Malcolm Blakey, owner of Finedale Construction, examines how the construction industry can help address the environmental challenges we face today
We believe it is important to always be aware of the impact of our industry from the early stages of design through construction and completion. Significant, realistic and affordable changes must be made for the good of the environment as well as to ensure a sustainable business continuity plan.
We have started to introduce a number of plans which are easily achievable and which will ultimately help address the immense environmental challenges we all face today.
Over the years, Finedale has learned a lot about our impact on environmental challenges and how to improve our planet. One of our most unique ideas is the shape of a wildlife wedge that we implement in all of our residential developments.
During the design process, we designate a suitable location within the complex to house wildlife. Our insect hotels, hedgehog houses, bird and butterfly nesting boxes all contribute to a healthy ecosystem allowing wildlife to thrive in their homes without interruption. Healthy ecosystems clean our water, purify our air, maintain our soil, regulate the climate, recycle nutrients, and provide us with food. They are therefore incredibly important and beneficial to our lives.
Additionally, Finedale has chosen not to use concrete bottom panels on our fences, we still use traditional fences that allow hedgehogs and other wildlife to roam around gardens and other environments.
Additionally, Finedale provides every completed property with a kids’ wildlife guide, as education is possibly the most important factor when it comes to tackling environmental challenges. The guides explain which animals and insects they can spot in their area and how each of them plays its role in the environment.
In addition, we carefully select the plants to use, keeping the best homes and the best food for our wildlife, ensuring that the gardens are rich in biodiversity. This encourages multiple beneficial elements such as seed removal, pollination, natural waste removal and of course the design will look great too!
Being eco-responsible is just as important for our animals as it is for us. For this reason, we also have eco-friendly options for property buyers, for example, the use of water tanks for watering the garden. While practicality comes first, we also want to design aesthetic concepts across all of our properties so that each addition is practical but also visually trendy to encourage continued use.
Transition to environmentally friendly processes
The items listed above are focused on the buyer’s efforts of the construction industry. But the question is always how during the construction industry can play our role. The answer lies in the design process. Finedale provided a number of factors that we believe are achievable and essential to help with this transition.
- Natural light is essential to minimize buyers’ use of artificial lighting, as natural light lowers the cost of living and is therefore multi-beneficial. To ensure that there is as much natural light as possible, this should be kept in mind and designed at the start of a building plan.
- There are many environmentally friendly materials that can be used for both construction and design, for example bamboo, recycled steel, cotton, cork, and good old-fashioned wood. Also, when in the design stages of developments look at the “unused” areas that add no value both in practice and in value to you as a developer and look to convert them to green areas, it adds not only an environmentally friendly aspect, but a visual as well.
- Recycling, as everyone knows, is extremely important. Where possible, recycle materials and source recycled materials as well. Maybe even take a look at your own recycling and see how you can recycle, remake or recycle your products.
- When your project is financially viable, introduce environmentally friendly energy systems. Use roof angles for solar panels and attics for clean air solutions with low energy consumption. As solar power relies entirely on collecting energy from the sun and converting it into electricity and hot water for homes, incorporating these elements into designs means buyers won’t produce any greenhouse gases. nor will they contribute to global warming. Overall, solar panels can reduce your home’s carbon footprint by 80% in one year.
- Whenever possible and site space permits, you can also separate the waste collection. Separating recyclable materials into separate dumpsters is a simple and effective step, be sure to research the different waste disposal companies available that provide proper waste disposal methods.
- Also consider installing eco-friendly and affordable systems in homes, for example, this may include eco-friendly boilers and air filtration systems. Modern technologies are often developed to be eco-conscious and reduce costs too.
- Consider swapping out old equipment for newer versions, if you are in a position where a new product is needed or an old one replaced, look to get newer models that release less carbon emissions.
- Train your staff on the importance of fuel emissions, noise pollution and make sure machines and installations are only turned on when they are operational. When machines are left idle, they should be turned off and well maintained to avoid unnecessary noise or fuel pollution.
Training and education can make the biggest difference. With a team up to date with the latest developments and advances in the sector, its products and materials will result in an environmentally conscious company. As new resources become available, we recognize that our current process and method of completion may need to be adjusted and modified to support our country’s ongoing efforts for environmental change.
Being green is a goal that most businesses want to achieve, although we hope to be as green as possible it is also important to remember that as an industry there is much more we can do to start our journey towards a better future. respectful of the environment, tomorrow.
Malcolm 0 Blakey
LinkedIn: Finedale Construction