Sustainability and ‘going green’ are concepts that are sweeping a number of industries and construction is no exception. Contractors, architects and cement suppliers are constantly looking for ways to promote sustainability and look after the long-term health of the environment through their businesses.
Using sustainable materials in construction is becoming highly important for developers and those who use the buildings. Making use of recycled concrete, repurposed wood and reused materials are some of the ways in which contractors can become more sustainable. By making eco-friendly building choices, contractors can preserve the environment, reduce water usage and save energy.
These choices can also save money in the long run. Green buildings can help to reduce tenants’ monthly living costs as energy and water bills are reduced. Sustainable building materials are also more cost-effective and can reduce building costs. Here are a few other ways for contractors to ‘go green’ and promote sustainability on-site:
Create a sustainability strategy
Contractors need to draw up a sustainability strategy before starting any construction project. Start by looking at the current situation and how it can be improved and made more eco-friendly. Identify the areas that need improvement and what needs to be done in order to make the improvements.
This process will allow you to establish your goals and maintain your sustainability drive at all stages of the construction project. Once you have your green goals, assign tasks to specific people who will be responsible for the implementation of the sustainability strategy. When all employees know what needs to be done and who is accountable, the strategy will be easier to maintain.
Set sustainability standards on-site
Once construction has started, all contractors and employees need to know what needs to be done to achieve the sustainability goals. This is done by implementing standards that contractors will follow. Processes such as recycling, on-site waste reduction, monitoring and evaluations will help achieve the company’s sustainability goals.
Standards such as LED lighting will help to save electricity costs. Although LED bulbs are more expensive to buy, they will save money in the long run. They also last longer than regular light bulbs, which means contractors can use the same lights at multiple construction projects over time.
Waste management and recycling standards are also easy to establish and will promote sustainability on-site. Waste from the building project needs to be sorted and recycled where possible. Encourage employees to recycle their waste at all times and to keep the site clean and litter-free.
Use sustainable materials
Try to use sustainable building materials where possible. Make use of old concrete and rubble from previous projects. Use recycled plastic and refurbished wood. These materials are often cheaper to buy but still last for years in the home.
Install energy-efficient light bulbs in the building. The electrical engineers will know which brands are the best. Energy-efficient lighting will drastically reduce the electricity bill for tenants and will reduce the load on the electricity grid. Make use of solar panels on the roof to add to the power supply for the building.
Install energy efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units. These systems often use a lot of power to run, so finding a brand that is energy-efficient can help to promote the sustainability of the building.
Non-toxic paints are also sustainable. They can be better for the health of the tenants as they do not emit highly volatile organic compounds. The painters will know which brands have a lower toxicity level, so ask their advice before the building is painted.
Work with sustainable partners
It is important to team up with sustainable suppliers too. LafargeHolcim Tanzania uses agricultural waste to power its cement furnaces. Align your business with sustainable partners that can help you achieve your eco-friendly goals at every stage of a project.
It is easier to work with partners that are already sustainable than it is to convince suppliers to become eco-friendly. If everyone involved in a project understands the importance of being green, the entire project will be sustainable from the start and its success will be more likely.
These tips will allow any contractor to become more environmentally-friendly. They will help to reduce the impact of a construction project on the environment. Becoming a green business is not only important for the planet but many developers, buyers and investors are looking for sustainable contractors nowadays.
LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges.
LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in the Mbeya Region in Southwest Tanzania.
At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.
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