The global population has become increasingly concerned with the environment over recent years, which has led governments and businesses to become more accountable with their green policies, and the construction industry is no different. Protecting the environment through construction projects means reducing waste, minimizing noise pollution, making ecological conservation efforts, and much more. Throughout this article, we’ve gathered together eight ways that construction businesses can protect the environment.
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Before a project begins, planning permission needs to be secured, which now means assessing the local wildlife and finding ways to decrease the negative impact. To do this, you should have a preliminary ecological assessment carried out, which will help to index all wildlife in the area and will tell you if there are any protected species.
One of the most common issues construction businesses face is bats, which under UK law cannot be disturbed or killed. To avoid breaching this law, you can have a preliminary bat survey carried out, which will eliminate problems further down the line. We recommend using Arbtech, which will send out a professional bat surveyor to analyse your land for such protected species. Their surveys are carried out professionally, and you will receive a detailed report of their findings, which you can include in your planning application.
Animals aren’t the only part of the ecosystem you need to protect, with plants and trees also being taken into account. When planning your project, you should find out what is there already, and work out ways to avoid uprooting trees. If deforestation is unavoidable, make an effort to replant or plant new trees, even if they’re in a different location on the land. Doing this will make the general population and clients know that you care.
The very nature of construction leads to enormous amounts of waste materials, and there’s no way of avoiding it. However, you can find ways to reduce your waste footprint. For example, you can use products that reduce waste at the source and make sure you use all the materials you buy. Every action your take towards minimizing waste will add up and will have a huge impact on the wider environment.
Green solutions help businesses to carry out work whilst reducing their environmental impact. If your project is in a location with plenty of sunlight, you can use solar power to keep the lights on. Further, you can source ecological vehicles, which don’t emit harmful gases.
For construction projects where finding green solutions won’t benefit the overall build, you can strive to create a self-sufficient building, which will reduce the environmental footprint in the future. Doing this may help you win a bid, as you can argue that your construction business is future-proofing the site in terms of the environment.
Recycling has been a hot topic for well over two decades, with companies making a concerted issue to use recyclable materials and recycle anything they don’t use. When bidding on a project, you are more likely to win if you can prove that recycling is a priority to you.
As well as recycling materials, you can use reusable technology to decrease your environmental impact. For example, if you to tackle erosion, avoid sedimentation, and water runoff, inflatable dams are a fantastic alternative to sandbags. Inflatable water dams can be used for dewatering construction sites or protecting from floods.
Improving Energy Efficiency
Construction consumes enormous amounts of energy, which can negatively impact the environment. To solve this issue, construction companies can use materials, products, and tools designed with energy efficiency in mind. Outside of the impact excessive energy use has on the environment, the cost of fuel is rising considerably, so bringing usage down will save money, which can be spent on improving other areas of the project. To help you get your head around energy efficiency, you can read this guide to performance certificates.
Limit Noise Pollution
The nature of construction means that it comes with a hefty noise volume, which can be detrimental to the local area. For the most part, noise is produced by heavy machinery, landscaping, and demolition. When you’re applying for planning permission, you should assess the local area, take a look at local authority construction timing regulations, and show general consideration for other people; sending out a letter to residents informing them about the project will help to offset complaints.
People aren’t the only beings impacted by loud noise; there’s a whole ecosystem out there. Again, before you start your construction, have an ecological assessment carried out. Then, you can liaise with animal trusts to find out how to reduce your impact.
Increase Completion Speed
This one is a no-brainer, but the longer your construction project takes, the more disturbances you cause and the more negative impact you will have on the environment. Speeding up the completion of your project will help to reduce construction traffic, which will lower any carbon emissions. To do this, you need to be strict in your planning and set rigid deadlines for completion. If you can complete a project efficiently, and at speed, you set yourself up well to win project bids.
Reduce Your Impact
When planning your construction project, you should try to reduce the physical impact that you’ll have on the area. Consider ways that you can enter the area without causing physical damage, which means placing traffic routes in smart locations. Then, once you’ve finished a project, you should make sure you’ve returned the surrounding site to as close to its original form.
The world has become increasingly concerned with protecting the environment, which means businesses have more accountability than ever before, and construction firms are no different. Fortunately, thanks to advances in technology and innovative thinking, there are plenty of ways to operate a green site including the use of energy-efficient tools, protecting the local ecology, and recycling waste where possible. Reducing a project’s environmental impact starts right at the beginning of the planning phase and will continue through to completion.