Will 2021 be the year construction goes green?

WOBO thanks SHP and Gareth Rondel for the article and considerations for achieving a “green” 2021.


Gareth Rondel, Environmental and Sustainability Lead at CHAS, considers whether 2021 could be a pivotal year in the construction industry’s efforts to reduce its environmental impact.


Gareth Rondel

Over the last twelve months it would have been easy for the construction industry to let the green agenda slip. Instead, there were encouraging signs that the sector’s journey towards net-zero is gathering momentum, with a number of factors having an impact.

Greener materials – With the manufacture of cement alone responsible for around 8% of global CO2 emissions, finding replacements for high-carbon materials is a top priority for the sector. It is also a critical element of the UK reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, according to a report by the research consortium UK Fires. Thankfully alternatives to traditional cement and concrete, including blended cements and concretes, concrete that stores CO2 and cements made from alternative materials, are becoming more widely available and affordable.

Better still, low carbon options are starting to outperform traditional materials. In January 2021, researchers from RMIT announced it has developed a new method for casting prefabricated concrete products made with rubber tyres, and construction and demolition waste that are up to 35% stronger than traditional concrete.

New ways of working – More advanced construction techniques are reducing waste and energy use and tackling other inefficiencies on building sites. As buildings become greener, so do construction sites with progress in off-site fabrication of materials, improved on-site maintenance, lean practices, waste reduction and landfill avoidance, all fundamentally transforming the way buildings are constructed……Read more



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