The construction sector is considered one of the main sources of environmental pollution as it uses more than 400 million tons of materials every year. It nearly contributes to 23% of air pollution, 40% of drinking water pollution,50% of the climatic change and 50% of landfill wastes in the world.
The most significant environmental impacts due to the construction work are categorized as follows:
• Natural resources impact: The natural resources that we use during the construction process are, freshwater, raw materials, energy consumption, harvested wood, and greenhouse emissions.
• Ecosystems impact: Adverse effects like toxic generation, air pollution, climate change, water pollution, land use, vegetation removal, hazardous emissions, solid waste, noise pollution, dust generation, etc. impacts the ecosystem.
• Public impact: Most of the construction projects are in urban areas and the people who are living nearby are prone to harmful health effects. The dust, noise, and vibration cause respiratory problems, hearing impairment, sleep disorders, cancer, etc. during the construction phase.
Identifying the issues associated with construction projects will help to minimize the potential risks such as,
• Air, water, and noise pollution caused during the construction phase.
• Increase in the global energy consumption by one-third and 40% of carbon dioxide emissions.
• Clearing of land areas and removal of the native habitats for construction.
• Long-term impacts on the groundwater during the construction process.
How to reduce the environmental risks due to construction?
As the construction industry continues to expand and grow, it’s very important to use innovative technology, and safety practices to minimize the negative impacts on the environment. Precautions must be taken from selecting the raw materials, disturbing the surrounding flora and fauna, and controlling the waste products produced and disposed of at the construction site.
Some of the environmental strategies listed below help to reduce the negative impact of construction on the environment and health tension a sustainable living.
1. Usage of sustainable materials: It not only saves money but also saves energy usage. Good examples are using recycled materials like metal, wood, recycled plastics, green thermal insulation, lightweight bamboo, and straw bales that can replace plaster and concrete alternatives.
2. Usage of renewable/ alternative energy: Among many renewable energy sources like solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower, we can utilize any one or more for the construction site which is inexhaustible in duration.
3. Installing on-site water treatment plants: Recycling the used water from the construction site using the water treatment plants helps to save the groundwater as well as reduce the water usage.
4. Usage of innovative energy-efficient tools: Energy-efficient appliances are used on a construction sites to save energy globally.
5. Safety procedures to minimize accidents: The appropriate safety procedures and contingency plans are to be made to stop damaging the environment due to chemicals, oil spills, fire, dust generation, etc.,
6. Properly minimizing and disposing of construction waste: Nearly 40% of landfill waste comes from construction and demolition sites. so, a proper waste management strategy has to be practised by segregating the waste materials and using the 3R concept – Reduce, reuse, and recycle it for a friendly environment.
7. Vehicle efficiency: The transport sector contributes nearly 14% of greenhouse gas emissions in construction sites. Usage of hybrid vehicles, green fuel sources, and reduction of the haul distances helps to use the vehicles efficiently and saves the environment from pollution.
Construction waterproofing has become one of the inevitable ones that help to stop the water penetration and increases the durability of the concrete. But do we know how the use of eco-friendly waterproofing materials brings positive effects on the environment? YES. Some of the sustainable waterproofing systems like terrace waterproofing in Hyderabad and polyurethane membrane waterproofing are used widely by many homeowners and contractors. These systems protect the building in the long run and reduce material wastage and CO2 emissions annually.
In recent years, the construction industry gives more importance to LEED ( Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design ) which is a green building certification program to reduce the impacts of construction on the environment. So, enhance the knowledge and create awareness among the public for an eco-friendly society for a safe and secure living in the future. #KhabarLive #hydnews