Sustainable building is, without a doubt, the future of the construction industry. As pressure for environmentally-friendly building practices increases, companies are discovering that ultimately, ‘going green’ saves cash. Recycling and reusing construction materials is a smart decision for all builders whether they are interested in environmentally-friendly building or not. Here are a few steps that may be taken to increase efficiency and reduce waste generated by construction activities.
Increasing the volume of recycled materials is an easy place to start. Research local material recovery facilities to check for rebate programs. As landfill rates have gone up, more and more contractors are looking for ways to increase recycling. To prevent useful construction debris from further clogging landfills, many material recovery facilities offer financial incentives for builders to recycle. These programs offer per ton discounts on debris that builders bring in.
Reusing materials is also a great way to cut down on jobsite waste. Many tools, wood/metal debris, and plastic products can be reused during the construction process to reduce costs. Another option is to donate used materials. Donating materials to non-profit organizations such as Rebuilding Together and Habitat for Humanity gives contractors the option to declare a tax deduction. Contractors can feel good about donating to organizations that improve their communities while simultaneously saving money.
Although many builders feel that environmental regulations for water and energy use are an inconvenient burden, they can be used advantageously. Emphasizing green building and waste reduction policies is great for public relations and, if implemented effectively, can reduce a business’ bottom line. LEED buildings are becoming increasingly popular as energy prices rise. Although energy efficiency costs more up front, it saves home and business owners a significant amount of money in the long run. Environmentally-friendly construction is becoming increasingly important to consumers; businesses who embrace sustainable building practices now will have an edge in the future home/business market over those that do not.
Taking precautions to minimize waste is one of the easiest ways to go green. Protecting newly installed finishes in a residential or commercial site saves money on potential replacement supplies and reduces waste. Companies like Builders Site Protection are happy to provide building companies with recommendations for recycled or reusable surface protection materials.
These are only a few steps builders can take to increase sustainability and reduce waste. Recycling and reusing materials not only helps the environment, it also has the potential to save contractors money.