Sustainability has become an increasingly important concept in recent years, particularly in the construction industry. As contractors, engineers, and project managers, we all strive to operate our projects with a commitment to sustainable practices. But is it really possible? Can you actually attain sustainable work practices and lifestyle? The answer is yes! Read on to learn how.
What Exactly Is Sustainability?
Before diving into how to achieve sustainability, it’s important to understand what sustainability means. The concept of sustainability refers to ensuring that the environment is not damaged by our actions. This means that we should be conscious of the resources we use and how they are used to minimize our environmental impact. This includes things like reducing waste, conserving energy and water, and utilizing renewable energy sources whenever possible.
How Do You Achieve Sustainability?
Achieving sustainability within the construction industry starts with making sure that everyone involved understands the importance of these practices. It’s critical that everyone from management down to labourers are aware of why sustainable practices are necessary and how they can be implemented. Additionally, there needs to be a commitment from all those involved to follow through on those practices once they’re in place.
Once everyone is on board with making sure that sustainable practices are followed, there are several steps you can take to ensure success:
· Utilize green materials for construction such as recycled steel or concrete blocks made from post-consumer materials.
· Take advantage of natural resources such as daylighting or passive solar heating.
· Follow local building codes and regulations regarding energy efficiency.
· Utilize renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind turbines.
· Practice proper waste management by recycling materials or donating them when possible.
· Maximize water conservation by using low-flow fixtures or installing rainwater collection systems.
· Educate workers on proper safety procedures and promote green commuting options such as carpooling or biking to work.
· Monitor your progress regularly so you can make necessary adjustments if needed.
Following sustainable practices isn’t just good for the environment—it’s also good for business! By implementing sustainable work practices and lifestyle, contractors, engineers, project managers—and all involved parties—can save money while reducing their carbon footprint at the same time. If done properly, sustainability can benefit everyone involved while helping protect our planet for generations to come!
By: Lance Pizzariello M.Sc., C.E.T., A.Sc.T., EP
Director of Sustainability