Assess the importance of addressing environmental

8 August 2016

The importance of addressing environmental issues for a construction project that will benefit the community and local construction firms is vitally important on everyone’s agenda; it will help firm’s reputation with the local community and authority massively. This can be from using locally sourced materials e. g.materials that can be used without any bad effect on the environment, and which are produced locally, reducing the need to travel. There are key criteria that can be used to judge whether a material is sustainable or not: To what extent will the materials used in this building cause damage to the environment when using locally sustainable materials it is essential that those materials are renewable, non-toxic and safe for the environment. Ideally, they will be recycled, as well as recyclable.

To what extent will a building material contribute to the maintenance of the environment in years to come, Alloys and metals will be more damaging to the environment over a period of years as they are not biodegradable, and are not easily recyclable, unlike wood, for example which is both biodegradable and recyclable.

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To what extent is the material used locally replenishable, if the material is locally sourced and can be found locally for the foreseeable future, travelling will be kept to a minimum, reducing harmful co2 fuel emissions.

It is also important to communicate clearly with any contractors you use in order to ensure that they use locally sustainable materials. It is possible to specify in the contract that you require the use of locally sustainable materials. Make sure that contractors are not wasteful with materials and do not buy more than they need. A list of suppliers and contractors who use locally sustainable materials can be found easily on the internet. If your local council support sustainable building they will hold information on suitable suppliers and contractors.

Another technique that can have a huge affect on how sustainable the construction project can be is energy based techniques, A reduction in energy is something that should be easy to tackle; selecting the most efficient ways, using sustainable energy sources like the sun, wind, etc. Appliances are now rated according to their efficiency – even homes have energy performance assessments – so appliances A most efficient to G least efficient. Low energy lighting is now easily available and specified for many areas in shops and factories low energy lighting is required under building regulations.

Air leakage tests and the use of thermal ratings for building materials allow buildings to be less wasteful of energy. Energy efficient boilers for heating water and homes, for example condensing boilers, reduce the use of finite resources such as gas, and oil. Pollution is something that is on everyone’s agenda when it comes to a new construction project, the local community and authorities will be eager to understand how the environmental team/designer will tackle these issues these can steam from things like prevent erosion and run-off, minimise land disturbance and leave maximum vegetation cover.

Control dust through fine water sprays used to dampen down the site. Screen the whole site to stop dust spreading, or alternatively, place fine mesh screening close to the dust source. Cover skips and trucks loaded with construction materials and continually damp down with low levels of water. Cover piles of building materials like cement, sand and other powders, regularly inspect for spillages, and locate them where they will not be washed into waterways or drainage areas.

Use non-toxic paints, solvents and other hazardous materials wherever possible. SUD’s is a sustainable drainage system designed to reduce the potential impact of new and existing developments with respect to surface water drainage discharges. The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 requires new developments and redevelopments in England and Wales to have drainage plans for surface runoff approved by the SAB where the construction work would have drainage implications.

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