Environmental Management in Construction Projects

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In the history, a construction project has always been limited by conventional parameters; time, cost and quality. But, in recent years or in modern era, work safety and environmental needs has become more important topics to focus on. In this article we have tried to handle the environmental issues.

The activities within a construction project are usually and predominantly project-oriented, and naturally the processes are being held on a temporary construction site. Modern approach of the sector includes, in addition to achievement of conventional goals, needs related to environment, such as resource efficiency, emission control and preservation of biodiversity. According to these, this article aims an extended concept of management and its comprehensive methods in construction to the field of sustainability.

The main goals about environmental approach in construction projects are minimizing;

  • Emissions
    minimizing the use of (nonrenewable) energy sources
  • Construction Waste
    implementation of an effective construction waste management.

The most important environmental output of the construction sector is emissions due to energy consumption. The sector is responsible for almost half of the energy consumption in developing countries. Sustainable development has, besides ecological issues, also social and cultural dimensions. Aiming toward a sustainable built environment requires a paradigm shift where new objectives, in addition to the conventional ones, must be considered. Different stakeholders may have different priorities even for the same goal. Therefore, the needs should be considered and determined during design phase including all needs from all stakeholders (Customers, government, neighborhood, environment, etc.). Also, relevant software could be used during design and implementation phases.

The construction industry majors the other sectors as it transforms various resources into the constructed structure and infrastructure necessary for socio-economic development. However, despite its relevance for society, it is acknowledged that construction activities impact the natural environment. Construction waste, for example, has become an important issue, due to its increasing generation and to its potential adverse effects on the environment. Debris from construction and demolition projects constitutes 35% of solid waste in the world, corresponding to the largest waste stream generated in some countries. In addition, although construction waste is mostly inert, lack of management practices focused on reuse, recycling and other recovery alternatives reduces landfill space and results in loss of natural resources. Given the need to prevent and manage construction waste, several countries have developed and implemented a great number of environmental regulations, which specify limits for disposal in landfills, recycling goals, disposal fees and incentives to good waste management performance in recycling and management actions within construction projects to deal with the various kinds of waste generated and to assure legal compliance. [1] As mentioned above, the needs should be considered and determined during design phase including all needs from all stakeholders. Then, during implementation various strategies could be held such as independent waste management or joint waste management. In recent years waste exchange opportunities through Industrial Symbiosis is one of the brilliant methods that minimizes extreme waste disposal rate and could be held in any strategies.

As Artnivo EC, we are preparing waste management processes in all the projects we manage and guarantee the proper operation. By designing all our business management structures according to the waste management hierarchy, we aim to carry out activities that are least harmful to the environment. We provide regular training to all administrative and employee personnel to ensure awareness of the environment and waste for the continuity of existing systems. Records are kept on all the work done and it is planned how to improve the working conditions in the field with regular analyzes. We guarantee all these processes with ISO 14001:2015 certification.

In conclusion, the arguments to set and means to meet environmental objectives may be different in different societies, economies, and environments. The direction can already be addressed if we want to improve the quality of life by improving the quality of our built environment. The environmental economy can be included amongst other actors, like the monetary economy. The performance of the construction can be described and verified. Methods and tools are available to support this approach and there’s more to come. What is still lacking can be developed. All actors are invited!

HSEQ – Chief Engineer

Address: Turgaus g. 8-15,, LT-91247 Klaipėda, Lithuania
Phone: +31 6 84350484

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