There's been a growing interest in “green,” eco-friendly practices among industrial construction companies. Back in 2005, McGraw-Hill Construction estimated the value of green commercial building construction in the United States to be $3 billion. Fast forward to 2010, and McGraw-Hill estimated the value to be somewhere in the ballpark of $43 to $54 billion.
Turn Off the Generators
According to an article published in Global Construction magazine, many industrial construction companies run diesel generators 24 hours a day, which is a huge waste of fuel and resources while releasing unnecessarily large amounts of CO2 and NOx emissions into the atmosphere. Because diesel generators consume the same amount of fuel, whether they are powering devices or not, construction companies can cut costs and promote a greener environment by turning them off at night.
Green Building Materials
Commercial construction companies may use green building materials as an Eco-friendly practice, as well. Such materials typically consist of lumber harvested from a forest that has been certified by a third-party as a renewable source. This may include dimension stone, recycled stone, recycled metal, straw and bamboo. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages construction companies to use other recycled industrial materials like foundry sand and coal.
Stabilize Surface Soil
Dry, arid ground is susceptible to soil loss as dust – a problem that's easily prevented through surface stabilization techniques. For instance, applying water or mulch over the worksite will help to stabilize and secure the soil so it isn't blown away. Industrial construction companies may also create a graveled area where employees and vehicles can enter and exit without disturbing the soil.
Of course, we can't talk about Eco-friendly construction practices without mentioning recycling. From plastic water bottles and aluminum cans to used oil, filters, fluids and tires, there's a plethora of materials on a typical construction site that can be recycled. Employers and jobsite managers can set up recycling bins for commonly recyclable materials, encouraging workers to use them instead of the trash.
Properly Dispose of Chemical-Soaked Rags
It's not uncommon for industrial construction workers to clean up oil, gasoline, solvents, and other chemicals using rags. Leaving these chemical-soaked rags outdoors, however, may result in the chemicals being washed into nearby streams and waterways. Industrial construction companies can prevent this from happening, however, by encouraging workers to place used, chemical-soaked rags into a separate trash receptacle.