C+S April 2022 Vol. 8 Issue 4 (web)

How Will These Impact Construction’s Future? Reducing, reusing, and recycling isn’t just a climate-conscious mind - set. It’s also a great way for companies to retain a competitive advan - tage and uncover hidden savings. Construction businesses that start building circular supply chains today will be in a better position than their peers when climate pressures and green-focused regulations come to bear even more intensely on the building industry. • Cost savings: Builders wishing to reduce their material sourcing and daily operational costs and pass the savings on to their cli- ents would do well to familiarize themselves with emerging ways to repurpose existing materials and build with reuse in mind. • Competitive advantage: Certifications like LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) are reserved for builders who take the long view when engaging in construction. LEED is the most widely used rating system for green builders and it exists in 162 countries. Clients are looking for this type of expertise and builders must know how to deliver. • Environmental aid: Consumers increasingly favor eco-con- scious companies of all types, making green builders some of the most highly sought-after organizations in the industry. The industry must continue to adopt sustainability at every level. As humankind reckons with the unfolding climate crisis, the old axiom of reduce, reuse, recycle should continue paying dividends and helping this sector change with the times.

owners have a better idea of how to dismantle the structure if necessary and which items can easily be used again. • Construction professionals should familiarize themselves with open-span structural systems, modular building techniques, and other assembly paradigms that make building adaptation, reuse, and material reclamation more straightforward. • Designing a building in a way that reduces the number and types of materials required can substantially reduce the eco - logical footprint of initial construction, as well as make ongoing maintenance easier and less wasteful. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Develop - ment (HUD), buildings that are highly repurposable and easily decon - structible and reusable share the following characteristics: • They are predominantly wood-framed, featuring “stick by stick” construction and heavy timbers like Douglas fir, American chestnut, and others. • Any specialty materials should be high-value and easily repurposed. • Any bricks should contain high-quality work with lower-quality mortar, making for easy demolition and repurposing. • Buildings should be structurally sound and built to last. Even if it’s destined to be deconstructed and repurposed, a structure that’s hardened against pests and the elements will produce a greater yield of recyclable components. The U.S. Environmental ProtectionAgency has a rapid assessment tool for builders . It should help identify and prioritize structures and materi - als for demolition and potential salvaging.


april 2022 csengineermag.com

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