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Resource-efficient construction: How to save energy onsite

  • 20 Oct 2014

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As the energy consumption varies entirely from build to build, it is sometimes difficult to constitute how construction sites can use energy efficiently.

While suppliers have been working hard to ensure more carbon-free materials can be utilised – for example cement manufacturer Novacem has been working on a new form of cement that takes in carbon dioxide rather than emitting it – there is still a great deal of work to do to enable materials like this to become the norm.

So how can construction sites aim to reduce their carbon footprint today?

Resource-efficient construction sites utilise materials, energy and water over the build life-cycle to decrease unnecessary wastage.

Reducing materials wastage

One of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint it to utilise the materials you have.

Having to buy new materials will not only cost your company money in initial payment and transportation expenses, but it will waste equal amounts of energy during that process too. Materials such as cement are notorious for creating excess carbon through production too, so keeping down the creation of new cement will be beneficial in the long run.

Similarly, materials that are damaged or unusable still waste energy when you take them to the tip or burn them.

Increase the use of recycled materials

Using recycled materials reduces carbon emissions and disposal costs, and buying recycled materials is cheaper than purchasing brand new. Quite often, companies can exchange materials for others.

Optimise electricity

Electricity is the lesser evil to the diesel generator, therefore the sooner you connect to your local electricity grid, the better. This means you can run machinery and appliances through local power, rather than an expensive and energy-guzzling diesel generator.

Hybrids

Its not just appliances that can be run through an electric generator, hybrid vehicles such as cars, diggers and other machinery are being used more and more in construction. These machines are equipped to collect and store energy which is released when needed, avoiding unnecessary fuel emissions.

Author bio: Phil Foster is the CEO of Love Energy Savings – an energy comparison website that works with companies in a plethora of industry sectors, including construction.

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