Sustainability

What is Sustainable construction?


The UK strategy for more sustainable construction, Building a Better Quality of Life, suggests key themes for action by the construction industry. These are:

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  • - design for minimum waste
  • - lean construction & minimise waste
  • - minimise energy in construction & use
  • - do not pollute
  • - preserve & enhance biodiversity
  • - conserve water resources
  • - respect people & local environment
  • - monitor & report, (ie use benchmarks)


Most of these points simply make good business sense eg minimising waste increases efficiency. Sustainability is of increasing importance to the efficient, effective & responsible operation of business.


Key Strands

  • environmental responsibility
  • social awareness
  • economic profitability

Sector Sustainability Strategies


A number of construction sector sustainability strategies either have been or are due to be published. They aim to develop a common understanding of the issues & present effective & targeted approaches for each sector to contribute to achieving a more sustainable construction industry. Some of the sectors being addressed include: building services, cement & concrete, wood, construction products, housing. Those published include: Society, Sustainability & Civil Engineering (April 2002), Brick: made for
generations (Nov 2002), Building a Better Future (steel sector, Dec 2002).

Steel

Building a better future (Dec 2002) is a comprehensive strategy for the steel sector, developed by British Constructional Steelwork Association (www.bcsa.org.uk), Corus (www.corusconstruction.com), Steel Construction Institute (www.steel-sci.org) & Sheffield University (www.shef.ac.uk ).

Civil Engineering

led by the Institution of Civil Engineers (www.ice.org.uk) their sector strategy Society, sustainability & civil engineering (April 2002) outlines an approach to making the sector more sustainable & was well-received. ICE is working to integrate it across its sector's working practices.

Concrete

 

BCA & Concrete Centre's interim report (April 2003) aims to improve sector sustainability performance (eg KPIs for British Precast & QPA member companies) & shows how through building design concrete's thermal properties lead to energy efficient structures that save money. see www.bca.org.uk & www.concemsus.info.

Forestry

Naturally Wood by UK Forest Products Association www.ukfpa.co.uk & A Sustainability Strategy for the UK Sawmilling & Wood-based Panel Industry were launched Feb 2004.

Brick

British Ceramic Confederation (www.ceramfed.co.uk ) & Brick Development Association (www.brick.org.uk ) published in Nov 2002 a sustainable development strategy, Brick. Made for generations – the case for sustainability.

 

 

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