A sustainable future must be designed or it will not happen
Sustainable engineering offers opportunities and those who lead the agenda in this area will reap the rewards.
We are seeing increasingly higher efficiency standards and specified sustainable construction methods – something that will increase as innovative engineering solutions continue to be put in place. It is certainly a bold program, but coupled with a more forward-looking view of all players in the construction supply chain, from planners and local authorities to architects and developers, it is certainly a program that can only bring about a meaningful and effective change.
However, the sustainability of engineering can be difficult to define. For those working at the forefront of the industry, it is about the environment, corporate responsibility, surveillance and, of course, health and safety. UNESCO defines sustainable engineering as the process of using resources in a way that does not compromise the environment or deplete what is available for future generations. This requires an interdisciplinary approach with close cooperation across the engineering spectrum and is not the sole responsibility of an individual.
It is more than just reducing waste in the supply chain and using environmentally friendly products; even if it remains essential. It is about thinking outside the box, embracing smarter ways of operating and doing business, and should include how to add value along the supply chain, overcome tough environmental challenges. and provide innovative solutions that those at the forefront of transforming visions into building reality can implement. Innovation is the watchword.
Considering a sustainable approach to engineering from the start of a project will invariably save time and resources, provide greater flexibility in a changing construction landscape, and minimize the disruption and inevitable threats that occur in the supply chain.
So what exactly does durability look like? It’s hard to be precise, but ethical business practices, professional oversight, close engagement with people and communities, and reducing the impact of design and construction on the environment while grasping the the business opportunities that this offers must be included in everyone’s interpretation of a better and brighter future. .
Sustainable engineering is important from all angles; after all, greener design reduces the carbon footprint and today’s engineers must design for energy efficiency, mass efficiency and low environmental emissions. So those buildings focused on reducing their carbon footprint through more sustainable design will inevitably help produce a much cleaner future for the environment.
The way engineers design and build with sustainability in mind can reduce a building’s operating costs. Renewable energy engineering makes your building less reliant on traditional energy sources, while something as simple as replacing traditional bulbs with LED bulbs can help reduce energy costs and energy costs. replacement. Additionally, once sustainability policies and procedures are in place, businesses will continue to reap a wide variety of benefits, including lower operating costs, fewer tenant and landlord complaints, and increased market value of the property. property.
Indeed, adding value to the owner can be another long-term side effect of sustainable engineering – buildings are able to increase their value over time. For example, while it may be a large initial investment, the output of a building constructed on sustainable principles will increase in value as it continues to perform as intended, generating value year after year. .
Those who take a sustainable approach to customer service will not only reflect the leadership of the engineering industry, but will also continue to reap the rewards by opening more new business opportunities for themselves through long-term growth.
Sustainability is at the heart of responsible civil engineering. This is one of the main reasons why government, developers, builders and others in the construction supply chain insist that ever more energy efficient buildings be designed and manufactured using the latest “green” methods and materials. This is expected to continue, as innovation in building design and construction remains a key driver and new construction techniques and materials are introduced. Indeed, those who can consistently meet BREEAM and other sustainability assessment standards for buildings will continue to guarantee long-term performance and margins.
Civil engineering creates infrastructures on which we all depend and on which we build our lives. It shapes and influences the environment in which we live, for the benefit of all. It must aim to offer a better quality of life to the communities it serves. Engineers work to improve our quality of life, but in doing so, they have a duty to future generations to minimize the impact of their activities on the environment. And to drive change, working with the entire supply chain will only accelerate the speed at which sustainable engineering is becoming mainstream.
- Ross Oakley is Managing Director of Civil and Structural Engineering Company RWO
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