The effects construction can have on the environment is well-known. In fact, studies have shown that construction may be responsible for as much as half of landfill waste, 40 percent of global energy use, and 50 percent of climate change. These estimates make it absolutely necessary for the construction industry to take measures to protect the environment.
Dispose of Waste Properly
Construction projects often produce a large amount of debris and waste that will need to be disposed of properly. Non-hazardous waste materials like bricks, wood, and concrete can be disposed of in a number of ways. Hazardous materials must be disposed of in ways according to the laws and policies that govern the particular substance. In 2014 alone, the United States produced more than 500 million tons of construction waste. Ninety percent of this debris is demolition waste that is then either incinerated or put in landfills. Construction companies can help reduce the amount of waste by first providing accurate estimates of the materials that will be needed for the project to cut down on unused materials. Materials should also be recycled or reused whenever possible.
Use Ground Protection Mats
When heavy machinery is needed to complete a construction project, it is important to protect the ground from the damage this machinery can cause. One way to do this is by using ground protection mats. Laying down ground protection mats helps minimize the damage that heavy construction equipment causes. This protection will help preserve native plants and will prove equally effective at protecting man-made surfaces from damage.
Limit the Use of Fuel
Burning fossil fuels is responsible for a large degree of the harm caused to the environment by the construction industry. When fuels like gas and diesel are burned, a number of toxic gases can form that are harmful to the environment. There are a number of ways you can reduce the use of fuel during your construction project:
- Decrease the distance of hauls
- Do not allow engines to idle for long periods of time
- Find ways to use greener energy sources
- Make use of hybrid equipment
Construction projects can have a great impact on the environment. Because of this, it is important for companies in the construction industry to exhibit diligence in their efforts to preserve the environment. Fortunately, there are a number of methods available to these companies to minimize any possible negative consequences of construction projects.