How to create a more sustainable construction site

  • 10 Mar 2021

This article runs through some of the most effective ways to lower the carbon footprint of your construction site, highlighting exactly how you can do your bit to look after the planet.

Climate change is a pressing threat across the globe. Not only are the polar ice caps melting at an alarming rate, but also carbon dioxide levels are at their highest level for 800,000 years and deforestation rates are worse than ever. 

Put simply, without everyone changing their actions and working towards making their lives more sustainable, the damage could soon become irreversible. 

So, what exactly can you do to improve the sustainability of your construction site? And how can you encourage your workers to act with more an eco-friendly conscience? 

Well, that’s what will be discussed in this article.

Promote Accountability 

It’s all well and good setting out with the right intentions but, as the old phrase goes, only teamwork can make the dream work. 

So, with this in mind, it’s important that each and every worker on the construction site is taught how to be held accountable for their own individual actions. 

If you implement a strict wastage policy, for example, holding regular inspections is a great way to make sure each worker is abiding by the rules – following your construction site’s security guidance, keeping to health and safety legislation, etc. 

As a result, this will enable you to not only identify any potential issues before they manifest into a wider problem but also, ultimately, keep a much closer eye on things. 

Reduce Your Waste

One of the easiest and most effective ways to ensure your construction site runs more sustainably comes through reducing your total level of waste. This will include pretty much anything that ends up in a landfill – unused materials, off-cuts, damaged materials, etc. 

Packaging material, for instance, is a hugely wasted resource on construction sites, making up approximately 60% of the total wastage. Therefore, instead of throwing it away, why not go back to your supplier and ask them to reuse it instead? 

Cutting down on your total waste in this way could not only save you money but, since you’ll be reusing or recycling materials more effectively, it will also decrease the overall quantity of materials you contribute to landfills – a hugely damaging and contributing factor towards climate change. 

Consider LEED Certification 

If you really want to go the extra mile and prove your construction site is the most sustainable around, you should consider getting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for each project or site you work on. 

This certification will effectively provide each of your projects with the gold standard for green construction, promoting the idea that any project – regardless of how big or small it may be – can be made to be more environmentally friendly. 

Use Environmentally-Friendly Materials

Thanks to the continuous rise of innovation and technology, a lot has changed over recent years and building materials are constantly being manufactured with sustainability in mind. So, why not use them? 

While it may sound fairly obvious, the more sustainable the materials you use, the lower your carbon footprint will be as a result. 

What’s more, the eco-friendly products often stand up against – or even surpass – the standard materials, and can be used for all manner of purposes; insulation, panels, cement, concrete, etc.

Pacific Bio-Foam, for instance, is a sustainably-produced insulator material which, thanks to its plant-based polyurethane foam structure, forms a strong barrier that heat is unable to escape through. As a result, this insulator not only performs just as well as others but is also far less harmful to the environment.

Therefore, by making a conscious effort to use environmentally-friendly building materials in your work, like ethically-sourced wood, you could bring down your construction site’s carbon footprint substantially.

Final Thoughts…

Within the construction industry, it can be all too easy to simply get by using the old tried and tested methods. And, while that may be fine to do generally, from a sustainability point-of-view, it could end up doing more harm than good.

Instead, it’s important to dig in and pay attention to the details; take the time to take a step back and look at your construction site – your workers, your processes, the way it’s run – and identify the areas where you can work to be greener. Then, implement the necessary changes you need to help sustain our planet.

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