How Construction Businesses are Helping Reduce Waste

A strong economy relies heavily on how well the construction industry is performing and the UK is similar to the rest of the world regarding this.

Globally, just under 40% of carbon emissions come from the building sector, and with that – and the focus on climate change becoming more intense construction businesses need to do all they can to reduce waste and combat emissions. Here’s how construction businesses are helping to reduce waste and improve their performance.

Photo by Scott Blake on Unsplash

Reusing and recycling building materials

One of the major efforts has been in reusing and recycling building materials and the products used to produce them. For instance, precast retaining walls are constructed using reusable moulds, which rely on local, natural, and recycled components. They also have a low water-to-cement ratio, energy efficiency, and excellent insulation properties.

Whilst recycling building materials is important, reuse as described above is a better long-term solution as regards sustainability. This is a huge win for the construction sector, as keeping materials in use for longer – whether that’s through the use of more modular building design, or designing materials so that they’re easy to take apart and then find another use for means that much less waste occurs all round.

 

Identifying land that can be reused

Construction companies are now using the services of innovative UK-based start-ups who have developed platforms that allow building firms to search for land that has already been excavated and is ready for use.

 

This then avoids the need to place developments on greenfield sites that would result in loss of natural habitat and wildlife. Companies will also be able to find out from their search whether the land they’re interested in has any special characteristics or is ‘protected’ in any way, meaning it won’t be suitable for the development of certain projects – saving time and money in the long run and meaning that construction firms can choose the right site for their needs without needing to constantly make lots of site visits.

Reducing construction site waste

 

In Scotland, initiatives such as the Site Waste Reduction Protocol and Construction Waste Indicative Cost Calculator (CWIC) have been introduced, meaning that monitoring and reducing site waste is easier to carry out, measure, and quantify in the short and long term.

 

This calculator will assist construction professionals, so they can accurately measure and classify site waste. It will also help them identify what each construction business has laid out in terms of cash, and as a result, this will help  prevent losses, thereby making businesses more sustainable in both senses of the word – better profits and increased environmental benefits is a win for everyone concerned.

Regulators in Scotland have discovered that 50% of the country’s overall waste comes from the construction industry. This, naturally, has a huge impact on carbon emissions too. Using less, tracking more, and seeing what can be repurposed and reused goes a long way to achieving net-zero for the construction industry – not just in Scotland, but for the UK as a whole.



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