Kirsty Hammond, editor of Specifier Review looks at how far we have come towards sustainable construction.
It’s a well-known fact that we are in the midst of a housing crisis. With environmental concerns evident, the pressure is on to not only to build quickly and efficiently, but to do so with energy efficiency and sustainability at the forefront of our minds.
But whilst we desperately need the ‘homes of the future’, we don’t have to wait for the solutions and technologies that can help ensure that these homes are much more sustainable than previously.
With advances in technology, research in sustainable materials and new building processes available, we have already come a long way …
There are multiple benefits from the offsite construction process as several articles have already focused on The Hub, including this one focusing on a recent event with George Clarke, where he calls on the industry to “stop building in fields”.
Wastage is minimised as the required building materials can be more accurately calculated, therefore saving money – which has to be good news in a tough economic climate.
Working offsite in a factory also delivers a controlled environment which improves working conditions for those involved. Who knows, if we can increase the factory produced methods of construction in this way, we could also see an increase in the number of females entering the profession as few seem ready or willing to enter building sites as a career?
Transporting the finished product direct to site also minimises the use of heavy machinery on the site and speeds up the construction process, with houses being built in weeks instead of months.
Not forgetting of course the increased potential for overall site safety and a reduction in the impact of the construction process, in ground disturbance, noise issues, disruption to local residents and pollution from the use of less vehicles on site.
Quality in services
Another advantage from off-site construction is that all of the building services can be built into each modular element, awaiting connection when the individual modules arrive on site. This allows for more control of tolerances and quality.
Anyone who has installed heating, air conditioning or ventilation in a building knows that all of this work is weather dependent and they are generally working around other trades at the same time. which can sometimes mean a compromise in the final interpretation of the design. If this affects performance by even a small degree, then the equipment is unlikely to work to the optimum efficiency it was designed for.
This article was originally featured on The Hub.
To continue reading the next segment, lighting technology and sustainable roofing visit: https://les.mitsubishielectric.co.uk/the-hub/building-for-a-sustainable-future