The Environmentally-Friendly Construction Site

If there is one thing we can all agree on, it is that our planet is in urgent need of change. This essential change does not exclude the construction industry, which must also look to reduce its negative impact on the planet. Leading the way to this revolution is HCM Group, who is embarking on environmentally-friendly product creation. HCM Group has stated:

 ‘As a response to climate change, we provide low-carbon type products such as hybrids, electric motors, and batteries etc. Furthermore, much focus is given these days to carbon-neutral bio-fuel, and we have achieved a world-first* 500-hour running time for a hybrid hydraulic excavator using 100% concentrated kelp-based bio-fuel.’

With HCM group’s commitment to find an eco-friendly alternative to heavy machinery and construction, other groups should look to follow their lead.

Eco-Friendly Machinery

Machine emissions and waste output of machinery need to be considered in creating eco-friendly plant machinery. Our Plant Planet Industry Expert, David Chuck, said of the matter: ‘As more environmentally friendly construction machines become available, an increasing number of projects will specify that these machines are used… As manufacturers are being forced to produce more environmentally-friendly machines b utilising more hybrid and fully electric systems, the by-product is that these machines can then be adapted more easily to operate autonomously… Bauma 2019, which has just been held in Munich Germany and is the largest construction plant show in the world, very much reiterated this message. This year, the emphasis on new machine launches focused on electric, hybrid and autonomous vehicles and this will most definitely shape the earthmoving industries going forward.’

It would be deceiving to say that it is only machinery within construction that needs to be altered to help the environment. Dust pollution, a form of air pollution, is also a factor of environmental destruction. Often caused as a bi-product on construction sites, dust particles are considered a PM10 pollutant. While it is well known that concrete dust causes risk to health of workers and, I the case of long-time work, local residents; it’s also important to consider the impact of dust pollution on local and global environments. Dust pollution poses a particular threat to ESA areas – a type of agricultural area that needs special protection because of its landscape, wildlife, or historical value. Dust pollution is considered a statutory nuisance in the UK under the Environmental Protection Act, 1990, though some construction sites still forget it’s impact on the environment.

Other Factors To Consider

There are other influences that can also help construction become more environmentally appropriate. Plant Planet have put together our top 5 tips for becoming an eco-friendly construction site.

  1. Consider your plastic use – Waste plastic causes major environmental issues. It is estimated that 46,000 pieces of plastic are found in every square mile of ocean. Each piece of waste plastic takes 500 years to decompose, releasing toxic chemicals into the environment.
  2. Cut back on paper use – Around 35% of all trees worldwide are cut down to make paper. High levels of paper consumption and waste can contribute to air and water pollution, and the rise of greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Buy local products – One of the biggest factors in the creation of a company’s carbon footprint is the amount of diesel use to ship materials. A great way to cut your company’s carbon footprint is to buy materials form local companies.
  4. Source sustainable materials – A simple way of sourcing sustainable materials is to use reclaimed materials that do not require much processing. Additionally, using manufactured materials with a high level of recycled content is an easy alternative.
  5. Support Eco Friendly Charities – By supporting charities working to conserve and protect our environment, your company will be working to a better and more sustainable future.

With these tips, more eco-friendly machinery, and the consideration of dust pollution as well as other pollution coming from your construction site, your construction can be better for the environment. See our June 2019 addition of Plant Planet for a more thorough discussion on environmental affects of the construction and heavy machinery industry.

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