When you think about a construction project, the word “green” may not come to mind. Traditional on-site builds can be expensive, time-consuming and potentially harmful to the environment. Buildings and construction sectors combined are responsible for 36% of global final energy consumption and nearly 40% of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions. On-site builds require long project schedules, disturbance to the immediate environment around the construction site and a massive amount of wasted materials and cleanup.
However, while the statistics are staggering, there is a silver lining. Off-site construction is proving to be both eco and wallet-friendly. Several key factors make off-site and prefabricated construction the green choice in more ways than one.
How Off-Site Construction is Environmentally Green and Cost-Effective
- Environmental Impact: Structures produced by off-site construction are typically higher quality than those constructed by traditional on-site methods. Because most of the work takes place in a factory-controlled environment off-site, the quality control process is more exact. Off-site construction’s superior quality control process mitigates the need for unexpected project delays for repair, errors and oversight that may occur during on-site construction. Furthermore, the higher quality buildings produced via the off-site method require less maintenance after their completion, therefore reducing energy emissions.
- Cost Impact: Quality is perhaps one of the most important benefits of off-site construction. The controlled environment of an off-site facility provides the opportunity for more thorough quality inspections of units before they arrive on-site. This translates to less time wasted fixing unexpected problems and less likelihood that issues will be overlooked before completion.
Reduction of Material Waste and Cleanup.
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 164 million tons of building-related waste were generated in the United States annually. Recent reporting from the Waste & Resources Action Program (WRAP) shows that a 90-percent waste reduction can be achieved by increasing the use of off-site construction. This is because it can be much more challenging to gather, protect and re-purpose building materials on a traditional job site. Reducing the amount of time on-site eliminates the likelihood that waste will be left behind, and therefore, lessens the negative impact on the environment.
- Because less time and effort will be spent on the project site cleanup, the project cycle time will be reduced. Why is this worth noting? Because shorter cycle times reduce costs. Additionally, with off-site construction, developers can expect to spend less on machinery and human resources needed for heavy site cleanup, which traditional on-site projects demand.
Shorter Cycle Time.
- According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the construction industry accounts for 40% of worldwide energy usage, with estimations that by 2030 emissions from commercial buildings will grow by 1.8%.
With this in mind, the construction industry needs to take steps to reduce the energy required for a project. Reducing a project’s length will automatically reduce energy consumption. Off-site construction is known to have shorter cycle times than traditional on-site builds. These faster, more efficient construction timelines reduce the energy needed, therefore easing environmental disturbances.
- Just as shorter timelines reduce the energy emitted during a project, they also reduce cost. Off-site construction delivers faster turnaround because the components are constructed in a factory away from the site. This method has the advantage of more exact manufacturing and superior quality inspection. It also reduces delays due to weather and on-site hazards. With these major advantages, off-site projects are routinely completed on accelerated schedules, which means less money spent.
Tips for Choosing an Off-Site Construction Company That Will Help You Stay Green
If you’re looking for eco-friendly and cost-saving benefits on your project, off-site construction is the obvious choice. Choosing the right company to work with is vital. It’s important to keep these considerations in mind when choosing an off-site construction company for your project.
Tech and Equipment.
- When a business invests in the latest technology and top-of-the-line equipment, that’s a positive sign that your project will be completed in the most timely and efficient way possible. Search for a business that keeps their equipment up-to-date and has the newest tech at their disposal. This will most likely increase the speed of your project timelines, therefore reducing energy and cutting your costs.
Another factor to consider is the company’s location. A company that is located closeby requires less distance to transport prefabricated components to the job site. The reduction of travel time and vehicles to move the pieces reduces expense and saves energy, making a closer business a more sustainable option than one located far away.
- If your project has lots of moving pieces, consider inquiring about bundled services. Bundled construction services are extremely helpful for a project. Rather than booking multiple contractors, go with one company for a suite of services. Relying on a single company will help speed the process along and minimize delays and complications when a project changes hands.
- When embarking on a construction project, it’s best to minimize risk. Going with a young, untested company can be very risky. Go with a company that has proven value to other customers with accelerated project schedules, cost savings and sustainable practices.
ICG –– Committed to Customers and the Environment
At ICG, we’re committed to providing our customers with cost savings and being kind to the planet as much as possible. We have a history of delivering results for our customers for projects, time and time again. If you’re interested in seeing how ICG can help with your construction project, contact us today.