Are Building and Building Materials Eco-Opportunities?
Although the recent financial bubble shoot the U. S. economy for a while, and experts agree that in some direct (and indirect as well) ways, housing was at the root of it, the fact remains the same — as the population grows, we will inevitably need more places for those people to live and work.
And this means, in a word, construction.
Generally speaking, when construction is booming, so is the economy, and lots of people have jobs, and then take their income and circulate it back through the economy, increasing purchasing month over month and funding all sorts of other growth. So is there a way to tie green issues, and a greater level of eco-consciousness to that positive growth? Let’s look at green issues as they pertain to construction.
Going Green: Building Materials and More
Companies start up, and companies close their doors all the time — just about every day in an economy as diverse and large as the U. S. And construction companies are not immune to this cycle. So what happens to all that construction equipment? Is there such a thing as recycling it? Of course! When a new (or expanding) company chooses to purchase used construction equipment instead of new equipment, this re-use is a form of recycling, if you think about it.
And not only will purchasing pre-owned and used construction equipment be better for the environment, it will also save that savvy company some money. Yes, a few jobs might be lost in the process, as there will be no need for a manufacturing company to build a new tractor, for instance. But it appears that the benefits outweigh the losses in a case like this.
What about water management? According to the Whole Building Design Guide, “Within the federal sector, alone, it is estimated that expenditures for water and sewer run between $0.5 billion and $1 billion annually. Reducing water consumption and protecting water quality are key objectives of sustainable design.” And they advocate that “facilities should increase their dependence on water that is collected, used, purified, and reused on-site.”
Other Options for Going Green on a Building Site
Let’s talk timber. Surely, doing something healthy for the environment involves leaving those beautiful forests just the way they are, and finding scrap and reclaimed lumber where it exists, for new housing and or construction projects. We found this great guide to using reclaimed and green lumber in construction and flooring at Treesearch.
They note that among other obvious advantages like re-using existing materials, reduced transportation costs and negative effects, and preservation of forests, “reusing building materials has a distinct advantage over using newly manufactured materials because these reclaimed materials avoid greenhouse gas emissions associated with new (virgin) material manufacturing.” An interesting point to consider, to be sure.