Initiatives in the
that set the standard in 2023
Ready to go Green? – Here are our top 4 sustainability trends
/initiatives from construction businesses in 2023
One way the construction industry is leveraging technology to make building more sustainable and environmentally friendly, it’s using green solutions that significantly reduce negative impacts on our environment. The major trends in this area include green building solutions that significantly reduce negative effects on the environment, as well as advances in modular construction and the use of AI technologies for project management.
In addition, a recent innovation in the concrete industry presents self-service concrete stations that allow for reuse and recycling. This new way of processing concrete can help to significantly reduce carbon emissions created by the transportation of concrete over long distances, it is a self-sustainable route which involves re-using as much water during the concrete production process while also reducing overall waste at work sites.
1. Concrete Self-Service. Fibo Collect
Some of the long-running staples of the construction industry, such as concrete production and transport, have a seriously high impact on the pace of climate change. Studies have shown that concrete alone can contribute to up to 8 per cent of the world’s CO2 emissions.
Switching to greener substitutes for cement is one-way concrete producing firms can get ahead of the sustainability curve. They should also try using less environmentally harmful ways to reduce carbon emissions in their concrete production process.
A great example of this lies in the Fibo collect Concrete self-service batching plant. This technology gives contractors and individuals the opportunity to buy exactly the correct amount of competitively priced, quality concrete without creating waste.
In terms of sustainability, the machine is able to filter and reuse washout water for new concrete batches. The recycling unit also separates the washed-out aggregates for potential reuse, therefore, saving money and the planet.
The advantages of this technology are rooted within its local positioning enabling local tradesmen to get just the amount of product needed from a location close to their site, therefore reducing the miles spent in the bulk transportation of concrete delivery.
2. Smart Retrofitting
However, If sustainable development is going to be achieved, construction companies and builders must follow protocols set out in the UN’s Paris Agreement. This document’s compelling environmental policy describes specific regulations aimed at reducing society’s greenhouse gas emissions, in turn causing leaders in the construction industry to make more efforts towards greener practices and reporting on their company’s carbon footprint.
With 80% of the homes that people will inhabit in 2050 already built and up to 75% of today’s buildings still expected to still be in use by 2050, the construction industry must prioritise retrofitting existing buildings at scale to meet energy-saving targets as outlined in the UN Paris Agreement.
That is why fitting new systems designed for high energy efficiency and low energy consumption to buildings previously built without them can be a very important contribution to supporting more eco-friendly construction practices.
3. Building Information Modelling (BIM)
Although this technology is not new, this year has seen an increase in its use, especially to ensure sustainability parameters in construction projects. This modelling consists of the creation of a shared data model and is available for all concerned in the construction process; from the designers of the building to the construction company, and finally the property owners and managers.
These models can also contain information related to the construction life cycle and its expected maintenance requirements. Information such as time planning, cost estimates, and of course sustainability should be modelled.
Building information modelling contributes to transparency practices for contractors and advises on the structure’s overall construction and operation of the building early on, providing greater sustainability at the design phase before spending anything. This means that only environmentally-responsible materials and methods can be used, as well as saving time and money on reworking and rescheduling.
Using BIM data and simulation tools over the whole project lifecycle enables less wasteful construction and more cost-effective, sustainable operation, maintenance, and eventual decommissioning.
Smart retrofitting implementation can mean a sophisticated amalgamation of multiple technologies, like Digital Twins tools that integrate data from several sources to provide an understanding of real-world conditions such as energy flows, environmental conditions, and material attributes.
The integration of smart technologies will also help the industry meet decarbonisation targets, gather activity data, and allow building components to “talk” to each other, as well as a central system, making buildings more efficient and reducing their environmental impact.
4. Modular Construction
Modular construction has been around for decades, with this year being an especially popular time to use the method. The practice consists of designing and building components in factories before transporting them directly to the site where they can be fitted together using cranes.
This method is an excellent way to reduce material waste and maximise reusable resources. When modules are built in controlled environments, they can be taken apart or reused right where needed, saving time and resources
Another benefit According to Unsustainable Magazine, modular construction technique encourages delivery optimization, reducing the environmental impact. “Overall, modular buildings require 90% fewer site deliveries, with a resulting drop in carbon emissions. “ meaning that efficiency in this area can have an incredible effect on sustainability as well.
Fibo Intercon Helped Build One of The World’s First Recycling Concrete Buildings
Pelican Self Storage is one of the world’s first buildings made from recycled concrete. It has set new standards for sustainable construction and handling of construction waste. This project is pioneering in the field of sustainable construction, developing constructively usable recycled concrete with the support of the Ministry of the Environment in Denmark. It is an example of how the positive development of an increased focus on sustainability and the circular economy in society can turn into concrete projects with significant environmental benefits.
Due to the greater focus on minimising CO2 emissions in the construction industry, Pelican Self Storage wanted to demonstrate the production of concrete structures that have aggregates made from crushed concrete and bricks from demolished buildings.
The purpose of the project was therefore to develop a total concept for the on-site reuse of the demolition materials. The goal was to make the new structures with 80 to 100% of the concrete produced from the demolished building.
Valuable natural quarried resources were saved by adopting this method of construction.
When a concrete building is demolished, the standard procedure is to crush the concrete and reuse it for a road sub-base.
At Pelican Self Storage, it was decided to challenge the standard procedure by re-using the crushed concrete from the existing buildings as aggregate for the concrete elements of the new warehouse.
The key benefits were:
- Reduced cost of purchasing quarried aggregates
- Lower transport costs as the material were already on site
- Reduced CO2 emissions from the reduced transport
- The process promotes the concept of the circular economy
The construction industry is under pressure to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. However, it is also important to note that the construction industry is making significant strides in this area.
There are a number of high-green technology trends that are emerging, which offer hope for a more sustainable future. It is clear that the construction industry is taking sustainability seriously and is investing in new technologies to help achieve this goal.
“Sustainability in concrete is our strategic goal. Helping our customers and ourselves to reduce our carbon footprint is our path towards it.
The future is green in the world of Fibo Intercon.”
Henrik B. Jeppesen
CEO Fibo Intercon