In the United States alone, the construction industry generated $2 trillion. Nonetheless, the same industry made a $1.2 billion worth of average annual expenditure.
This explains why it is essential to find ways to maximize your construction budget without compromising safety and quality. This includes working smart and implementing sustainability practices.
Luckily, you can make it happen by following these six tips:
1. Be environmentally conscious
There are several ways to incorporate sustainability in your building’s design. This can include opting for recycled and natural building materials that generate lesser CO2 and using solar panels.
Another option is installing windows that maximize the amount of natural light that gets in. You can also buy smart appliances like HVAC and thermostats to help you be smart with energy consumption.
Other than that, you should also look for ways to extend a property’s lifespan. The longer a building stands, the more it becomes useful. This also means less greenhouse gas emission since you do not have to spend energy for demolition, clean up, and reconstruction.
2. Use sustainable building materials
Another great way to make your construction site more environment-friendly is by using sustainable building materials.
Some examples of sustainable building materials are:
- Crop-made products
- Concrete with natural fiber reinforcements
- Other natural fibers like bamboo, straw bales, and timber.
The great news is that you can find these less expensive than traditional building materials. Therefore, the overall costs will be significantly reduced.
Additionally, you can go for low-impact materials that are either repurposed or recycled. You can also choose to implement a modular building design. Doing so allows you to minimize wasted materials and significantly reduce construction time.
In the long run, not only are they more durable, but they can also be continually reused and recycled.
3. Focus on space efficiency
There are plenty of ways to achieve sustainability by maximizing the efficiency of your space.
- An open space that allows you to maximize the light on interiors.
- Minimize surface areas by excluding spaces such as porches, patios, and so on.
- Incorporating moving walls and other space-saving furniture helps maximize the area usage. Thus, you don’t need ample construction space.
- Use raised floor solutions. This creates more space for under-floor systems. It also helps reduce the overhead space and significantly enhances HVAC efficiency.
To streamline the process, you might also want to make good use of an excellent tool like construction QA software.
4. Minimize construction waste
Construction sites are more likely to have leaks and chemical runoffs that harm the environment. Frequently, this is prevalent in construction sites that aren’t adequately managed.
It is crucial to protect the local soil and water resources during the construction phase. To make this happen, silt fences should be installed to prevent soil from being washed away.
Also, if there are any contaminants on the sites, you should see that they’re away from the water resources. This will significantly impact the water itself and the prospective wildlife in the area that often inhabits it.
5. Use sustainable construction equipment
There are different sustainable building materials that you can use. One of which is green concrete.
Here’s the thing: Concrete contributes to 8-10% of CO2 emissions. These are often byproducts of manufacturing cement.
On the other hand, green concrete is made from more environment-friendly materials, similar to cement. This includes slag cement from steel mills, fly ash from coal power plants, burnt clay, sawdust, foundry sand, fiberglass, waste glass, and leftover silica fumes coming from electric furnaces.
Other alternatives include:
- Grasscrete. These are excellent for landscapes and outdoor spaces. Not only can that reduce the overall usage of concrete, but it can also be used on drainage systems.
- Hempcrete. As the name states, it uses the inner woody fibers of the hemp plant that can build a shape that’s quite similar to concrete cinder blocks.
- Ashcrete. A type of green concrete that often uses fly ash
- Timbercrete. A mix of concrete and sawdust can be formed into blocks, pavers, and bricks lighter than traditional concrete.
- Mycelium. This renewable resource and naturally occurring fungus are air-dried to build lightweight bricks.
- Bamboo. Bamboo is solid and lightweight and can be an excellent alternative to wood. They can be used for flooring, countertops, decking, lumber, tiles, and more.
- Rammed earth floors and walls. This can be utilized as thermal storage that captures the sun’s heat throughout the day and then releases this in the evenings.
6. Select your construction site properly
Choosing the right site is key to preventing pollution. It can also be one of the most significant factors in whether the project will be sustainable or not.
For one, do not construct a property near threatened wildlife habitat. This can drive the animals away, which can endanger their lives.
It is also inadvisable to build an estate in prime farmland, near a wetland or flood plain. The farmland is a source of employment and food, while being in a wetland or flood poses a danger when heavy rains and typhoons occur.
Over to You
We only have one planet. We must take care of it. This includes using eco-friendly materials and building properties that will not threaten an area’s natural ecosystem.
Sure, seeing construction businesses shift to sustainable practices will not happen overnight. But taking the first step is no longer far-fetched. In fact, choosing a suitable construction site and ensuring a long property lifespan is what you need to do to get started.
To appeal to potential tenants, many developers would use common design practices. People gradually desired more build-out flexibility and possibilities. New tenants began demanding that certain components like flooring, wiring and air conditioning be left out of construction projects so that they could be decided afterward. Furthermore, if the scope of work changes, having a shell structure allows workers to make better use of the space, in the long run, go now.