of the construction industry and a growing sense of protecting our natural resources are the key reasons for the clamor to raise environmental standards, regulations and best practices in the industry. Because of this, companies involved in any type of construction, whether it is for a home, skyscraper, roadways, water wells, or in other forms, now need to plan their projects well to comply with these requirements.

For businesses and companies involved in construction, the following are some of the best practices:

1. Reduce impact on surrounding area

If mining or excavation has to be done, try to minimize the effect on the surrounding area. Retain as much of the soil, grass, shrubs, and trees as possible. The natural vegetation and greenery will help prevent soil erosion and flooding.

To prevent additional soil loss, use water or apply mulch or geotextile materials. Installing padded or graveled areas along the entrance and exit points can also help. These points can function as buffer areas. The mud, sediment, and other types of contaminants can be dropped and left behind as vehicles pass through the points. This way, soil, mud, and sediment do not reach public roads

2. Source local materials

Globalization has made it possible to gain access to materials from any part of the globe. This provides designers and construction companies access to a greater variety of materials.

However, more energy and resources are required to transfer construction materials over long distances. For a more environmentally-friendly approach, opt for materials that can be found locally. This lessens the carbon footprint. Furthermore, purchasing from local businesses allows them to grow.

3. Protect open hole wells safely

Some fields create a greater impact on the environment as compared to others. For instance, mining has been traditionally known to affect its immediate environment. Projects may even leave a trail that can affect the ecosystem for years or decades.

When constructing any structures underground, it is important to protect the soil and groundwater from contaminants such as grout. Invest in grout packers when conducting high-pressure grouting jobs to seal the casing and prevent grout from bleeding or seeping into the soil.

4. Opt for non-toxic substances

As much as possible, try to ensure that all substances used during the construction process contains non-toxic materials and were made using sustainable practices. This includes a wide variety of building materials including paints and solvents.

Keep in mind that non-toxic materials will not cause health issues. And by using non-toxic paints and solvents, residents are less likely to develop respiratory issues.

5. Avoid burying waste

Regardless of the type of waste, never bury them underground or dispose of them in any body of water. Toxic building materials can contaminate the soil and groundwater among others.

Instead of dumping building materials into the nearest landfill, a more eco-friendly approach is to look for crushing facilities.

If you need to dispose of liquids such as glues, paints, solvents, wood preservatives or wash water containing these substances, collect as much of the substance as you can. Treat these substances in the same way as hazardous materials and dispose of them as indicated by the manufacturer.

6. Reuse building materials

Whether building a new structure or renovating an existing space, the project is bound to produce a lot of waste. These can include concrete, steel trusses, wooden planks or even carpeting.

Instead of dumping these building materials into the nearest landfill, a more eco-friendly approach is to look for crushing facilities. These facilities can turn the waste building materials such as concrete into a form of dry aggregate. The reformed materials can then be recycled and reused in other construction projects. Other than preventing more waste from landing into the landfill, reusing these recycled materials can equate to more savings for the company.

These are only a few tips on how construction companies can become more environmentally-friendly. By following these tips, construction companies and project owners can reduce their production of waste and their harmful effects on the environment.

Dave Baca

Dave Baca is the General Manager at Aardvark Packers LLC, overseeing day-to-day operations as well as sales, marketing, purchasing and work order manipulation. He received his machinist degree in 1989 and excels at design on AutoCAD, transforming designs into the packer systems requested by clients.

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