How Construction Affects the Environment - Woodhart Construction

How Construction Affects the Environment

9th June 2022

At a time where sustainability is the number one focus in every business, it is only natural that a company in our sector should be very mindful of their environmental impact and what they can do to reduce it.

Want to know how the construction industry impacts the environment? Keep reading!

Exhausting Natural Resources

According to the World Watch Institute, our industry consumes 40% of the world’s usage of raw stones, gravel and sand, as well as 25% of the world’s virgin wood annually. While many companies opt for using alternative natural or 3D printed materials, we are still a long way from improving this statistic and reducing our usage.

Construction and Pollution

As of early 2021, it’s believed that the construction sector accounts for more particulate air pollution, water pollution and noise complaints than any other industry.  Research conducted by Bimhow shows that the construction sector contributes to 23% of air pollution, 50% of climatic change, 40% of drinking water pollution and 50% of landfill wastes.

What does this all mean? In short, construction companies are big contributors to climate change.

Effects on Wildlife 

Continuing on from pollution, it is important that we talk about the way construction impacts the environment and wildlife. Unfortunately, the same loud noises and bright lights that irritate you, affect wildlife too. Species such as bats, badgers and birds are largely inconvenienced by construction sites, with their natural day cycle being disturbed by construction works. 

And it doesn’t stop there… Construction can often have some long term effects, including:

  • Air and Water Pollution
  • Hydrological Impacts
  • Isolation
  • Population Fragmentation

Changes caused by our industry can have a great impact on animals, forcing them to change their ways of living and even relocating, which in turn reduces their population.

Waste Problem

One of the biggest problems we face in our battle for a sustainable future is waste. In 2018 alone, the UK generated 43.9 million tonnes of commercial and industrial (C&I) waste and it’s safe to assume that our industry plays a big part in the problem. So why do we generate so much waste as an industry? 

Construction companies rely on fast, cheap solutions that will inevitably need replacement annually and in turn, generate more waste. This is where waste management comes in – it is important that each construction site has a Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) that is drawn up before a project commences. 

Woodhart and Sustainability 

Here at Woodhart, we take sustainability very seriously and we take the necessary measures to ensure that our environmental impact is as minimal as possible. Our architects maintain an up-to-date knowledge of sustainability in design and provide clients with an extensive range of eco-friendly options for responsible, future-proofed projects. 

When it’s time to start a new project, we incorporate an extensive overview of the overall workings in the first stages, providing the following:

  • Local, sustainable sourced material
  • Responsible waste segregation
  • Subcontracting locally
  • Shared transport to reduce fuel emissions 
  • Strong materials to reduce waste
  • Energy efficiency calculations
  • Building to the Passivhaus standard
  • Green walling and roofs

Want to know more about what we do? Check out our Instagram page for updates on our projects!