With the demand of oil increasing, it’s estimated that the Earth will reach its full capacity for oil consumption at some point within the next 20 years. This is despite the production of oil decreasing, and the construction industry is no exception to this, reports Niftylift.
The construction industry relies on the production of crude oil for cheap energy resources to use in machines for the manufacturing processes. This is worrying as construction in the UK currently accounts for 50% of all the carbon emissions produced by machinery.
Luckily, the industry is starting to recognise the problems of pollution. They are implementing changes to prevent some of the long-term threats that pollution pose to our planet.
In addition, legislation implemented by the government will state that construction firms will need to use green practices within their production processes.
Moving forward, energy-efficient technologies will be used in the construction of buildings, as well the finished design. This can benefit firms financially, for example, in the US last year, eco-friendly construction firms saw estimated revenues reach $245 billion.
Eco-friendly construction techniques
When building, three things are considered if the design and implementation of that design is to be ecologically beneficial.
Firstly, are the materials locally sourced and are they renewed, or is their an opportunity to recycled these materials?
Secondly, the energy used to build the structure should not be wasted where possible. Some machines can be overused, resulting in expendable energy being wasted.
Nifty Lift access platforms are designed with hybrid motor technologies that ensure no expendable energy is wasted on a construction site. They have an ‘electric only’ setting that ensures the electric engine produces 0% emissions when running. The electric engine can be ran alongside a diesel engine to make sure they are never overworked.
Finally, once the structure is constructed, is energy being wasted that is generated within it?
During the construction, resources such as recycled paper can be used to insulate the roof on the building. This is also a cheaper and more practical method to produce the materials. Timber can also be either sourced locally from sustainable forests, or reclaimed wood can be used to prevent further trees being chopped down.
Examples of ecological structures and design
The construction industry are already implementing ways to incorporate energy-efficient and eco-friendly technologies into their manufacturing processes and structures.
Here are some examples: • Solar energy panels: Useful for more than one reason, the panels can be used for generating electricity for the building, or alternatively, can be used to provide power for boilers, or generate hot water for the property. • Drainage systems and water filtration: Water can be re-used through one of these systems meaning there is less water wastage. The biological waste is treated safely and then recycled. Furthermore, rainwater can be collected by drain systems that lead to the garden for plants – this reduces the amount of wasteful water taken from the tap.
• Low-energy lighting: A small switch from normal bulbs to low-energy bulbs means 100% of energy is saved as the low-energy bulbs are said to last twice as long as a regular light bulb.
The benefits of eco-friendly construction and buildings
The operating costs of a building can be significantly cut down, by around a third, if green energy technologies are implemented for water and energy.
Artificial lighting costs can also be kept to a minimum if the level of natural day light is considered within the design. In addition to this, vitamin D from sunlight can improve the ‘indoor environment quality’ of a building, benefitting the health of all of the occupants within the structure.
By using recyclable and long-lasting materials in the construction process, green building manufacturers will see a cost saving because less materials need to be used, or replaced over time, and there is less energy needed, and used to produce the building.
Ultimately, these processes help slow down the pace of climate change, which is always the end goal of any construction process that aims to become greener, more economically efficient and ergonomically conceptualised.
By using less of the processes that pollute the environment, and more processes that work in tandem with the environment, environmentally friendly construction helps to keep the environment clean.