Many businesses today are stepping up their environmentally friendly initiatives to help preserve the planet, but when it comes to construction, keeping your worksite green can seem difficult. However, there are a variety of simple practices you can adopt to greatly reduce any construction site’s environmental impact. Here are five green construction practices you can use on any worksite:
1. Re-use or Recycle Demolished Materials
If you want to adopt green demolition practices at your worksite, consider re-using and recycling demolished materials. Rather than dumping concrete and structural steel into landfills, find new uses for demolished materials or send them to an industrial crushing facility to be recycled into dry aggregate. From a business standpoint, re-using or recycling building materials, contractors can also reduce money spent on new materials or on the disposal of hazardous materials from the worksite.
2. Use Recycled Water
Most construction sites need water for a variety of functions, but you can keep your worksite environmentally friendly and conserve water by recycling existing water. Consider trapping and re-using rainwater, which can be used for landscaping irrigation among other functions. You can also collect water condensation from on-site HVAC units to use for other purposes.
3. Implement Runoff Controls
Runoff from sedimentation and erosion can cause unwanted pollution, so controlling runoff is key to running a green worksite. You’ll want to cover all stockpiles and backfill materials to prevent unnecessary erosion and sedimentation, and you should also install silt fences to control runoff on easily eroded slopes.
4. Harness Renewable Energy Sources
One of the best ways to reduce your worksite’s environmental impact is to make use of solar and wind power. Initial installation may be expensive, but using renewable energy often leads to energy savings in the future, and it also reduces the strain your site puts on electricity providers. Consider installing solar panels on the roofs of buildings or using photovoltaic windows to harness the sun’s energy, and to harness wind power, make use of turbine farms, which can have the added benefit of maintaining interior air quality in buildings.
5. Cover Storm Drains During Cleanup
One final way to keep your worksite green is to (temporarily) block any storm drain inlets during regular cleanings or spill cleanup. Chemicals and sediment can easily enter storm drains when water is used during cleanup, and this can cause accidental pollution of waterways. The best way to block off storm drain inlets is to use a clean rubber mat, but whatever type of cover you use, be sure it is free of potential pollutants.