Sustainable Waste Management in the Construction Industry

Construction is booming worldwide driven by population growth, urbanization and increased need for dwellings, business sites and commercial spaces with volume output expected to grow by 85% to $15.5 trillion by 2030. Unfortunately, it also means that there is a serious challenge to implement sustainable waste management in the construction industry.

It is not only the duty of waste management contractors and companies to ensure sustainable collection and management of construction wastes responsibly but also individuals who are doing their own DIY projects at home. Without a concerted effort to collect, recycle and dispose waste properly, there is real danger to the environment that will eventually spill over to people, vegetation, and wildlife.

Role of education and behavior change

On a global scale, over half of the world’s population have no access to a steady collection of trash. Illegal dumpsites hold over 40% of the world’s waste. It’s not only the lack of facilities but also inadequate information that is contributing to waste-related pollution all over the world.

Sustainable waste collection begins by educating people about reducing, reusing and recycling efforts or the 3R approach. From education and information campaigns to changes in behavior and attitudes, when people know and are aware of the benefits of reducing, segregating, collection, reusing and recycling, they become a collective and conscious effort.

Right materials and equipment

The availability of bins, collection containers, and recycling centers also has a great influence on how much a person and their communities recycle and reuse or dispose of construction waste properly. For people who are able to hire a 20 yard dumpster in West Chester, Lancaster, Norrington, Reading or any other town in the world, it is easier and convenient to remove construction and renovation waste knowing that the company will dispose of it properly by bringing it to approved landfills.

What is also important is for clients, contractors and recycling specialists to put their heads together to minimize construction waste according to Oyenuga and Bhamidimarri.

General awareness to reduce dumping is increasing as about 35% of construction and demolition waste (CDW) goes to landfills. Construction rubbish can contain lots of toxic materials such as lead, asbestos, and other dangerous substances that can find their way into the soil, groundwater, and the air that we breathe.

The construction industry has also recognized that reusing components and materials in making or erecting structures is sustainable and saves money. Most of the parts of construction consist of wood, sticks, steel, and concrete. Rubble can be compacted and reused. Demolition is carefully considered if renovation can be carried out.

The Way Forward

Waste generated from construction sites need not be a nuisance to the environment. With the right education to increase awareness to reduce/recycle/reuse, provision of collection and recycling points and the newer and better techniques to reuse construction materials, sustainable management of construction waste can become a reality.

What is the Future of the Construction Industry?

The story of the world economy over the last few decades has been one of rapid digitisation. New technology is playing a role in just about every facet of life – and the construction industry is no exception. We’re using computers to not only design and plan structures, but to actually build them, too. So what new developments can we look forward to in the future? Read on to know more about the tech trends in the construction industry:

1. Virtual and Augmented Reality

It’s difficult to get an idea of exactly how a finished building will look before it’s actually constructed. After all, a top-down plan of a proposed conservatory, loft conversion, or leisure centre, is not going to convey the full reality of the finished product. As such, we’ve always accepted a degree of uncertainty.

Virtual reality in construction

That’s likely to change in the near future, thanks to the emergence of artificial and virtual reality products. It’s now possible to use a VR headset to look around a computer-generated version of a proposed project, and make minor changes before a single brick has been lain. Or, we might use augmented reality as the project is ongoing to achieve much the same thing.

2. Green Buildings

The need to reduce emissions and make buildings sustainable has never been more pressing. This means more efficient envelopes, and energy that’s generated right in the buildings themselves. The homes of the future might come will ultra-efficient photovoltaic rooftops, or ground-source heat pumps.

3. Construction Insurance

As the industry progresses, firms are likely to come up against new and unexpected kinds of risk, which will necessitate specialised forms of construction insurance.

4. Smart Homes

The smart home has been something of a buzzword in recent years. With all of the energy-consuming appliances and devices able to communicate with one another, we’re afforded an accurate picture of a given home’s energy consumption – and we’re able to tweak the dials via algorithms. The rollout of smart meters means that energy companies can react swiftly to changes in demand, thereby lowering costs and bolstering overall efficiency.

smart-homes

Over the coming decades, it’s likely that this principle will be expanded to encompass not just individual homes, but entire estates, and eventually cities.

5. 3d Printing

Additive manufacturing is something that’s been revolutionary in the world of prototyping, but hasn’t quite lived up to the considerable hype in the world of construction. It’s probable that in the future, construction as we know it will be done through entirely different means, and that walls will be thrown up using materials extruded from a machine-controlled nozzle, in much the same way as small-scale 3d printers do today.

It’s possible to throw up buildings incredibly quickly and cheaply using this technology – provided that the initial expense of the printer itself is overcome.