Building a Green California: Sustainability and Technology in Construction
In our industry, we like to work hard. But we know it’s not always about working harder, but it’s about working smarter. That’s where tech can help!
As the construction industry continues to evolve, making processes better and more efficient, there’s a growing opportunity to utilize tech in our sustainability efforts.
Have a passion for tech? Want to learn how we use it to make our industry better for the Earth? Keep reading for three of the latest and greatest in construction sustainability.
Recycled and Biodegradable Materials
Here’s a startling fact: Did you know that concrete, steel, and aluminum — some of our construction building staples — make up 23% of global carbon emissions? At almost a quarter of emissions from these three materials alone, it’s up to our industry to reevaluate our materials, make substitutions, or significantly reduce how much of those materials we use for each project.
We know just how important recycling is in our everyday lives, so it makes sense that it should be a regular practice in construction, too. This is where tech and material production find their crossroad.
One type of sustainable material is Timbercrete, a lighter form of concrete made from combining sawdust and concrete, developed by ceramic technician Peter Collier, that doesn’t sacrifice strength or durability. With cement production producing 8% of global carbon emissions, this is a great eco-friendly swap.
Anything we can do to reduce our contribution to landfills and carbon emissions is a welcome change in our industry.
Next time you’re replacing the lights on your ring lamp, consider reaching for an LED option! It’s a simple swap that can make a huge difference. LED lights produce light 90% more efficiently than standard bulbs. With lighting making up 15% of global electrical use, LED should be used whenever possible.
Adding to their benefit, the U.S. Energy Department estimates that widespread usage of LED can save more than $30 billion in electricity costs. It’s good for the environment AND our pockets, so the construction industry is increasing LED usage in designing homes and other building projects.
You can utilize it in your own home, too! Whether you’re switching old bulbs to LED or decorating your room with colorful LED light strips, your swap makes a difference.
You’ve likely heard the buzz around solar power, but fewer people utilize it than you might expect. According to the Pew Research Center, 46% of Americans have considered installing solar panels, but only 6% actually have.
So, how does it work? Solar panels absorb sunlight and then use that energy to heat up water or air, making it a natural substitution for our normal energy production. They save money too, providing buildings with free energy for years beyond installation.
As we see more pushes for sustainability across our industry, we can incorporate solar power into more projects — and maybe one day it will even become an energy standard across the board!
We’re just getting started with how much technology can truly benefit our industry and planet, though, and an exciting shift is happening in construction as we continue to develop new ways to promote sustainability.
Ready to pair a passion for sustainability with a rewarding career? We’ve got you. Check out the Sustainability Manager Career page to learn more. With your help, we can #buildalegacy that is greener than ever!