Construction sites are chaotic places; they’re full of workers, noisy trucks and equipment, and, of course, building materials and demolition debris. The U.S. Green Building Council determined that the construction industry contributes to 40 percent of the world’s energy usage, with an expected 1.8 percent increase in emissions over the next 10 years. So, how can you make your site more green? Start by treating unused material, demolition wreckage, and other waste in an environmentally-conscious way. Get going with these four tips:
Where does excess construction waste come from? An excess of building materials. It’s a simple concept, yet completed projects often have leftover materials that have nowhere to go. Avoid this by building to standard dimensions when possible. Not only will this help save the environment, it will also save you time and money.
Working on a project that will require 100 percent demolition that renders original material useless? Not so fast. Rather than (literally) throwing away good materials, instead see if you can incorporate them into the new project’s design. Some of them may be unsalvageable, but for every piece that you do reuse, that’s one less piece causing detriment to the environment.
If your waste can’t be reduced or reused, it needs to be recycled. A number of things on construction sites qualify for recycling, including concrete, porcelain, rigid plastics, tile, lumber, metals, masonry, plastic, rock, carpet, insulation, and more. Equip your site with quality heavy duty roll-off trucks and containers from a trusted, environmentally-conscious company like Russell Reid to make recycling transport easier than ever.
Even if you can’t reuse the material in an existing structure, don’t be too quick to demolish it. Instead, consider deconstruction. There are a number of companies that specialize in deconstruction and will dismantle existing structures to salvage materials for future use. Deconstruction often comes with a tax deduction and helps your project qualify for a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
Now that you know four ways to limit your construction site’s environmental footprint, you’re well on your way to building a better project—and a greener future.