Understanding Sustainability In Construction

In order to create a more environmentally friendly planet, everybody needs to play a part, including the construction industry. It is important for the construction industry to implement sustainable practices in order to tackle some of the critical environmental issues of our time, including diminishing natural resources, conserving energy, and creating less waste. In order to support sustainable construction practices and successfully implement them, it is important to have a solid understanding of what sustainable construction really means. I found this great article on sustainable construction and thought it was important to share some of its key points.

Buildings play a vital role in creating a more sustainable future. According to OECD, buildings in developed countries account for more than 40% of energy consumption over their lifetime. Furthermore, for the first time in history, over half of the world’s population now lives in urban environments which further compounds the problem. We need to build more sustainable buildings to secure long-term environmental, economic and social viability.

As humans, we need to take the proper steps to meet our present day needs for infrastructure without compromising the ability of future generations to meet these same needs. The construction industry, and people as a whole, have a social responsibility to be more efficient in our practices and more cognizant of how our decisions affect the future.

Here are some areas where the construction industry needs to continue to improve:

1) Innovation

The construction industry needs to continue to innovate and develop new practices which help to conserve resources, energy and waste. This involves finding new materials and methods for building, mechanical systems, and much more. Here are some examples of where the construction industry is already making great progress.

2) Resource & Environmental Performance

Construction projects need to demonstrate a more sensible use and management of natural resources. Project plans need to be environmentally-conscious when making decisions on anything from land use to recycled materials. Understanding our social responsibility when it comes to constructing buildings and becoming more resourceful will help to minimize the industry’s ecological footprint.

3) Economic Viability

Understanding the long-term consequences of our present day decisions will help the construction industry make a lasting contribution to the economic and environmental well-being of our world. We need to implement technologies that will make projects more affordable, reduce operation costs of buildings, and increase the return on investment of projects. Implementing sustainable practices will help secure a more stable economic future.