Green is Clean: why we need to think eco


EU leaders are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 40%; they will also aim at increasing energy efficiency by 27% by 2030

The built environment is responsible for an estimated 50% of greenhouse gas contributions meaning there is a considerable amount of pressure on the construction industry to produce greener buildings.

Engineers, builders, plumbers, electricians are few of many built-environment specialists that should implement green construction techniques in response to environmental concerns.

At the moment the built environment and all associated trades rely heavily on fossil fuels, and these are the main cause of climate change.

The reliance on fossil fuels means that the sector is also responsible for air, soil and water pollution including millions of tonnes of landfill waste.

Traditional building techniques have also been linked to health issues ranging from asthma to cancer.

Resource efficiency could change the face of the widespread view of the construction sector, with hopes to introducing many new skills and eco-innovations to everyday business practices.

Eco-building techniques

Many conventional buildings are currently haemorrhaging carbon emissions, but recent years have highlighted the necessity of being greener by implementing eco-techniques.

The marriage of technology into the industry has created ecological resources that are essential for green prevalence.

In recent years we’ve seen tradespeople opting for:

• Solar panels for domestic hot water heating

• Recycling rain-water

• Low-energy light-bulbs

• Recycled pulped paper for roof insulation

• Lead-free paints

• Locally sourced products

• Reclaimed materials

Reducing your carbon emissions

With the inescapable decline in fossil fuels, eco-friendly construction and production is essential to further reduce industrial pollution and ensure the sectors longevity.

There is currently no legal obligation for individual trade firms to reduce carbon emissions; however the EU’s guidelines provide an indication that this could soon be woven into British laws.

There are many methods that construction firms can apply in order to advocate a greener code of practice, such as:

• Implementing a recycling policy

• Implementing a local resource policy

• Encouraging employees to perpetuate eco-activity

• Minimising energy inputs for heating, cooling and lighting

• Developing manufacturing methods that don’t harm the environment

Actions to reduce and control pollution will be economically and environmentally beneficial. In the years leading up to the 2030 targets, the construction industry should integrate eco-techniques into their environmental management strategy.