Five Sustainability Pre-Construction Tips

With summer upon us, it is the time of year when the industry is busy with new construction and renovations. This makes it the perfect time for developers, owners and managers to start thinking about sustainability.

To properly plan construction projects with sustainability in mind, Stephen Ashkin, president of The Ashkin Group provides the following Five Sustainability Pre-Construction Tips:

Planned Demolition – Sustainability begins in the demolition phase.  Traditionally, old materials are hauled off to landfills.  Planned demolition looks for ways to reuse or recycle these items.

Focus on Long-term Savings – When selecting new construction products, put more emphasis on how they will reduce costs over the long-term, than their initial costs.  Solar panels, for instance, do add to construction costs, but they can reduce a building’s electricity bill by as much as 75 percent, each month for years.

Buy Locally – Purchasing from local suppliers helps reduce the energy used for transportation. This reduces the amount of greenhouse gasses released into the environment, plus, it helps the local economy.

Use Newer Construction Equipment – Newer construction equipment tends to use fuel and electricity more efficiently, promoting sustainability and helping to lower construction costs.

Emphasis on “Efficiency” – Efficiency is a keyword in sustainability. It refers to products and materials that reduce waste, energy, fuel, water, and other natural resources.

“Finally, almost all construction projects have one or two ‘clean-ups’ once work is completed,” adds Ashkin.  “This is the perfect time to introduce Green cleaning solutions into the facility, so they are used from Day-1.”

You may also be interested in this article about Going Green with Architectural Design.

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