Building sustainably is increasingly becoming a concern whether it’s the waste we are producing or energy we are using. The amount of products used by the construction means buildings have a substantially effect on environment and currently contribute significantly to irreversible changes to the world climate.

Buildings are the biggest producers of harmful greenhouse gases, this includes existing buildings as well as from the construction of new building. Essentially as inefficiencies in a buildings initial construction as well as the ongoing lighting and heating – building are huge CO2 producers, and as our population continues to increase its vital that construction companies improve their sustainability and we do as much as we can to existing buildings to improve their environmental credentials.

There are a huge range of sustainability and environmental issues within – so where to start? A holistic approach is not only to look at the energy efficiency of buildings but also the efficiency of the building process including planning, design, assembly and disposal which affects all members in the chain ranging from small building companies to large construction companies everybody has their part to play in ensuring we are building sustainably going forward.

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Photo: Building sustainbly at the C60 House

In order to ensure that we meet the government’s target of 60% reduction in the 1990 level of emissions by 2050 we need to ensure that the construction industry become skilled in modern and sustainable building techniques. So that one day building sustainably is becomes an integral part of building. Courses on offer range from environmental management systems at site level to sustainable procurement and management of waste water and energy; addressing environmental and social impact of construction projects on the surrounding environment.

Ignoring building sustainably is not an option and contractors (if not already) will have to adopt a more sustainable approach. The good news is that building sustainably offers businesses opportunity as more sustainable buildings are being demanded by environmentally aware clients and as the government drives forward eco-initiatives and targets, those businesses able to embrace sustainability will enjoy improved reputation and commercial benefits.