The world has been raked by environmental problems for quite a while now. Everything as big as burning fossil fuels or as small as the toothbrush you bought today contributes to environmental pollution and worsens the global impact on our surroundings. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Out of all the industries that are majorly contributing to global warming and climate change, construction is a major one. This is due to the constant consumption of materials whose production has a huge carbon footprint - such as concrete and steel. And this is where green construction comes in. But what does it even entail? Green construction refers to construction methods aimed at reducing the negative environmental impacts of each phase of the construction process. The aim is not just to limit the harmful effects but to create buildings that offer positive environmental results instead. It can cover quite a few things, but the end goal is the same: making the entire process a bit more sustainable for the environment and surroundings.
Most of the materials that have been a core part of the construction industry until now have proven dangerously hazardous to our environment. Due to a lack of biodegradable materials, the landfills end up getting filled with waste which proves to be an environmental disaster. The consideration of biodegradable materials in construction, such as sustainably sourced timber, bamboo, mycelium (a kind of fungus), classic linoleum, etc., is making it easier for buildings to become more sustainable.
Green construction is not just related to the materials we employ for the building; it’s also about the methods, and often the ones pertaining to team member dealing. By effectively managing your workforce, training your employees better, and increasing the efficiency of the processes deployed for construction, we can see a decrease in the carbon footprint of our industrial projects.
It’s sustainable, readily available, becoming increasingly popular, and just a one-time investment: what more could one ask for? A free, independent, and ‘clean’ source of power is provided by solar energy, and it can massively decrease the adverse effects that come from the usage of traditional forms of energy.
As discussed before, the methods we’re using in the construction industry also have a considerable impact on the environmental results they turn out. Initiatives like Prefabrication/Modular Construction or Passive Houses are opening up new avenues for decreasing the carbon footprint in the construction industry. Projects and ideas like these are evidence of the fact that there is a load of potential for greener techniques to originate in the field of construction. With the widespread adoption of such methods, we can all look at collective sustainable goals being achieved for entire communities.
Environmentally speaking, green construction is a sustainable process that increases the efficiency of our construction processes as well as the way our buildings utilize energy after their completion. Green-building can go beyond just the construction of buildings, covering other issues such as those relevant to land-use planning and urban & rural planning. They allow for the conservation of natural resources, the reduction of waste streams, and the protection of our ecosystems.
The environmental impacts of green construction are obvious and vastly understood - but it is about so much more than that. Let’s take a look at the social or economic benefits that may arise from greener forms of construction being put into place: Green construction will reduce operating costs in the long run while increasing the asset value and profits one may acquire from a building. It will also enhance the overall life cycle economic performance one can expect from a construction project. Moreover, greener construction methods will add to the overall quality of life of the inhabitants of said buildings, along with minimizing the strain that currently exists on local utility infrastructure. What do these things tell us? That moving to greener methods in the construction industry can have widespread positive impacts that are not limited to just one facet of the society.
The energy crisis in Pakistan is not a tale unknown to people, and the situation is not getting any better. Green construction presents an alternative solution in the case of Pakistan - a way out of an incoming disaster train. Pakistan is not entirely new to this idea of sustainable construction development, with initiatives such as the Building and Construction Improvement Program (BACIP) already being in play and showing promising results. But this is just the starting point of a journey that is a long way to go currently. By creating awareness about the relevance and importance of green construction, we can hope for more initiatives to be brought up. Once that happens, the energy crisis in Pakistan can begin to heal. The process will be slow, but a shift to greener techniques in the construction industry will prove to be a huge stepping stone.
Green construction is not just an idea perceived for a distant future - it’s coming into action today right in front of our eyes. Awareness among relevant stakeholders has been growing regarding the positive impacts of green construction and the benefits that it churns out for the wider society. Initiatives have been coming forward worldwide, making green building a norm. All we need to do now is keep fostering innovation, as well as training our teams to work on models of sustainable construction. Once the idea is deeply embedded in the entire construction industry that the environmental hazards our industry poses need to be dealt with now, we can expect even better techniques and ideas to emerge. Pakistan only stands to benefit from green construction and that too massively. The work needs to begin today so results can start coming up in the next decade or so!