The Benefits of Sustainable Construction
Sustainability has become a central theme across many sectors in recent times, whether that relates to farming practices or the way that supply chains are established. In the construction world sustainability is having a big impact, not just because it reflects the direction that many businesses are taking to align with core values and ethos but because there are many benefits to this approach too.
What does sustainable construction really mean?
It’s a term that revolves around ensuring that the construction industry is using resources in an efficient and responsible way when approaching projects and planning. This includes a range of different elements with a particular focus on the way that materials are being sourced and the processes that are part of every project. There are huge challenges here, from addressing the volume of waste that can be created by a single construction project to trying to reduce the emissions that are generated by processes and machinery. Using sustainable construction means working to meet the needs of the human race now, and also in the future, creating shelter and workspaces as well as life sustaining services in a way that minimises carbon footprint and is also socially responsible.
How can construction be more sustainable?
This is a question that should be answered on a project-by-project basis but on the whole it’s the design and management of buildings that can create it, alongside the types of materials that are being used. Innovative technology and renewable energy sources can significantly increase the sustainability of a construction project, as well as the features that are built in to ensure that the impact of the built structure is minimised in the longer term too. There are some very obvious benefits to investing in sustainable construction, including:
- Making less impact on the environment. For many this is the primary motivation, as sustainable construction means that construction projects don’t hurt the earth as much. Plus, the use of solar heaters, insulation, photovoltaic panels and insulated air conditioning panels can make a building more efficient and sustainable and minimise the impact it has throughout its life.
- Wellbeing and productivity. Sustainable construction often incorporates more consideration of the experience of those who will use a building once it is finished. Sustainable materials, paints and cleaning products can help to improve interior air quality, for example, and sustainable buildings are often designed to take more advantage of natural light. These factors can combine to create a better built environment that nurtures productivity and wellbeing.
- Cost effective in the short and long term. Sustainable buildings are often designed to be more efficient, for example they may be able to collect and store wind energy or recycle rainwater, and this can mean greater efficiency and lower cost. As fewer resources are required to complete a sustainable project they tend to cost less than those that are not organised in this way.
- Creative innovation and development. Working with a focus on sustainable construction makes space for new ideas and for the innovation and development that will enable the construction sector to evolve.
Sustainable construction has a lot of advantages and is becoming a key focus across the sector.