Protecting the environment
One key method of protecting the environment from construction and the built environment is Legislations.
These legislations are put in place to be followed and if they are not it results in punishments. There are many legislations which only concern the environment such as; Water Act 1989 and Water Resource Act 1989 which are put in place to protect water. Therefore, during construction substances and rubbish will not be allowed to enter any bodies of water as they can contaminate the water which will have a negative effect on the environment. ‘The Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989 makes it a criminal offence for a person who is not a registered carrier to transport controlled waste to or from any place in Great Britain. It also provides for the seizure and disposal of vehicles used for illegal waste disposal.’ This provides a lot of protection for the environment due to only registered vehicles being able to carry the waste, these registered vehicles can be monitored and will take the waste to the appropriate place so the waste is properly disposed of without causing any harm to the environment.’ There are hundreds of European directives concerning the environment that was created by the European Parliament for each member of the country develops in the environmental regulations.’ These European directives are put in place to ensure the safekeeping of the environment for example hazardous waste must have extra labelling on to inform everybody of its contents as well as records being kept so there is no chance of the hazardous waste entering the environment. Hazardous wastes according to the European directives are not allowed to be mixed together to ensure none of the waste contaminates the environment.
Protection y control: Health and Safety Executive (HSE); Environment Agency (EA); local authorities (eg environmental services, planning, building control departments)
· The HSE protect the environment in many ways for example, they gather intelligences, which leads to discoveries in the best ways to keep protecting the environment. They also agree industry standards therefore creating a standard in which everyone will know to keep to for example asbestos training standards, which keeps workers and the environment safe by allowing only workers with the relevant training to complete works involving asbestos, as they know how to safely work with asbestos and dispose of the waste safely. The HSE also help create National and European standards Supporting policy development and implementation
· Communicating with industry sector stakeholders, including equipment manufacturers, trade associations, professional associations and trades unions
· Working with National and European bodies in the development of standards (eg BSI and CEN standards)
· Publishing guidance in consultation with key stakeholders
· Monitoring health and safety performance
The Local Authorities protect the environment by having street workers who will pass work sites and ensure all waste is kept where it should be and not littering the streets. The building control ensure that in order for many works to take place and any works that will affect any protected tree a planning application will need to be taken out which can be refused therefore they are protecting the environment and not allowing trees to be cut down so works can take place.
Protection by design and specification: reduction in energy usage; minimisation of pollution; reduction in embedded energy; specification of environmentally friendly/renewable materials; re-use of existing buildings and sites
The environment is also protected from construction by using design and specification; this is arranged before the works begin, as plans must be made to ensure the building phase runs as smoothly as possible. Pollution can be minimised in this way as equipment will be used to complete a task and then turnt off avoiding leaving equipment running and producing emission when it is not needed therefore as little emissions as possible will be emitted. If the build is managed properly after a good design and specification have been made then the embedded energy should be less due to the works proceeding efficiently and often friendly renewable materials are used. These materials are very beneficial to the environment for example building with these materials can; protect the ecosystem, reduce the amount of waste produced that is very beneficial as it stops habitats being ruined by pollution, conserve water along with other natural resources and also help to restore them which is important in protecting the environment.
Protection by management: simple environmental impact assessments (EIAs); improved management of construction sites; clear policies and objectives (eg reduction in wastage, increase in recycling, noise management, dust and dirt control); sharing of good practice; raising awareness; communication of information
Another way the environment can be protected against construction is via management. For instance an EIA (environmental impact assessment) can be taken out, this will give everyone an understanding of what effects the construction will have on the local environment and can lead to projects no being carried out if the effects to the environment are too severe. Management is also used during the building process to reduce the effect on the environment for example waste will be reduced by the management ordering the right amounts and not too much extra as the leftovers will cause waste, noise must also be controlled by working between certain hours as to not ruin habitats for animals in the local area as lots of animals do not like noise or dust and dirt which additionally can come from construction sites therefore the area must be kept clean and tidy when possible and if achievable entrances and exits can be shut to prevent the escape of dust.
In conclusion, I believe that all of the above methods of protecting the environment from construction and the built environment are important. Legislation is the law behind all of the methods and without this, it would be easy for building sites to ignore the impact, which they are having on the environment as they would not have to face any charges. However these legislations are greatly supported by the HSE, the EA and local authorities to set benchmarks in which should be followed as without these there would be no way to assess whether or not a construction site is breaking the rules or is having negative effects on the environment.
Whilst it is all good having legislation and organisations to enforce them a company need a way in which they can concentrate on keeping the environment healthy and this is achievable through the means of having a good plan/spec and design as once everybody knows what they are doing it is a lot easier to put in place preventative measures and ensure everyone is keeping to the plan to ensure the works can be completed with low levels of aftermath on the environment. Whilst a plan is important it falls down to management to handle the day to day construction and ensure the specification is followed and also add to it. Management has the benefit of being in the now and actually onsite therefore they can observe the construction and pick up where improvements may be need and enforce these.
The best of all the above methods for cost would be via management as this is needed anyway and paying managers extra to ensure the environment is looked after is not a lot compared to the other methods for example a legislation costs lots of money to get it through government and passed. The control method is also very expensive as it involves a whole organisation enforcing the legislations and taking people to court. The next least expensive would be the design and specification method that would still be rather expensive due to the skilled professionals which will need to be paid before the build begins to create design/spec in which diminishes the effect on the environment.
The most effective method in my opinion is protection by control as without this enforcement it would be easy for construction to occur and get away with not following any guidance and break the law. As there is control is becomes compulsory to follow the legislation or they will be convicted which will make companies think twice before breaking any laws. Legislations are effective however, without enforcement they are just guidelines. Design and specification are also very effective however, the design and spec can be controlled by the organisation and changed to suit them not the environment. Finally protection by management can be extremely effective due to the more hands on approach as the management are on site however they are employed by the company and as with design and spec can be influenced by them and may not want to change certain things as they could be fearful of losing their job.
The method I consider best for Public perception has to be protection by management as this method involves environmental impact surveys assessments that takes in to consideration what local residents say regarding the local environment and gives them a chance to look at the assessment so they are aware of how they will be affected. Legislations do not have a very good public perception as the public may not completely understand how they work. The control method may have a good public perception due to them getting things done and stopping any works that are not following protocol however although the public can raise complaints they are not as involved as they would be with the environmental impact assessment. Design and specification does not involve the public a lot and they will probably not get a chance to see the plans let alone have a say in them.
Explain 3 dif fit for purpose sustainable construction techniques
Energy-based techniques: eg reduced energy consumption, improved energy efficiency, use of renewable and alternative sources of energy
When designing a building it is important that as much energy as possible can be saved as fossil fuels are burnt in order to create energy and these fuels can run out and are also bad for the environment. When building modern projects the client will want to ensure the building is energy efficient, this is achievable through using energy efficient bulbs, using light sensors so lights will turn off when they are not being used and good insulation is important to prevent heat loss which in turn means the heating does not have to be on for as long or as high temp therefore saving energy. A large project will need lots of energy to operate once built, therefore to further the sustainability renewable and alternative sources of energy should be used. Solar panels are a good way to reduce the running costs but also use an alternative source of energy which does not have a negative effect on the environment. Biofuels can also be used to run the building in a more sustainable way. Other alternative sources of energy include wind turbines, hydroelectric power, wave turbine and geothermal energy.
Materials-based techniques: eg specification of renewable materials, consideration of embodied energy and low-energy manufacture of materials and components
Another sustainable technique is using materials that are eco friendly. Sheeps wool can be used for insulation as it is thermal efficient and at the same time can allow hot air out in the summer, sheep wool is a natural material that is produced naturally every year. A green roof can also be produced to insulate the roof and reduce rain runoff as the plants on the roof take in the water and release it via transpiration. Low Embodied energy consumption is when a material is used from a demolished building to reduce the energy needed to make a new material for example bricks from buildings that have been knocked down can be treated and reused in new buildings, this saves lots of materials being wasted. Other materials that can be reused are glass, concrete, and sometimes steel.
Waste-based techniques: eg producing less waste and recycling more, off-site prefabrication, modern methods of construction
A building creates lots of waste in construction and demolition therefore it must be ensured that the building is as sustainable as possible, this can be achieved in many ways, for example; steel frames are recyclable as they can be melted down and used again, similarly wood once knocked down can be used to make wooden chippings and also burnt to create energy or heat. Workers on site can also be educated in order to teach them how to reduce the waste they produce whilst working and also the importance by offering rewards as extra encouragement to reduce. Although waste can be reduced it will not be absent therefore it is important that the waste can be recycled for example old bricks can be cleaned and reused on new builds. Glass can also be cleaned to create new glass and concrete can be broken down and used. All of these recyclable materials can be brought along with materials that have been over brought from different jobs. A lot of clients opt for of site fabrication which is when sections of the build are created off site then transported on site and put together easily. The reason most people choose this is that it is quicker than building on site as all of the tools and equipment required are in the warehouses where these are built and the workers are ready and have all the space they need, this also makes it very productive using less energy. Offsite fabrication often uses renewable materials and some even plant a tree for every cut down and using offsite fabrication reduces the carbon footprint.
Compared sustainable construction techniques in terms of relative cost and performance.
Cost is a very important factor that must be considered when starting a project.
Energy based techniques involve running the building as efficiently as possible with as little energy as possible therefore this will cut the costs as less electricity is being used. Renewable energy resources can also be utilised to make the most of any space for example the roof can have solar panels to generate energy for the building and reduce the running costs however the solar panels are expensive to buy and it will take a long time in this country to see a return from your investment.
Material based techniques are efficient as valuable materials are being reused instead of being thrown away to create new materials the existing materials are just used and these are very cheap as the person selling them will have to pay to put them in a landfill or skip therefore it is very cost effective. Sustainable wood is when for every tree cut down to make wood another is planted, this is very sustainable and good for the environment however the trees that are planted have to be paid for. As I said before wool can be used as insulation which can be a lot cheaper than manufactured insulation. ‘Sheep wool insulation is an outstanding insulator. For thousands of years sheep have been able to survive the elements using their wool coats to protect them from extreme cold and heat. Due to the crimped nature of wool fibres, they form millions of tiny air pockets that trap air, helping to provide a thermal barrier.’
Waste based techniques are cheap as the materials are being brought instead of being thrown away therefore they are very cheap. The person demolishing the building would have to pay to put the materials in a landfill therefore they are saving money selling them so they will also be alot cheaper.’embodied costs associated with the extraction, production, manufacture and transportation of building materials are immense. Using reclaimed materials can significantly reduce these environmental impacts, and save up to 95% of the embodied costs by preventing unnecessary production of new materials, and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill.’
In conclusion waste based techniques is the most cost effective as the materials the building is made of are very cheap from the beginning. The next most cost effective is material based techniques as they involve using different materials however they can cost more. Energy based techniques are cost effective in the long run if using solar panels however biofuels can be more expensive. However all 3 sustainable techniques can be used to create a more sustainable building and also these techniques can be used to save money.
Performance this is another important factor as a technique must work well in order to be used.
Energy based techniques offer a high level of performance as things like light sensors will turn lights on when they are needed therefore the light is the same as if the light was on all the time however it is saving energy to run the light. Solar panels will give energy that is clean instead of using fuel which produces fumes however the energy from both creates the same electricity therefore the performances is not decreased by using the solar panels.
Material based techniques are high in performance also as they involve using sustainable materials that are good for there job for example sheeps wool which performances as good as manufactured installation and sustainable wood which will perform the same as any other wood that is the same quality.
Waste based techniques are of high performance as long as they are treated correctly for example a brick that has been used for the demolished building will have aged therefore to be returned to its former glory must be treated so that it is strengthened to be as good as bricks that would be brought. The materials being brought must be checked for performance as they may have defects that can affect their performance.
In conclusion I believe all the methods can have good performance as long as the correct materials are brought although energy methods have the best performance of the 3. Energy methods involves using the same energy therefore as long as the energy is strong enough it is the same.
assess the importance of addressing environmental issues for the mutual benefit of
the community and individual construction firms