Environmentally friendly projects are a growing trend. These projects are called green projects, or sustainable projects. The goal of sustainable construction projects is to consider the impact on the environment before, during, and after a construction project. Emphasis is placed on conserving resources during construction and installing systems to reserve resources once a building is occupied. This can have big payoff for your construction firm and can have major benefits for the environment.
Sustainable construction focuses on improving the efficiency of a structure’s builders and occupants. Whether through large or small changes, construction firms can begin to benefit from sustainable construction by applying these concepts to their current projects. Miami contractor attorneys with Cotney Construction Law can help you understand ways to reduce your environmental impact during a project while staying compliant with all necessary construction regulations. When going green, there are a few things to consider.
To think green does not only refer to green money, although sustainable projects can garner higher paying contracts as the value can be raised. To think green refers to the need to think about each step in ways that you may not normally.
Thinking green requires thinking beyond just your current job site and the way you are working in the moment. It requires thinking about future environmental impacts of the building, how materials may deteriorate over time and how the structure may have long-term implications to the world around it. It also requires thinking about each step from the materials and where they are sourced and manufactured to which are recycled or non-toxic. Solar panels, wind turbines, and rainwater collectors are just a few of the systems that can be installed to reduce a building’s resource consumption. Even something as small as properly installed energy-efficient windows can reduce energy use and improve owner satisfaction.
Thinking green requires that you consider pollution in every step. Not all pollution is in the form of physical waste — in fact, noise pollution is a problem for virtually all major cities. Quality of life diminishes as residents can’t sleep and workers can’t concentrate. Planted trees and noise barriers around loud sources of noise can make a world of difference for the people who will use a building long after your construction crew has left.
Reduce Material Waste
Sustainable construction focuses on reducing material waste as much as possible by using using recycled and non-toxic materials in addition to employing construction techniques, such as prefabricated construction. Employing these techniques can effectively reduce your dependence on materials that fluctuate in price and are at the mercy of the current trade war.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 548 million tons of construction and demolition debris were produced in the United States in 2015. This is more than twice the amount of waste produced by the general population. This waste consists of “steel, wood products, drywall and plaster, brick, and clay tile, asphalt shingles, concrete, and asphalt concrete.” This waste can be prevented by attempting to use as many materials as possible and by ensuring that your team completely cleans up and repurposes as much as possible after the project is complete.
Reduce Water and Environmental Waste
Environmental waste, such as water waste, is a major consideration in sustainable construction. It is easy at a jobsite to waste water simply by leaving taps on. In order to reduce environmental waste such as water waste on a job site, it is important to educate your entire team on sustainable construction practices. By keeping your team abreast of your goals, you will be able to reduce environmental waste.
Miami contractor lawyers will discuss ways to keep your jobsite from wasting unnecessary resources including water, while maintaining positive business value.
Ensure OSHA Compliance During Green Projects
Despite going green, it is still crucial that your worksite remains in compliance with regulations set forth by Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA). These rules and regulations ensure that the jobsite is kept safe for all workers while minimizing potential risks. However, when working with new materials, like you may find in sustainable construction, you may find yourself in uncharted territory on how to safely use these materials while also complying with safety regulations.
Miami construction lawyers who are familiar with OSHA regulations and construction law will help you navigate possible challenges when dealing with new materials. Further, they will ensure that you are prepared for OSHA inspections.
Consult an Attorney
Consulting a Miami construction attorney will not only help you keep your worksite in OSHA compliance, but will help you navigate potential pitfalls or considerations during a sustainable construction project. Further, an attorney will be able to help you ensure when creating the contract for a sustainable project, that all possible means for a dispute are addressed. This may include provisions for additional funding as sustainable materials may be more expensive, as well as provisions to avoid defect disputes should the sustainable materials create issues.
Employing sustainable construction techniques can improve your company’s public image and allow you to bid on projects that would otherwise be beyond your expertise. Some sustainable projects include features, such as hot water systems, indoor air quality systems, disaster mitigation features, water preservation systems, and even drought-resistant plants. Construction firms that keep sustainable construction top of mind can profit off of high-profile construction projects such as these.
If you need legal advice, Miami construction law attorneys with Cotney Construction Law will provide sound legal advice to construction professionals at every level and can assist your firm with any construction need.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.