Environmental Sustainability in Construction
As a firm, we have developed and followed a comprehensive environmental sustainability plan in each of the construction projects that we have undertaken thus far. Protecting the environment and minimizing the construction footprint is one of the core values of our company, so we perceive this responsibility to be of utmost importance while following the underpinning regulations is only the outcome of our methodical approach and not just an obligation. This is proven by the fact that we often go well beyond the limits and requirements of the environmental protection standards followed in construction, adding more value into it if it makes economical and architectural sense to do so. Naturally, this approach comes with a set of benefits that extend to the well-being of the society and the overall cost of the project. Where others see the requirements of environmental protection to be merely a costly obligation, we see an opportunity to actually reduce the execution and operation costs by being more efficient in all steps of the way.
Here are the main benefits that derive from the practice mentioned above:
• Less damage done to the land, air, and water
• Less demand for materials as we pay attention to the life-cycle of the project
• More materials getting recycled, so there’s less demand for new
• Developing a biodiversity promotion and natural beauty protection and development which can actually improve the local environment
• Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by spending less energy for the site operations
• Local communities are less annoyed by the construction, leading to less official objections and fewer delays due to complaints
• Site workers are infused with an environmental protection mentality, perhaps applying these good practices on future projects as well
• Gaining the trust of the local authorities and the environmental committees easier, and possibly developing long-term relationships to the benefit of all parties
• Fewer non-compliance fines and minimum delays caused by discrepancies with the legislation
• Reduced site operations cost through efficient energy management
• Better material resourcing from more reliable suppliers
• More in-depth tendering and opportunities identification thanks to the analysis of the associated section in risk management
To reap those benefits though, a solid environmental sustainability plan is required. We at KEN International have considered all aspects of construction management and incorporated interventions and policies in all key areas. Here are a couple of examples that showcase our know-how:
• Evaluating existing buildings – We consider the possibility of reusing or repurposing existing buildings, after evaluating their structural capacity and determining the extent and the cost of the required reconstruction and renovation. While this may not concern the critical structures of a project, it may serve for auxiliary power stations, storage points, or even as bases for the construction teams.
• Evaluating existing natural features – If we identify trees, or ponds, or other beautiful natural formations, we assess the potential of retaining and highlighting these elements instead of replacing them. If this is against the proposed architectural design, we explore the possibility of adjustments or enrichment that will offer a better aesthetic result using the indigenous natural elements while staying within the budget limits.
• Improve access to site and facilities – We collaborate with the local traffic planning authority to arrange the best plans for the project workers and the construction equipment to reach the site on a daily basis. This helps in reducing our carbon footprint throughout the duration of a project’s work.
• Minimization of wastes – By developing an accurate material sourcing and procurement plan, combined with a vigorous recycling practice, we end up having minimal waste materials. These are appropriately stored and transported to specialized recycling facilities/units, so nothing gets dumped to the environment.
• Optimization of energy expenditure – By monitoring our energy expenditure and comparing it against the work schedule, we can easily identify wastages and set up an energy spending mitigation plan. During the day, the site worker’s facilities are powered by solar panels, covering the lighting, cooling, and ventilation needs almost entirely through renewable sources.
• Minimization of dust and noise pollution – By utilizing complete pollution control systems of combined technologies, we achieve high levels of dust containment and noise dampening, and we also implement multiple reduction techniques.
• Use Eco-friendly materials – When we are responsible for the selection of the building materials, we always opt for Eco-friendly solutions, and when we’re not the ones to decide we make our case known in the form of a proposal report. For the selection of the materials, we pay attention to the relevant legislation and select those that are non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, were produced with low-NOx manufacturing practices, and do not contribute to the ozone depletion.
• Develop a biodiversity plan – Whether we are dealing with elements that we found on site and retained, or entirely artificially-created environments, we always develop a detailed biodiversity management and maintenance plan to help whatever ecological side of the project thrive.