Ideologies of sustainability, especially in construction are perceived in favor of sustainable development. A good contractor and civil engineer works at the best interest of meeting the demands of the current technicalities of constructions and correlation to the present generation. However, attainment of sustainability is faced by several issues that are patent to construction issues. Adequate concepts should be exemplified and comprehended to avoid misconceptions that in turn implicate to essential procedures of construction such as procurement and design processes. Similarly, sustainability construction should be maintained by noting the long-term impacts it has to the global economy, culture, environment and technological advancements.
List of Figures
Figure 1.1: Waste Reduction Processes
Figure 1.2: Recycling of Waste (Processes Involved)
Figure 1.3: Main Procurement Activities
The global gross domestic product is contributed by many industries from various fields of developmental business. Among the industries, is the construction industry that accounts for a larger percentage of the GDP. Already developed and developing nations are constantly under the industries operations in directly procuring all contracted constructions. However, these constructions do take place under strategized programs that enhance the sustainable construction. Under these programs, procurements, designs, innovations, adaptability and mitigation of climate and other related risks, biodiversity and waste management are looked upon to ensure that the global focus to sustainability is achieved. The subject and debate around sustainable constructions is affiliated to other issues conjoined to civil engineering outcomes. Conducting sustainable construction as a civil engineer capacitates the recognition of geotechnical constrains and environmental risks to underway infrastructure and building constructions.
According to Kennedy 2004, sustainable constructions have been faced with impending issues surrounding ecology, culture and technology. He perceives that a holistic approach to these issues alongside other possibilities is the most sustainable method in which contactors can change the global village to one full of certainty, especially in the construction industry. Having centered on buildings, Kennedy proposes a series of housing suggestions that if practiced, can lead to the achievement of construction sustainability (Kennedy, 2004, p 12).
Figure 1.2: Waste reduction processes
Questionnaires are filled and answered by the sub-contractors
The Main contractors together with the sub-contractors review the waste, and the necessary action is taken to fully minimize the waste and provide strategies for its management
Qualitative Checklist 2
Experiences that are encountered are to be shared and learned.
Demonstration of the best recommendations regarding finance and environmental results
Required feedback is given to the client by the main contractor
The main contractor requests for the waste information reports from the sub-contractor
Qualitative Checklist 1
Waste is estimated by the Sub-contractor
Main contractor is responsible for the preparation of waste site and management plan
The targets for the w aste are targeted by the clients
Sustainability Construction Issues
a) Civil Engineer/Contractor comprehension
Similarly, they ascribe that sustainable construction was derived from a proposition that civil engineers should be responsible in their constructions. The proposition aimed at attaining sustainability. In support of the proposition, all contractors work with the objective of assessing new methodologies in building and construction with the intent of creating a healthy environment. The creation of this environment is expected after the utilization of resourceful and ecologically-based concepts while constructing. As an expected outcome, comprehensive sustainable construction or development should ensure that buildings and infrastructure should satisfy the principles of sustainable construction.
According to Hill and Bowen, 2000, sustainable construction is the provision of referred points to a construction contractor on different methodologies of refurbishing a design, infrastructure or building in a sustainable way. It mainly substantiates the designs that favor minimal wastage, lean designs of constructions, less pollution towards the environment, enhancement of biodiversity, resourceful conservation of water and the respect to the human environment and physical environs. The above favors are attained by use of four principles and strategized frameworks for sustainable construction. These principles are over-arched and process-oriented to provide a cornerstone of practice to a civil engineer (Hill and Bowen, 2000, p 223). They argue at a greater level about the concepts that most contractors ignore that bring forth sustainable construction and related issues. Hill and Bowen also assert that sustainable construction is never affiliated to semantic problems. This is due to the description detailed per se before any construction, panning or design is set to take place. They assert that despite the clarity of details, an inherent confusion is normal an issue with most constructors. It is mostly reverted to sustainable development. However, in applying any coherent comprehension, any civil engineer is expected to appraise the management of service in building any structure, it de-construction and necessary recycling of building materials. This achieves the ultimate goal of sustainability.
b) Legislation and creating awareness
Different literatures have tried explaining their context behind the innovation of sustainable construction and its issues. According to a DTI construction brief, sustainable construction has been adopted to effectuate responsible civil engineering operations. Environmental responsibility, social awareness and economic profitability are the key strands emphasized (DTI, 2004, p 3). Moreover, contractors are encouraged to work under a specific goal of encouraging the continuity of sustainability in construction even in the future. Better buildings and infrastructure are some of the practices that construction contractors should work upon in ensuring that sustainable progress is stimulated. In accordance to sustainability strategy of construction, Laing 2003 proposes that several issues should be prioritized to curb the ever emerging challenged allied to construction.
According to Laing, legislation is among the most recommended in driving the change towards sustainability. Achieving sustainability is faced by the amendment of several building regulation, which can be in favor or not to the environment. Consequentially, other relevant areas towards the environment such as water and energy production and emission are also affected. In curbing causative implications, legislations ensure that sustainable buildings follow developed policies that suggest the best level of practice towards construction. It is evident that there have been numerous global debates all with the aim of ensuring that legislation and other joint initiatives by governments in creating awareness not only to building engineers and contractors, but also to the public. In summary of his publication towards construction engineering, Laing mainly objectifies the ineffective strategies that underpin sustainable construction.
c) Sustainable Construction Implementation
In most growing economies, there are departmental areas of construction that deal with the relation of construction to the environment and transport sectors. According to Howard 2000, these departments consist of components that are essential in developing the construction industry through sustainable construction. In accordance to the components, social progress, economic growth, environmental protection and resourceful utilization are prioritized to ascertain the policy development of sustainable construction (Howard, 2000, p 5). However, just as Hill and Bowen argued about comprehension of sustainable construction, Howards adds up that the latter is an intrinsic and complex subject with contradicting variables to the construction contractors. In the same way, sustainable construction misconceptions are highly perceived and cause counter-intuitive issues implicating negatively to the industry.
Howards contends that among the vitality of issues facing sustainable construction is waste management. According to him, sustainable construction can be achieved effectively by ensuring that fewer materials are wasted through recycling. Developments in constructions have shown that quantities wasted especially after demolitions have reduced in comparison to the high demand of recycled materials. Recycling is among the most important strategies of sustainable construction by preserving capacitated landfill (Howard, 2000, p 5). In his argument, more than 40% of construction-generated wastes arising from construction repairs, maintenance and new built buildings and infrastructure. These wastes alter the environmental balance and hence do not contribute in attaining sustainable construction. Long-term effects are experienced to the landfills. These impacts are traceable to the quantifiable evaluation of components to the transport sector and in the regulation of noise and dust.
Sustainable construction is reliant to the recycling and reclaiming industries. Despite the area of waste extraction, there is greater reuse of materials from mainstream constructions. Howard further suggests that more reclamation of materials is also cost-effective as less processing is involved, more chances of employment are created and construction resources are efficiently utilized.
d) Risks of Sustainable Construction
Slivka tries to exemplify sustainability through the assessment of risks pertained to constructions. Globally, several councils have been at the forefront in championing for the attainment of constructive sustenance. The United States Green Building Council exceptionally sponsors the use of eco-friendly construction materials objectively for sustainable construction. The council heads the Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system there by championing energy efficiency and safe environmental constructions (Slivka,…