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Ten Commandments for Sustainability in Design and Construction

Posted: January 4, 2014

Regardless of your discipline in the construction industry, you have probably been hearing a lot about operating in a more sustainable manner. Sustainability is the practice of operating more efficiently so as to have a smaller impact on the planet and its natural resources.

Certainly the green construction movement is part of this, but sustainability goes beyond constructing energy-efficient buildings. Gardiner & Theobald, a global consultancy to the construction and property industry, promotes what it calls the Ten Commandments for sustainability.

  1. Re-use existing buildings: Re-using existing buildings reduces costs and is quicker.
  2. Design for minimum waste: Make designs simple and with re-use in mind.
  3. Aim for lean construction: Avoid over specification and use pre-assembly and repetitive components wherever possible.
  4. Minimize energy in construction: Use minimum quantities and avoid energy intensive materials like aluminum and cement.
  5. Minimize energy in use: Make best use of the natural environment. For example, open and close windows, rather than use air conditioning.
  6. Don’t pollute: Dispose of waste and discharges sensibly. Make efficient use of the existing transport infrastructure.
  7. Preserve and enhance biodiversity: Protect the natural habitat.
  8. Conserve water resources: Recycle rain and waste water.
  9. Respect people: Build community relations and provide public information. Look after staff with regard to Health and Safety.
  10. Set targets: Targets should be set for the reduction of energy used, embodied energy, transport and waste. Setting targets is also a way of measuring achievements.

For more information, see Sustainable development in the construction industry.

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