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Construction and Development

Construction and Development – Environmentally Friendly and Sustainable

The two buzz words in the construction and development sectors these days are sustainability and environmentally friendly. So let’s talk a little bit about how sustainability affects the way in which we construct our man made environment in our present day and age compared to how things were done in the past.

There are two basic definitions for sustainability. The first relates to how things can be maintained at a constant rate or level. The second relates to maintaining this balance without depleting natural resources. Many natural materials are used in the manufacture of building materials for the construction and development industry and it is therefore important that any structures that are created are built for the long term so as not to have to deplete these natural resources in the maintenance or replacement of buildings.

The strange thing here is that in the past structures were designed and built to last as an accepted standard for the construction and development industry. However, as the demand for more buildings in a shorter time period increased, so the quality and sustainability of the structures took a knock. This basically means that when looking at sustainability of structures we need to go back to the way our forefathers did things and raise our standards with regard to the quality of construction rather than the quantity and speed at which structures can be built.

Sustainability also focuses on job creation and how it can have an effect on the economy of a country. The more jobs that become available due to a construction project, the more people will be able to improve their quality of life. However, these projects need to be ongoing to ensure the constant growth of the population within a country and that jobs are created permanently and not only on a temporary basis. These jobs must also involve skills development as well as projects to sustain the local communities.

The next topic for discussion is the environmentally friendly nature of construction and development. Instead of looking to our forefathers as to how to do things right, here we have to learn from their mistakes. In the past people wouldn’t blink an eye at flattening a rain forest or draining wetlands to make room for housing, shopping malls, industry or other man-made structures. These days however, these factors should be at the top of the list of considerations before a construction project can take place.

The depletion of natural resources must also play an important role in the environmentally friendly nature of construction and development. There are many ways in which this can be done and construction companies often employ the services of an environmental engineer to ascertain what the impact of a structure will be on the environment and how to minimise this impact. For example, the environmental engineer can evaluate the amount of wood that is used in a structure and then ensure that a specific amount of trees are planted to replace those that were used in the construction and development project.