Current Environmental Issues For Construction And Their Solution


Introduction

Sustainability refers to the prevention or reduction of environmental difficulties that affect humans’ ability to live a long and healthy life and the endeavor to return human use of natural resources to a sustainable limit that can be refilled.

Infrastructure is critical for a country’s development, which is why the construction sector is constantly expanding. Experts predict that by 2030, worldwide building production will have increased by 85 percent.

The figure comes to $15.5 trillion, and this is fantastic news for building firms. After all, more business frequently implies more growth. However, the rise comes at a cost.

Construction’s environmental impact contributes to global warming. Large volumes of carbon dioxide and methane are released during construction projects.

Infrastructure development pollutes the environment and generates garbage. The negative implications of the construction sector rise in tandem with its output.

How Construction Destroys The Environment?

Construction has numerous societal effects. The environment is impacted by construction methods, materials, and activities. Construction initiatives exacerbate climate change.

The sector accounts for about 25 to 40% of total global carbon emissions. According to estimates, emissions from commercial buildings could increase by up to 1.8 percent by 2030. Mining operations extract minerals required for building materials.

Companies subsequently transport these resources to other parts of the world. Both methods involve the usage of fossil fuels, and the burning of fossil fuels emits greenhouse gases.

Furthermore, the environmental impact of development might affect wildlife. Roads in rainforests have the potential to block off migration pathways.

Dams have the potential to redirect water away from freshwater environments. Spills from oil rigs can harm marine life and pollute the coastline.

How Oil and Gas Industries Destroy the Environment?

The oil and gas industries, particularly the upstream and downstream sectors, pollute the environment through water, noise, and air pollution.

They have negative consequences such as harm to agriculture, landscape, and forestry, contamination of water or seas, and all of these consequences lead to an unsustainable way of life for humans and species.

Nigeria leads the list of 10 countries responsible for 75 percent of global gas flaring emissions.

According to the World Bank, as quoted in Elisha J.D., Leonard S.B., and Tano D.A., (2008), Nigeria flares 16% of total associated gas, the most significant percentage of any country in the world.

This has hampered crop growth and development in the Niger Delta of Nigeria, making food very expensive in that region.

It has also resulted in confrontations between the local people, the government, and oil firms, forcing companies to relocate to other countries such as Angola.

Offshore oil Platform
Courtesy: Interesting Engineering

Environmental Considerations

Here are some of the six crucial points for civil engineers that should be pondered over for a better future.

1. Significant Impact On Global Warming

Buildings consume more than 40% of the energy we use globally and account for a third of our greenhouse gas emissions. This holds for both developed and developing countries.

The majority of these emissions are caused by building energy usage, including electricity, lighting, heating, and cooling. Buildings do, however, emit some non-CO2 emissions, such as halocarbons.

Previously, industrialized countries were responsible for most emissions; however, developing countries are quickly catching up, and it is projected that emissions from buildings in newly emerging countries will soon outweigh those from developed countries.

2. Durability

Once a structure is constructed, the intention is to remain in place for an extended period of time. This means that the technologies and techniques utilized in its construction will continue to pay environmental dividends for at least the next many decades.

More than 80% of a building’s greenhouse emissions occur when used – a busy office, a pleasant family home; the balance of the emissions occurs when built, refurbished, and finally demolished.

Significant CO2 reductions can be accomplished by focusing on the operational phase when the lights and air conditioner are turned on.

Buildings still in use can be retrofitted, and new structures can be built with environmental considerations in mind.

This is particularly essential in developing economies, where more structures will be built than ever before.

3. Assistance

Governments must play a role in ensuring that new buildings are designed with the future in mind. They must prioritize the construction and civil engineering sectors in their climate change strategy and plans.

Each country’s government may assist its construction industry by establishing legitimate, attainable, and measurable energy performance standards and targets.

Training should also be offered so that technicians and assessors can examine the energy performance of buildings and ensure that all available technologies and methodologies are implemented.

Education is also essential, with all construction industry segments becoming engaged and driven to meet emissions targets.

4. Project Planning

The environmental management plan, contingency plans, and equipment that is to be used to carry out specific work on all construction contracts should be specified in order to have a friendly environment. (Pun et al., 2001).

A project is unique when it has a proper budget in place and an accurate delivery time. Studies have revealed that building wastes are connected with signature alterations, according to Coventry et al. (2001, quoted in Dainty and Brooke, 2004).

Also, inadequate funds and timing of project finish date tend to encourage wasting and destruction of materials, thus generating waste on construction sites which could also be a hazard to human life.

In addition, insufficient money and the timing of the project’s completion date encourage material waste and destruction, resulting in the garbage on the building site, which may threaten human life.

Adequate material control measures should be in place so that the required quantity is mandated and supplied on time when ordering supplies.

This will reduce long storage and incorrect handling of items, as well as waste generation on-site (Dainty and Brooke, 2004).

Noise-generating equipment and processes should be closely monitored, and noise monitoring should be implemented.

5. Greater Dedication

The construction industry has a lot of room for efficiency improvement because of technology improvements. Businesses in the business must continue to look for ways to capitalize on technological advances.

Not only will this reduce the environmental impact of construction projects, but it will also increase profit margins.

It can also help a company’s image as a sustainability champion. In order to solve environmental issues associated with infrastructure development, new ideas are required.

6. Economy

It is beneficial to the economy and the people if construction emissions are minimized. Building, remodeling, and maintaining commercial and residential structures account for over 25% of global GDP and employ roughly 10% of the population.

There is a significant possibility for new jobs and new enterprises to meet these goals by implementing additional methods to make buildings greener.

Conclusion

Following a detailed examination of how sustainability issues affect projects, it was discovered that civil engineering projects cause more harm than good by forcing people to live unsustainable lives and depleting the environment.

There has been a lot of work done on civil construction projects, focusing on the design stage because it explains how the project will look in the future.

Also Read –

How To Build Eco-friendly Green Home

What Is Green Concrete In Construction

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