Did you know that about more than half of the CO2 emitted into the air is due to the construction of buildings? This industry could use more green construction technology ideas and options.
Many construction professionals are likely aware of this tidbit, or at least believe that becoming an environmentally friendly builder is a necessity today. But what exactly does that entail?
Three Common Green Building Practices
Most commonly, becoming an environmentally friendly builder means constructing smarter and more efficient structures. Growingbuildings.com suggests using wood as one way to reduce carbon emissions. They write, “It is essential [to] use materials that do not require the use of fossil fuel and cause high carbon emissions such as wood.”
But that’s not the only way you can start to make a positive impact on the environment. Here are some other ways construction companies have started to go green.
- Conserving more water: Start by installing more energy efficient fixtures and appliances, such as toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines, in the structures you’re building. Then think about the amount of water you actually use on a job site. Naturally, you need water on site to perform certain activities like brickwork, tool washing, grouting, etc, but that doesn’t mean you can’t begin to conserve water. Cut back on how often you’re running the hoses or cleaning the tools. Every little bit counts.
- Using recycled materials: Phys.org writes, “A growing scarcity of resources, along with the resulting desire to move away from today’s throwaway mentality, means that the building sector must give more thought to the multiple use and recyclability of materials.” To join suit, consider saving and reusing materials like reclaimed wood, drywall, steel, and shingles.
- Enacting resource-efficient processes: This one can be tough to nail down, but there are some things you can do to make your day-to-day work more efficient. Simplify the building structure layout without compromising the design, do more off site construction, and identify opportunities to source recyclable materials are just a few. But if you are looking for even more ways to go green, identify areas you think you could improve upon at job sites and make some moves to cut down on wasted energy or materials.
With those three common green building practices, you have a good place to start. But there is one other item up for consideration: Green construction equipment.
Using Green Construction Equipment
While many of the largest structures in the world are built to be environmentally friendly, little thought is put into the machinery that is actually doing the work. How energy efficient are they?
Heavyequipmentschool.com writes, “Heavy equipment has developed significantly through technology, making an operator’s job safer, but drivetrains have not changed too much over the same time.”
Basically, the construction equipment itself has matured over time while the technology that powers them has consistently lagged behind.
Volvo is partnering with a Swedish construction company to develop prototype machines that are based on hybrid and electric power. These machines use diesel engines in combination with electric motors; or a diesel engine that switches to electric supply once in position.
Though this doesn’t solve all the emissions problems caused by heavy construction equipment right now, it is a good start.
As Heavyequipmentschool.com writes, “Hybrid and potentially even all-electric drivetrains [are] an essential part of the need for reduced emissions and these prototypes are a sign of the future of heavy machinery.”
Plus, these new machines will offer the same operating experience but with less impact on the world around you.
So as you continue to make your structures more green and your building more efficient, also consider what new green construction equipment could do for your business and for the environment.