Sustainability in Construction
Sustainability is becoming a central concern for society as a whole. It is a concern that has grown from a wider acknowledgment that increasing population and continued economic development are threatening a progressive degradation of the earth’s resources. The construction, maintenance and use of buildings impact our environment largely and are currently contributing significantly to irreversible changes in the world’s climate, atmosphere and ecosystem. If we incorporate sustainability into our construction processes today we can help meet the needs, while minimizing the impact of consumption and use of the earth’s resources, while providing for people today and not endangering the generations to come.
The construction industry is at the forefront of this major economic concern. This is because the construction industry uses mass amounts of natural resources, uses highly energy intensive processes, removes land from other natural uses, and is responsible for designing and making products that have a lasting effect on the needs of society. For these reasons alone much hostility is being brought toward the construction industry from both government agencies and environmentalists. This has in turn affected every stage of the construction process, from the planning and design to assembly and even the operation and disposal of constructed buildings.
Until recently, the challenge of sustainability has not been fully understood nor adopted by the construction industry. A lack of long term perspective, resistance from the public to the idea of buildings having a different appearance and function, and uncertainty in the very idea of sustainable development have all caused doubt amongst the construction society. There has been a lack of clarity and cooperation within the industry, as well as a failure to realize the potential benefits from sustainable construction. This has all led to the view of sustainability as just...