10 pollution prevention methods to implement on the construction site
Pollution prevention (P2) is a hotly debated topic in most sectors of the economy. P2 reduces or eliminates waste at source through various methods. For example, modifying construction processes to reduce or eliminate waste is considered a pollution prevention method.
In honor of Earth Day, the construction industry can work to reduce pollution and make the construction process more energy efficient. However, Earth Day doesn’t have to be the only day of the year to keep the environment front and center.
When determining how to reduce pollution, especially on the jobsite, consider the following 10 prevention methods to take the next step in protecting the planet.
1. Use water to remove dust
Dust is one of the main causes of air pollution on construction sites. Many building materials are susceptible to dust release, including concrete, wood, cement, silica, and stone. There are many P2 methods to reduce dust ingress into the environment.
A commonly used method is to spray the debris with water before it enters a debris chute. During grinding work, water spray can also reduce dust in this area. Water sprayers and sprinklers are essential for implement effective dust control techniques.
2. Adopt hybrid equipment
Equipment manufacturers are exploring new hybrid technologies for architects, engineers and construction professionals. For example, Volvo developed a hybrid excavator which is more fuel efficient than traditional machines and harvests “free” boom down energy.
Hybrid vehicles and equipment use advanced technology to reduce fuel costs and emissions, which can increase project profitability.
3. Cover water drains to avoid contamination
Any harmful debris or chemicals on a job site could potentially enter sewers and pollute local waterways. Building materials or toxic chemicals can seep through the ground and seep into groundwater or harm the wildlife that inhabit these water sources.
Covering water drains prevents water pollution or contamination, and it is suggested to opt for non-toxic chemicals. Yes you need toxic substancessite managers should monitor them closely and keep them tightly covered.
4. Place sound barriers to minimize noise
Noise pollution is not often mentioned. However, it can disrupt the natural cycles of animals. For many people living nearby, listening to noisy equipment is inconvenient, especially late at night or early in the morning.
A P2 method to reduce noise is to use quiet equipment or install movable sound barriers. These portable barriers control noise to limit nuisance in the immediate vicinity of the construction site.
5. Adopt careful forestry practices to reduce habitat destruction
When working on a project, clearing can be essential. However, companies must take steps to reduce habitat destruction and maintain biodiversity in an ecosystem.
For example, using ethically sourced wood rather than intensive logging, companies can minimize their impact on the environment and create sustainable habitats. Adopting safe clearing methods can help reduce habitat loss or fragmentation.
6. Choose green products, local materials and energy efficient equipment
Whenever possible, job sites should consider using green products, sourcing local building materials, and investing in energy-efficient equipment. For example, source from local distributors rather than transporting them over hundreds of kilometres, we can prevent pollution. It can also lead to reductions in supply chain costs.
Opting for durability should be a priority for professionals working on construction sites. Additionally, customers may feel more inclined to work with a company if they adopt sustainable practices or equipment.
7. Reuse or recycle water
Water reuse is another P2 strategy worth implementing on a job site. General Motors saves about $2 million per year by capturing and reusing stormwater to cool the towers of the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.
There are also water purification systems that allow businesses to reuse water and reduce their water footprint.
8. Adopt sustainable waste management techniques
Many processes on a construction site produce waste, there is no getting around it. However, implementing sustainable waste management methods prevents debris from entering and polluting the environment.
Take into account Energy Star Portfolio Managera free, easy-to-use tool that businesses can use to track waste, water, and energy consumption data to help improve their waste management strategies.
9. Regularly clean vehicles and equipment in wash pits
Cleaning vehicles and other construction equipment in a dedicated wash pit can prevent chemicals and potentially harmful substances from entering environments.
Vehicles and equipment that move from place to place can carry seeds of invasive or non-native species to other areas, potentially contaminating a habitat. Dirty vehicles or machinery also wear out faster than clean vehicles, which can help companies maintain their equipment and avoid costly replacements.
10. Use data-driven solutions to monitor pollution levels
The business world is increasingly data-driven, as leveraging data can help companies outperform their competitors.
Besides, many state-of-the-art data solutions for construction companies provide a better understanding of pollution levels. From there, site managers can take steps to reduce high pollution levels.
Building sites: consider implementing P2 methods
It’s no secret that the United States, especially the engineering, construction, and architectural industries, produce different types of pollution that have a negative impact on the environment.
The United States also spends tens of billions of dollars trying to control these high levels of pollution because they can put public health at risk. Businesses can do their part by leveraging the P2 methods outlined above.