Can Construction Reduce Its Environmental Impact?

Ways in Which the Environmental Impact of Construction Can Be Reduced

With the world’s population increasing at an alarming rate the environment is suffering under the heavy burden of providing homes for all these people. Countless industries are now considering more sustainable options and it’s no different for the construction industry. It is actually one of the largest consumers of natural materials and one solution that’s becoming popular is the use of eco-conscious manufacturing methods. One method in particular, is providing home and commercial building companies with a money and time-saving alternative. At the same time, it’s also a very green way to construct buildings of all shapes, sizes and purpose.

The Benefits of Modular Buildings
Modular buildings are created using a process of construction that takes place off-site. Modules are constructed using modern manufacturing methods and these are then transported and put together on site. There are numerous benefits to using this method, as opposed to traditional building methods.

Lower Carbon Emissions
Statisticians currently say that 33% of total emissions come from the construction sector. Modular construction, on the other hand is able to reduce this figure. The reasoning behind this is that modular construction methods make the whole process much quicker. For example, the estimated time for building a hospital containing 135 beds would be 35 weeks. When the same type of building is built using modular construction this estimated time is reduced to just 19 weeks. A considerable saving in time and thereby a reduction in the environmental effect of such a building project.

Eco-Friendly Materials
This is perhaps the most important benefit. Modular homes can be constructed with sustainability in mind. Materials used can be more energy efficient and recyclable. The prefabricated sections are also easier to disassemble and reassemble in a new location.

Reduced Waste
Modular construction methods help building companies eliminate unnecessary waste. Using recyclable materials as well as better controlling the materials used can mean a 90% reduction in the amount of water generated.

Reduced Energy Consumption
The processes used in the manufacture of modular components use a fraction of the energy required when compared with the energy used on a traditional building site. Modular parts are made using an assembly line. The construction of individual parts is not required and there’s no need for complicated and time-consuming assembly on-site. From the very beginning of a modular build, everything is included from the start, thereby reducing time required for assembly, wasted materials and allowing a constant level of quality to be maintained.

Less Noise Pollution
Traditional construction sites can create an awful amount of noise pollution. This can be significantly reduced when modular assembly is used. There are far fewer deliveries to be made, less noisy construction machinery is used and fewer construction workers are involved in the process. All these differences mean that noise is reduced significantly. Building projects can be completed in record time and the surrounding community suffers much less.

No Reduction in Building Standards
When modular buildings are designed, they meet the same high sustainable standards as a traditional type of construction. These standards include BREEAM, PassivHaus and AECB.
The future for modular construction techniques is certainly looking very rosy. Traditional building methods still account for the largest proportion of new builds but the tide is most definitely changing.