Go Green in ‘19!

Reducing Rainforests, Catastrophic Natural Disasters, Mass Famine and time is running out!

Okay, so there’s a split opinion over whether we’ll experience world-altering situations as depicted in movies such as “2012” or “The day after tomorrow”, but the fact remains that as a Planet we are at a pivotal point, and if we do not heed the warning signs then tipping point will have passed.

With fossil fuels diminishing, our eco-systems struggling through loss of forests and entire species becoming extinct is it a surprise that the one species that has contributed the most to these atrocities and our planetary downfall is us! The time has come for the Human Race to earn its place, to help preserve and save our world whilst continuously striving for improvement and development.

The Construction Industry has a huge part to play in 2019, with 99.9% of what we want to be achieved being carried out through various construction projects across the globe, the way in which the industry conducts itself will be under scrutiny, ensuring that quality and timescales are kept and met, whilst the ever-important costs are kept at affordable levels. Fortunately, to help achieve these goals the world of construction will not be entering 2019 unarmed. So, what can we expect to see more of in 2019 to help combat these issues?

Sustainable Building

A green or sustainable building is a building that can maintain or improve:

  1. the quality of life and harmonize within the local climate, tradition, culture,
  2. the environment in the region,
  3. conserve energy, resources and recycling materials,
  4. reduce the amount hazardous substances to which human and other organisms are (or may be) exposed and
  5. the local and global ecosystem throughout the entire building life-cycle

As the demand for houses increases each year and a number of cities reporting an increase in homelessness (Dublin for example reportedly has 10,000 homeless people alone). It has become ever more important that we build sustainable buildings, I can remember being told in school the world population was 4 billion and in my lifetime already that has almost doubled, with little signs of slowing down. The importance may not seem obvious to begin with, however with increasing populations and only a limited amount of landmass available to build on (habitable), every square meter every design every detail needs to be perfectly accurate. Ensuring that buildings are not erected based just on the here and now, but factor in future years to come.

Modular Buildings

A little more complex than an IKEA flat pack but highly effective and offering a sustainable alternative to traditional construction methods. Firstly, Modular Buildings are made with recycled and recyclable materials where possible. Although not entirely recyclable, many of the products in modular buildings are and the ability to dismantle and relocate these buildings with minimal impact on the environment whilst providing a greater lifespan than traditional buildings will only serve as positives as we move into 2019. One of Modular Buildings top attributes is the use of energy, modular buildings are constructed off-site piece by piece, this construction within a controlled environment means that there is  less wastage of resources and materials, whilst taken roughly 50% less time to construct and proven to be highly energy efficient. In fact, when we look at energy efficiency even closer, you’ll find that many of these buildings are installed with solar panels, energy efficient glass and many other green features. Reducing not only the energy consumption within the construction process but also helping it’s future occupants to save on energy costs!

The Rise of Technology

Okay, sowe’ve not quite reached hoover board levels, but the fact remains that technological advances have excelled dramatically in the last 5 years. The more man and machine come together the greater we can achieve, from Wilmott Dixontrialling the first Exoskeleton, developed by Eksobionics (It’s basically like the suit Matt Damon wears in Elysium) to help support workers with heavy lifting, providing them with above human strength to take on more strenuous loads. This could mean the reduction in some plant equipment. Electric vehicles, whether a company car or an electrically powered excavator, the crossover from fossil fuels to electric energy is essential and will inevitably be the norm in years to come. Another piece of equipment people should be more accustomed to seeing in and around projects next year is Drones, the introduction of drones enables organisations to gain observations and views of certain projects or buildings that were never accessible before. This is could include both flying and underwater drones, allowing us to identify and rectify potential problems before they occur along with a host of other benefits. These are just two examples of technology we should expect to see more of in 2019 and if we can successfully integrate technology like these into the construction industry on a more regular basis then those involved in any projects will be able to more accurate and effective decisions.

I don’t run out Green Peace or declare to be Captain Planet in the flesh, but we have one world and the responsibility to look after it and to ensure the long-termfuture for everyone.