Eco-friendly construction practices are becoming more important today than ever before. Climate change has been growing in public interest and has generated discussion and even legislation about the conservation of natural resources and protection of the environment. Humans have long been disrupting and changing the environment without much accountability, but the threat posed by climate change and the appeal to preserve the planet for future generations has made many people and businesses realize the need to be as eco-friendly as possible.
The construction industry is not left out. The construction industry has a significant impact on the environment because it consumes a large amount of energy, generates huge waste, and may also change the environmental landscape of project sites. It is therefore imperative for construction companies to adopt environmentally friendly construction techniques and practices to help stem the tide of climate change and avoid harming the ecosystems.
Granted many infrastructure and pipeline projects are essential for the modern economy to function. However, there must be a balance between infrastructural needs and what the environment can support.
What is Green Construction?
Green construction, also called eco-friendly construction, is a method of building that aims to reduce waste, preserve the environment, and construct responsibly with the knowledge that construction can have positive and negative effects on the environment.
It involves the planning, design, and construction of structures with considerations for sustainability of resources such as energy and water and the impact of the structure on site.
A lot of construction materials are finite and non-renewable. For this reason, forward-thinking construction companies are adopting green construction practices and technologies to conserve resources, contribute to a safer environment, and make life more convenient. Green construction practices are some environmentally friendly construction procedures which help to reduce carbon footprint and environmental impacts.
Construction companies should buy any materials that can be found in the locality of the project. The closer, the better. With this practice, construction companies will have a lower carbon footprint.
The pipeline construction industry is adopting new and innovative eco-friendly technology that causes less disruption to the environment. One of these environmentally-friendly methods is horizontal directional drilling (HDD), also known as trenchless drilling.
In HDD, boreholes are drilled horizontally. This method has a lesser impact on the local environment than simply trenching through wetlands and other sensitive ecosystems. The procedure also allows pipes to pass under obstacles such as railroads instead of removing the obstacles. It is useful for drilling near water sources to avoid contamination. HDD is also used when there is a risk of water contamination at a drilling site.
Thus, it is an eco-friendly method for pipeline construction with a low impact on the ecosystem.
Pipeline Buoyancy Weights
A common challenge in pipeline construction is the buoyancy control. When pipelines are evacuated of product, they become buoyant especially in areas of high water tables, marshes, and floodplains. This problem is frequently solved by placing large weights on the buried pipelines to keep the pipeline down.
However, the typical weight material is concrete and steel. This weight may be transported from remote manufacturing sites, further contributing to carbon emissions.
An alternative weight technology is the Geotextile Pipeline Weight (GPW). It is constructed with propylene fabric and local rock or gravel. GPW is more cost-effective than set concrete. It also requires less production energy than that used for mixing concrete and hauling steel. Handling and installing GPW is quite safe. It is an eco-friendly solution made with a locally-sourced material with inert propylene.
Recycle and Reuse
For civil construction of roads and bridges, a primary target for eco-friendly practice is the use of recycled and renewable materials. This removes the need to burn energy to import new materials, and it also reduces the environmental impacts of construction without compromising on quality.
The scarcity of conventional non-renewable materials encourages companies to seek greener alternatives. Recycled and renewable materials used in construction include Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP) and Environmentally Friendly Concrete (EFC).
Benefits of Eco-friendly Construction
The following are the benefits that construction companies get by adopting eco-friendly practices:
1. Low Operation and Maintenance Costs
Green construction utilizes efficient and advanced technology that makes resource conservation possible. Conservation of resources such as water and energy are a cost-saving measure for companies. Also, energy efficient construction equipment help to reduce overall project costs. Since eco-friendly practice favors the use of local resources, transportation costs and carbon emissions are reduced.
2. Improved Health
Some non-renewable materials such as plastic release byproducts are harmful to your health. Toxins from this material can increase the risk of respiratory conditions, toxicity, and skin irritations. A company committed to green construction practices will avoid the use of such materials. This means less pollution in the air, water, and soil creating a safe environment for construction workers and the wider community.
3. Material Efficiency
With eco-friendly construction, companies have to make use of processes and materials in a way that minimizes the materials needed to achieve optimal structural strength. Long lasting, reusable, or reclaimed materials are best for this purpose. These materials include; reclaimed asphalt, recycled concrete, and crushed glass.
4. Water Efficiency
Construction projects need tons of water for mixing and setting structures such as concrete. An eco-friendly construction process values sustainable usage of scarce water resources. The use of water saving technologies reduces strain on local water resources which usually come under immense pressure when there is a large-scale construction project in a community.
5. Healthy Environment
Green construction techniques help to reduce pollution by targeting the source of pollution and energy usage. The reduced emissions from this effort will aid in environmental preservation. Lower greenhouse gas emissions have positive indirect effects on a wide range of climatic and ecological processes including natural disasters, biodiversity, and food production.
The Future of Green Construction
Environmentally safe construction procedures are being developed every year. Since environmental concerns are a top priority among consumers and the demand for eco-friendly products and services are increasing, more companies will want to get involved and develop innovative and advanced technologies that will help construction companies improve energy efficiency and reduce environmental impacts. These advanced technologies and green construction practices will help conserve non-renewable resources.
Milestone companies believes that environmentally responsible construction practices must be applied to preserve and restore the environment. We are committed to taking green steps to help sustain and preserve the environment. With our environmentally friendly construction practices, we leave our work sites as green or greener than we met them.