With the announcement of the UK’s net zero goal for 2050, sustainability is more important than ever, from the business model itself to the construction of buildings.
As such, construction firms are now under pressure to reduce their environmental impact and while it may be challenging, there are a whole host of benefits.
Why is Sustainability in Construction Important?
The built environment accounts for 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint, from the loss of habitats to the materials and energy used on sites. Sustainable construction means building with reduced waste and energy consumption, as well as renewable and recyclable materials as much as possible.
How To Ensure Sustainability
When considering the construction of buildings, there are rigorous new targets to be met by construction companies in line with the net zero goal. All new buildings must be highly energy efficient which makes wall and roof insulation highly important as it reduces the amount of heat being lost from the building. Gas boilers are also being phased out as the government is keen to use fossil fuel alternatives. This means that new builds will be designed to be heated differently including heat pumps and hydrogen boilers.
There are also ways to ensure that the construction site itself is sustainable. Taking care of waste in an appropriate way is incredibly important for construction businesses as currently a linear approach is used which is ‘make, use, dispose’. As construction waste makes the largest contribution to waste streams in most countries, creating an effective waste management policy with sustainability at the forefront is an important part of combatting the issues with sustainability in construction. As well as this, building with fewer virgin materials and instead using materials with longer lifecycles will help to ensure sustainability.
Challenges and Benefits
Of course, there are environmental benefits to sustainable construction such as helping the climate change fight, but there are also financial and social benefits. Around 40% of UK firms have suggested that the affordability of being sustainable is the biggest challenge in sustainable construction, however, research has shown that over £350 billion could be saved worldwide each year due to the increase in sustainable technology.
Ensuring that your business is sustainable is likely to help your company grow and increase revenue. If the prices are similar 91% of consumers are likely to switch to a different company if it’s associated with good practices, as such you may be more likely to be hired for private or contract work.
Green buildings are generally considered more valuable than traditional ones and achieve a 7% higher increase in their value. They also help the occupants to save money on energy bills, so many may be more likely to choose greener properties in the future.
The social benefits of sustainable buildings have also been reported in recent years. The people who use the buildings have increased health and well-being, but also those who construct the buildings have increased productivity due to a better working environment.