Ten Commandments for Sustainability in Design and Construction
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.
- Re-use existing buildings: Re-using existing buildings reduces costs and is quicker.
- Design for minimum waste: Make designs simple and with re-use in mind.
- Aim for lean construction: Avoid over specification and use pre-assembly and repetitive components wherever possible.
- Minimize energy in construction: Use minimum quantities and avoid energy intensive materials like aluminum and cement.
- Minimize energy in use: Make best use of the natural environment. For example, open and close windows, rather than use air conditioning.
- Don’t pollute: Dispose of waste and discharges sensibly. Make efficient use of the existing transport infrastructure.
- Preserve and enhance biodiversity: Protect the natural habitat.
- Conserve water resources: Recycle rain and waste water.
- Respect people: Build community relations and provide public information. Look after staff with regard to Health and Safety.
- 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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