A Guide to Greener Construction

A Guide to Greener Construction

Take a look at how to make your construction projects greener with tips from Sam Tracey, SHEQ Advisor at Actavo Direct

The construction sector contributes to a huge percentage of global air pollution, and it suffers as one of the worst industrial footprints of any industry. Everyone can play a part in ensuring that their construction activity is more sustainable; here are some simple and actionable tips.

Get certified

Assessing your projects with a recognised body holds you responsible to leading industry standards in sustainable projects and processes.

Consider third-party certifications schemes like BREEAM, which assesses the design, construction, and future standards of new building developments.

These schemes use a common framework, meaning only those that meet the latest sustainability guidelines are certified.

You can get your new build assessed at each stage of the construction process for complete transparent accountability, or alternatively use a scheme like BREEAM’s Home Quality Mark, which uses independent experts to score new developments on a 5-star rating system.

Reuse and recycle

Construction work produces a lot of waste but not all materials should be thrown in a skip and sent to the dump. Materials like flooring, doors and windows can typically be salvaged and recycled for use in future projects.

Be aware of the sustainable materials you can use in the construction process. Plastic or composite lumber makes durable landscape edging. Similarly, concrete makes attractive retaining walls or paths and recycled stone can be used for patio and driveways.

So, consider any future projects you have lined up in which you could re-use any materials you’re considering sending to waste.

For the removal of materials that can’t be recycled, you can work with removal services that prioritise sustainability and have a green track record. 

Using technology

Advances in construction technology have seen pencil and paper designs become a thing of the past. Designs and projects can now be planned using specialist software, saving on scrapping multiple paper drafts.

Building information modelling (BIM) is an innovative digital platform which allows construction designs to be created in walkable 3D designs, with all notes, timelines, and details added within the plan for a fully comprehensive product that limits the need for any other planning materials.

Using tools like this also mean you’re less likely to make mistakes when it comes to the building stage of your project, as all plans have been assessed in 3D detail. This minimises wasted materials on-site, offering both environmental and economic benefits to your projects.
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