Green Construction Ideas That Are Worth Keeping An Eye On

Green building is undoubtedly becoming an international trend. A study by the World Green Building Trends showed that more than 51% of firms that had been interviewed were committed to incorporating 60% or more sustainability into their projects by the end of 2015. The report also listed the major reasons why firms were drawn to taking up sustainable solutions in their works. The top social reasons listed here were better health and improved productivity while energy savings were listed as the top environmental reason.

Efficient water usage, reduced greenhouse emissions and the conservation of natural resources were the second highest environmental considerations in various locations.

As green building continues to play a more critical role in construction, there has been significant growth in the development of new technologies that are increasing the momentum to green construction. Below are some these major technological developments that are contributing significantly to the growth of green constructions.

1. Using Ecofriendly Construction Materials

The volumes of materials used in constructions are massive and the integration of ecofriendly, recycled and biodegradable resources makes a huge difference. The use of green materials not only reduces pollution but also contributes to the conservation of natural resources that have been greatly depleted by construction. For example, the use of recycled steel can save a lot of trees where the steel is used in place of wood.

2. Zero/Independent Energy Buildings

There has been an increase in the construction of zero/independent energy buildings which are exclusively powered by renewable energy sources such as wind power and solar energy. In most cases the construction of zero/independent energy buildings are more expensive to put up but the long term benefits of the investment continue to be more attractive to developers. Solar panels, biofuel and wind turbines are the most popular options in zero energy buildings.

3. Water Management Technologies

Water management technologies are being deployed to help reduce the already massive water consumption recorded in buildings. With the current water consumption in buildings standing at 15 trillion gallon annually, consumption is already too high and needs to come down as water sources are quickly becoming depleted. Managing water consumption, harvesting rain water, recycling water and sewage treatment on site are all measures that are being adopted to improve the management of water.

4. Smart Glass and Energy Efficient Windows

New energy efficient windows and smart glass solutions have continued to be developed for green constructions. These energy efficient windows help in reducing the energy consumption needs of a building through improved insulation and smart glass solutions that manage the levels of lighting in response to natural lighting that prevails. All of these help to reduce the power used to run buildings and makes them more sustainable and ecofriendly.

There are many benefits to be gained from embracing green constructions and businesses as well as the environment stand to enjoy significant gains when they take up these solutions. The ideas listed here are just a few of the many excellent options that developers have when it comes to the future of green constructions.

The Human Resource Factor in Setting up Sustainable Organizations

A lot of focus has been put on how sustainability impacts on the physical environment and not enough light is being shed on how the business activities affect the human resource and their social welfare.

A proper definition of sustainability is the effort to preserve natural resources and minimize waste during production processes. When this is achieved, there is a lesser burden on the economic activity on the environment and therefore if this can be done for a prolonged period, then the resources will not be exhausted.

That being said, it is unfortunate to note that even the research done on Google shows that the sustainability focus is on the physical environment with specific searches for Ecological, Environmental, Social and Human sustainability declining in that order. It is not to mean that the other resources should not be focused on, but the human sustainability should be given a fair share of focus and attention.

As companies strive towards having “eco-managers” who will bring the energy bills down to “zero”, it would be interesting to see companies do the same for their human resource. The physical, social and mental health of employees should be monitored. Some of these issues are caused by the core business activities and therefore companies need to be mindful about their employees are affected.

How employee mortality and morbidity is affected by an organization
The level of development in a country as well as societal efficiency is usually based on indicators such as infant mortality and life span.

If you have healthy employees in your company, socially, physically, psychologically, chances are the level of output from your employees is high. The decision making processes as well as the reward systems have a great impact of human resource sustainability.

In the case of offering health insurance, the kind of health insurance scheme a company chooses for their employees can either grant or deny access to proper health facilities. At the same time, having health insurance affects the health status for most people. Those without health insurance are usually not in a position to access preventive screening such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels etc., whereby a physical condition detected in good time can be treated and the employee can resume to work.

Without health insurance, the economic well-being is also affected. Medical bills can be financially draining and if an employee has to pay from their salary or savings, they are at risk of being bankrupt.

One thing that employers can do to enhance the health of their human resource is introducing fitness and wellness programs for them. This investment is likely to have a direct impact on output and profitability.

Layoff is another aspect that affects the human resource. Whether due to economic constrains, restructuring or cost cutting those that are left after a layoff may become unstable which could lead to reduced productivity. Those that are laid off are affected physically, mentally as well as socially.

Family-work Conflict and Hours Spent at Work

How long you spend at work is predetermined mostly by your employer. Chances are, if you work for long hours, it may not necessarily translate to higher output and may actually expose you to health issues. Also, your social life, and especially if you are a family person will be affected. There may be conflicts arising from your work versus family responsibilities.

The Impact of Job Design and Stress at Work

How much control one has at work, the demand of the job and the nature of the job (isolated job stations) could also lead to health problems for the employees and this will affect their output.

How much one earns is related to how much education, experience and exposure they have as far as the job is concerned. Studies show that those earning more are more likely to have healthier lifestyles and so are healthier than those earning less. There seems to be a link between inequality and health issues and companies need to find out the root cause and make deliberate efforts to educate employees on this issue.

Brief Attention is Usually Given to Human Resource Sustainability

The employees who are providing the human resource to the company are barely making it on the company’s agenda of sustainability. The firms need to be on the lookout for unexpected costs of hiring and firing. The same attention being given to the environmental sustainability should be given to human sustainability.

If the human resource sustainability was taken seriously, then we would discover that the companies that are not keen on enhancing the well-being of their employees are ‘polluting’ their health and welfare.

At the same time, branding your company as one that attracts and retains employees for a long time, and one that has a low turnover is beneficial to your company.

The more sustainable your human resource is, the more the sustainable the level of output, productivity and profit for your company.

Remediation

This is the process of removing all established toxic elements in a brownfield to levels that are not risky to human health. It is a complex and expensive process and one needs to put this into consideration before buying a brownfield site. Sometime, it does not make economic sense, if the cost of remediation is more than the value of the land after redevelopment.
However, there are new technologies that have been developed in the last few years that are effective and low-cost. At the same time, these new technology seeks to preserve and protect the environment.

Some of these technologies include Bioremediation which uses natural processes to clean up the environment of toxic contaminants. Bacteria, microorganisms, enzymes, fungi and plants are used in this process to destroy and deactivate toxic elements and contaminants.

Phytoremediation is also another advanced technology, in which plants are used to absorb and store up the toxic elements in their stems and leaves (bioaccumulation). Phytomining can be carried out on heavy metals can be mined out and recycled. Scientists are working hard to look into a solution that will prevent toxic elements absorbed through phytoremediation from being introduced back into the food chain. For this reason they are evaluating the importance of biofuel and energy crops such as phytoremediators.

Another technologically advanced process is In-Situ chemical oxidization whereby oxygen or chemical oxidants are introduced into the contaminated soil or water to neutralize the toxic elements.

Sustainable Redevelopment

The UK Sustainable Development Strategy has redevelopment of brownfields as a main agenda. This strategy seeks to integrate objectives from the social, economic and environmental perspectives. Not only does redevelopment of brownfields clean up the environment, it also helps in regenerating the community, especially if the process is inclusive. Most houses developed in brownfields are affordable. There is also creation of job opportunities, enhancing wildlife and conservancies and promote communal recreation activities.

All in all, the redevelopment of brownfield sites gives the future a bright hope because the environment will be cleaner, safer and much healthier to the population.

Competitive Advantage

For a business to have a niche in the market place, it needs to find a sustainable competitive advantage so that it remains ahead of its rivals.
One way of having a competitive advantage is by either giving your clients a better price or more services and benefits.

There are four suggestions that can give your business that competitive edge. The strategies are in several categories. The broad range of market segments which include differentiation and cost leadership strategies and the narrow range of markets which include differentiation focus and cost focus.

Cost Leadership

This strategy seeks to make the business the business the lowest-cost producer in the market. This is achieved by the approach of mass production so as to capitalize on economies of scale. The importance of this strategy to the business is that they can produce goods that are generally acceptable to most consumers at a cost which will enable them recover with the best profits in the market. The strategy also gives room for the business to give discounts on their products which will maximize their sales and thereby increase market share.

A business that opts for this strategy needs to have good cooperation of all the functions within the business and try to implement aspects like high productivity, capacity building and utilization, bargain for the least prices of their input materials, use of lean production processes and utilizing technology as well as have access to distribution channels that are effective.

Differentiation Focus

In this strategy, a business seeks to meet the needs of a specific group of consumers who may have the need to have the same product but with a special touch. One thing that a business opting for this strategy should be sure of is, there is an actual need from the customers and that this need is not being satisfied by the products as they are and thus have a valid reason for differentiating.

There are several small businesses that have made it by making use of this strategy. They have managed to charge a higher price for their value added products than the undifferentiated products.

Differentiation Leadership

This approach is whereby the business seeks and targets much bigger markets. In this case, the business will add value to their products and therefore charge a premium price for it. The strategy requires substantial investment in marketing the product and there are various ways of doing so such as features and benefits of the product should be of high quality, branding, which ensures that the product is being recognized by the consumers, a product that can be distributed by all major channels including retailers. At the same time, the business would have to invest in consistent promotional activities for the product.

Nike and Mercedes are good examples of brands that have made in their respective industries by use of differentiation leadership. They have great economies of scale, even if they are not dependent of cost leadership to compete with their business rivals. The have managed to sell their products with emphasis on brand and convincing their consumers for be loyal to these brands while paying a premium price for it.

Importance of Waste Management

The importance of waste management is to reduce health, safety and economic problems that could arise from garbage that is disposed wrongly or stored in an improper way. Each and every living organism has the ability to create waste, including human beings who create more waste than all the species in the world. So as to preserve the environment as well as the ecosystems and at the same time promote healthy and quality of life of these creatures, it is of great importance that the human beings find a way to manage, dispose or store their waste in an efficient and safe manner.

For hundreds of decades, the human race has been using very basic strategies for managing their waste. One of the most common of the strategies was digging a hole where they would throw their refuse and bury it there. And because the population back in the day was quite small, it was a good method of disposing the little waste they produced. This method was also effective in preventing rodent infestation because, once the trash was buried, the rodents could not dig them up and so they could not agents of spreading diseases.

With the increasing population in the modern world, it is not possible to dig up a hole in the ground and bury the trash. This is because the amount of trash being produced is in large quantities and most of it is not biodegradable, compared to the olden days trash which could decompose easily and fast.

At the same time, the waste being produced in the present day is of different kinds, some of which are very harmful to the soil, water bodies and the general environment.

The waste management method being used by professionals in the present day is to put the refuse in holes and then they put bacteria inside those holes to quicken the process of decomposing the garbage.

How the Environment Benefits From Waste Management

There is great effect on the environment from how the garbage from your house or office is handled and disposed. The task of waste management is now being approached from the perspective of how the environment is benefiting and how it is impacting the environment.

Waste management for the longest time was the simple act of collecting garbage and refuse from different residential and commercial and disposing it in either landfills and other allocated destinations. The change in how the waste management is being addressed in the present day has been greatly influenced by the increased need to have a better and healthier environment as well as the way the government , investors and general communities look at the waste materials.

Advanced Techniques for Disposal

The most significant change in waste management over the past years is the way in which materials are disposed. Up and till recently, all waste and refuse was just dumped in one place and this had a great negative effect on the environment.

The first step was to separate the hazardous material which was then treated so that it does not have an impact on the environment once if it disposed. The next step is to set apart any material that can be recycled so that it can be put into good use. The final step was to modify how the remaining refuse can be disposed in the most efficient way.

Reusing

Recycling of waste materials is one of the biggest ways in which waste management is impacting on the environment. The benefits of recycling include not only the fact that the waste materials can be made use of again, but also that there is no need to go back to the environment to source for raw materials to make that recycled item. It also means that the landfills have less waste which is a good thing for the environment.

Another benefit for recycling is that it has become a booming business for those with the skills of turning waste materials into new products. Their biggest clients are those people who are environmentally conscious, and the number of these people is increasing by the day.

There is still so much that needs to be done so that the recycling and waste disposal is completely effective on a global level. The most developed countries such as the US, Canada and a big number of European countries have high tech waste management systems, but other developing and third world countries are yet to reach such levels. Currently, the atmosphere feels fresh than it did sometimes back. As well, the water is deemed much cleaner and safer to drink and the areas that had become dumpsites have been cleaned up and are beautiful sites to behold.

Given enough focus and energy, it is possible to have seamless waste management systems in the world, especially if you look at places like the US where great effort has been made towards this course.

Problems With Waste Management in Urban Places

There are different challenges faced in the developing worlds in terms of waste management. The more developed countries have advanced technologies and facilities to handle their large amounts of waste. The government bodies and bureaucracies put in place also support this processes.

Waste is not sufficiently collected and disposed in the developing world as they are still in the process of transiting into better systems of managing waste. In places where there is high population growth, there is an urgent need for policies and guidelines set by the governments to ensure proper waste management.

In most cases, the methods used to manage waste include dumping on land or water bodies, burning it up or keeping it in a secured facility. The levels of negative impact on the environment and human health each of these methods has are varying, especially if they are mishandled at any stage of the process.

There should be a deliberate connection between waste management, employment opportunities, involvement of the community and poverty eradication in developing countries.

More often than not, government institutions in the third world countries want to make use of the technology and equipment being used in the developed world, but in real sense, this is just a corruption avenue, where those in authority are seeking for kickbacks from fleet suppliers and contractors, which is usually uneconomical for the poor people in such a country. When this is implemented, then the people who were depending of refuse collection and scavenging as a source of livelihood will only become poorer. Also, the refuse in the third world is not sorted out and therefore the technology that will be used will just pick the waste without being able to separate any reusable and recyclable materials.

There should be national policies put in place that will encourage efficiency use of resources while ensuring prevention of waste refuse and how it can be made good use of.

A more sustainable development can come about through community-based strategies to waste management. The approach from the grassroots moving up can be more beneficial as opposed to doing the top-bottom approach which hardly involves the communities. Recovery of materials has always been a core principal in waste collection and management, since time immemorial.

The disposal concept came about the twentieth century. In Europe, during the 19thcentury, initial efforts of reducing the amount of waste were the core thing so that there is enhanced industrial competitiveness.

The Union of Rural-urban for the Exchange of Food Nutrient

By using organic recycled products, it is possible to counter the widespread soil degradation and the reduction of soil fertility. This will also help in reducing the organic matter in the towns. This rural urban alliance is basically recycling organic elements for refuse into agricultural products that can be used in the towns.

However, there is a school of thought that believes that this is just but a trick to dump all that waste from town onto farmers. Those advocating for this method need to show clearly how pure, balanced and valuable their product is.

Other Options for Landfills

Most countries are now advocating for reduced waste production. As seen in the increasing composting facilities, it is possible to turn the organic refuse into high value products that can be used. This means that waste materials are being used as raw materials to produce new products. Industries are also being approached for waste exchange.

The construction and building industry should also endeavour to use materials that are long lasting and produce minimal waste. This is because 40% of waste in landfills comes from this industry. A research should be done as to how houses that are long-lasting be constructed and with what kind of materials. Other alternative to be considered are;
Reduce transport by promoting onsite treatment and use
Minimize waste production
Incentives for those using sustainable materials
Facilities that recycle to be initiated
Ban production of any hazardous material that cannot be recycled or disposed off safely

Lifestyles

People should be encouraged and educated on the need to have minimal waste being generated from our daily activities. As well, it is important to create awareness on the importance of using recyclable and sustainable materials and products.

How Does the Environment Benefit from Waste Management?

It is not enough to merely throw an empty bottle into a recycle bin. As a matter of face, the most important thing is how the process of disposing is carried out as well as the management of that waste.

Management of waste is whereby the waste is safely handled and taken to landfills or other allocated locations for such purposes.

It is critical that the people in residential and commercial properties understand how to handle waste in an eco-friendly manner, more so because the traditional methods of waste management are being faced out. This is because it has become a global concern to have environmentally conscious approaches.

Waste management benefits to the areas surrounding Cold Lake, Bonneville,
Cleanliness and sustainability of our country is highly dependent on how rubbish is collected and recycled. The government has a responsibility and duty to ensure that the cities are clean, free of health hazards and at the same time ensure that the resources are preserved.

The local authorities, under the local government has so much pressure to ensure that this is accomplished. To manage this, the private sector has joined in the efforts, with firms like Quick Pick Waste Disposal playing a key role in waste management in the city. They provide the same services as the local authorities, such as disposal and recycling.
The combined efforts of the local authorities and the private sector are so that some of the following aspects are addressed;

Search for improved disposal strategies: In the ancient days, people would dig up holes somewhere in the compound and throw their waste there. Research by scientists have however discouraged this method as the decomposing rubbish is harmful to the soil, water and air. The public and private sectors work hand in hand to ensure that the methods are improved so that the environment is not affected in a negative way.

Putting apart hazardous components: Any component in the waste that is hazardous and has an impact on the environment is removed and safely thrown into an appropriate disposal unit. Some of the hazardous materials include electronics and any other element that may have metals or chemicals that are toxic.

Recycling: the demand for natural resources as well as the amount of energy used is reduced by recycling waste products. Recycling is basically taking the normal waste material and making use of them in other ways. the waste is sorted by the waste management firms into recyclable refuse and they see to it that it gets to places where it can be made good use of. Among the things that can be recycled include glass, paper, oil etc.

Extra services: services such as dumpster collection, paper shredding as well as portable toilets are provided by the waste management firms. This extra services are important because they ensure that any hazardous materials collected is handled and disposed in the safest way possible.
Benefits of choosing the right waste management firm in Bonneville and Lloydminster

Regardless of the nature of your waste, from residential, to restaurants or remodelling debris, it is critical that you get a firm that has environmentally conscious approaches.

Quick Pick Waste Disposal is one such firm, which has been offering professional services for the last two decades. We have the ability and experience to handle all kinds of waste, from the regular waste, hazardous materials and recycling as well.

Reasons for Using Timber Frames

One of the requirements being made for new buildings include reducing the amount of energy used while increasing the natural materials being used.

Frames Made with Timber

By making use of timber as a building material, you are contributing to the efforts of reducing the impact of global warming. The structure you put up is will be fast to erect and will be an efficient low-carbon building.

You will also be well on your way to saving energy bills because, wood as it is, is a natural insulator and so you will not spend much heating or cooling the house.

It is usually pre-fabricated offsite and as such it is easy and fast to install. It has a great ratio of weight to strength.

Most financial institutions and mortgage firms recognize timber houses and s getting finance for it is not very difficult.

Wood

Wood is known to be a renewable building material that is carbon neutral, meaning that is does not emit carbon into the air, in fact, it stores up the carbo dioxide while live and as a finished product. It also uses very little energy for processing and production. It also requires minimal energy to construct using wood.

Off-site Production That is Quality Assured

There are less site effects by use of timber. The efficiency is high and with integration of the supply chain. The safety and health of the builders as well as the home owner is assured and it also has very minimal waste.
While using the timber frame building programs, you will complete that project 30% faster than while using traditional methods.

Efficient in Cost and Positive Impact on the Environment

In comparison to building materials like building blocks, the carbon dioxide emitted by timber is up to 6 times lower. You end up saving up to 4 tonnes of carbon dioxide when you put up a standard timber frame house. Energy efficiency is achieved through the natural insulation of timber.

Timber goes over and above the building regulations set by Building Regulations Part L and SAP strategies that target on Energy Performance of Buildings (EPC)

Planning Permission (PP)

When applying for planning permissions, local authorities tend to favour timber structures more. Since timber is both renewable and sustainable, it is in line with the guidelines put by SAP ratings on emissions and low carbon. For the best outcome in your construction project, timber is your best option for material and consent for planning by the local authorities. At the same time, you will be preserving the environment.

Benefits of Sustainable Construction

Sustainability carries so much weight in the construction industry. It is to ensure that the resources are being used in the most effective way, while considering the environmental impact of the materials used and the processes of completing the job.

Understanding Sustainable Construction

Considering the various stakeholders in any construction project some of who include the client, the firm undertaking the project and the local government overseeing the project. This is however on the business front. While looking at sustainability, it is good to consider external stakeholders.
The community where this project will be is one such external stakeholders.

You should consider issues like how will you get rid of waste produced during the construction process (especially if it is toxic).

The environment is another external stakeholder that should be considered. The project could have negative effects on the environment if the materials being used require so much non-renewable energy. To preserve the environment, we should use energy sources that are renewable and promote preservation.

How Do Construction Firms Contribute Towards Sustainable Building?

Since the construction firms are in business, their first priority is the profit margin. All the same, there are many advantages of investing in technologies that are sustainable. At the moment, LEED construction (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the benchmark for the other firms in the industry. It has been the standard since they began operations in 1994. Their principle code for construction is building a structure that will function today, and at the same time, remain sustainable into the future, will remain energy efficient and the materials used to construct it have been sourced in a responsible manner.

Because of energy efficiency, those who opt for sustainable construction technologies will sooner rather than later recover their costs through low costs of running and maintaining the building. It is estimated that about 40% of energy used in a country goes into running buildings annually. For this reason, the construction firms should embrace the need for sustainable construction.

What Role Does the Government Play in Sustainable Construction?

One major role that the government plays is by providing incentives for those construction firms that use sustainable technologies and approaches. It is right to recognize such firms and individuals can do so by hiring such firms for their small scale and large scale projects.

The government has the authority to put laws into place, whereby all firms are required to build using sustainable approaches.

In some states, there are tax incentives or exemption for those firms that adhere to sustainable building practices. For instance, firms in Nevada who build by using sustainable material can purchase such materials, that have been approved by LEED without paying tax for the materials. Another case study is in Cincinnati, Ohio whereby all new construction that meet the minimum LEED guidelines are exempted from tax. In such cases, the firms are able to invest in many sustainable houses and provide a wide benefit framework which cater for the community and the environment.

Green Construction and Sustainability

Green construction addresses the issue of minimizing the environmental impact during the process of construction. At the same time, it addresses the issue of balancing out the impact that has already happened. It is concerned with sourcing for sustainable construction materials and processes that emit the least carbon into the environment or materials that have renewable sources of energy for use now and the future.

Worth Noting!

With the increased emphasis of economic growth, scientists are concerned that the issue of sustainable construction and its benefits may be overshadowed. The state governments should take steps to create awareness and provide more incentives for sustainable construction. This way, the firms will make their profits in a responsible way, both socially and environmentally.