Sustainable Construction: Where The Industry Is Going
In the last two decades, we’ve been spearheading a greater focus on sustainable approaches to construction and use of green technologies. The conversation on global warming is real, and it’s not going to slow on it’s own. Some governments and many leading corporations are making it a key priority for the evolution of manufacturing, technology and innovation and we’ve been actively and deliberately incorporating methodologies to advance and transform how we build. Sometimes it is our clients who request certain levels of sustainable or green development, but oftentimes the onus, as it should, falls to the experts to educate and lead by example. While there are several key initiatives Aquicon does on an ongoing basis to diminish our environmental impact, I wanted to talk about three of them in particular.
LEED Is Our Definitive
As previously discussed in the article “How Opting for a LEED Build Can Benefit The Client”, LEED is a certification program which sets a standard for green building design and construction. A common thread we’re seeing in the industry today is the request for designs, be it for new facilities or renovations, adhering to LEED specifications.
Recognizing the growing importance of green construction, Aquicon has in-house LEED certified experts to ensure our processes maximize the constructor-related credits during construction. Even though our client’s may not opt to apply for LEED certification for their build, Aquicon’s construction methodology is such that we always look for ways to minimize our environmental impact. This methodology includes but is not limited to using recycled material, locally sourced, and low volatile organic compound (VOC) products where possible.
In keeping up with LEED’s mission to maintain green practices from beginning to end, Aquicon has adapted its waste management methods during construction. In earlier days, waste on site was stored in storage bins and then sent to the waste management facility. We changed this practice to sorting waste on-site into separate bins (i.e. bin for steel, concrete, wood, etc.) before shipping them to a waste management facility. When the project site is more tightly confined, Aquicon contracts a third party waste management company to whom we deliver our unsorted bins. The company then sorts the waste into separate bins for us and sends it to the waste management facility. This small change allows for greater and more reliable recycling opportunities down the line, as well as reduced reliance on downstream landfills. It’s estimated that half of all construction waste is recyclable – for us, it was a decision we needed to make, but also one where we see even further opportunities in the future.
Sourcing Material Locally
Lastly, when it comes to sourcing material, we always look to source recycled material wherever we can so long as it maintains the requirements and standards needed for the project. We also prioritize localized sourcing of materials instead of having a product shipped in from international locations or from overseas. We’re firm believers in supporting local economies, and Canada has some of the best material and commercial suppliers in the world. Plus, the carbon footprint of international shipments is extraordinary, and while sometimes it cannot be avoided, it’s always a tradeoff for us.
As experts in the industry, our clients rely on our expert knowledge of building materials, technologies and ethical codes to ensure their facilities are built to the highest possible standard. This is why our staff continually work to keep abreast of the emerging green technologies, materials and systems in the marketplace. Learning how they can be utilized to achieve our client’s green-initiatives and sustainable visions is our highest priority. Green construction is increasingly becoming more and more important and we believe with time it will only become more prevalent in the industry and will soon be the standard for all builds. In the meantime, we’re proud to set and maintain the standard and our goal is to be ahead of the curve for our clients and in the communities we share.
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