Based in Grapevine, Texas, Chaparral Concrete Equipment strives to bring greener solutions to the construction industry. Chaparral is the number one source for concrete mixer trucks, plants, and other construction equipment. With more than 85 years of combined experience, the experts at Chaparral believe that construction has a lot of potential for being greener.
Over the last few years, the green movement has picked up full steam. Between electronic waste, energy consumption, and pollution, companies in every industry attempt to find ways to build and operate as environmentally friendly as possible. From gravel and gas to manpower and money, construction requires a lot of resources; with the right approach, however, contractors and major companies can cut back on their carbon footprints.
Countering the Waste Problem
Architects and building planners play a major role in building green. These methods are useful in two ways; on one hand, they cut back on overall costs and, at the same time, reduce the need of excessive waste removal. Here are a few strategies planners can use to cut back on waste before breaking ground:
-Start by setting waste reduction goals from the beginning. This strategy works best when designers keep specific elements in mind and find solutions to counter waste-generating building practices.
-When designing, keep local in mind. Does the rock from the foundation need to be shipped across the country? Find something more standard. Transportation costs and carbon emissions counter any aesthetic qualities.
-During the later phases of design, it is important for architects to share their objectives with subcontractors in contracts. Again, local is important.
-Incentivize green participation. This means designers should encourage builders to build as green as possible by offering rewards generated through saved expenses.
-Understand that waste will be generated. Write up strategies for efficient removal and disposal.
When it comes time to build, site supervisors should go above and beyond the original waste reduction plans. Recycling is helpful, too. Supervisors should ask their suppliers to buy back any materials that were unused, and can request them to ship materials using reusable containers or pallets. When weather is a factor, find ways to prevent material loss to avoid having to purchase more materials. This cuts down on additional costs, not to mention the environmental cost of shipping.
When possible, builders should find suppliers who utilize renewable materials. Construction managers can also reuse and recycle waste on a site. Backfill, for example, can be stocked by utilizing demolished concrete and rubble. They can also utilize any cleared trees and foliage for mulch, use timber for spacers, and use old insulation for padding top floor ceilings.
Site managers should also get to know their local salvage and recycling companies. These businesses often turn waste directly into cash. For odds and ends, consider selling excess or old materials online or finding government agencies with recycling protocols.
Unfortunately, nearly $1 billion in construction materials are stolen or broken every year by vandalism and theft. Over the course of a major project, this can add up to tens of thousands of dollars and wasted materials. Consider on-site security systems (i.e. cameras, guards, etc.) to protect the site.
By default, construction sites create a lot of runoff from cement mixing, vehicles, and water. Topsoil is washed away during storms, and these chemicals can affect groundwater, streams, and nearby vegetation. These outcomes may also result in injunctions and fines.
Site managers need to implement safety and cleanup measures to prevent local pollution. Here are a few common strategies:
-Plant rye grass to provide added stabilization to potential runoff
-Cover drain inlets
-Make sure vehicles do not have any leaks or are not left on when not in use
-Use spill kits for cleanups
-Keep fire prevention systems on hand
All said and done, builders can document their “Go Green” efforts to help the building achieve LEED (or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. There are a number of other initiatives available that offer rebates and other accommodations for green building. Another way to help the future is to build with deconstruction in mind. Design for Disassembly (DfD) cuts down demolition costs. This means the building uses recyclable materials and is easy to disassemble.
Most new buildings attempt to meet green standards by implementing green energy solutions and new concrete equipment. Solar, wind, and geothermal power cut down costs and, by extension, prove to consumers that a business keeps an eye on its carbon footprint.
Architects need to keep green in mind during the design phase. Solar energy, for example, can keep a building’s lights on and reduce electricity consumptions. Office building systems usually show a return on investment within five years. The same goes for geothermal heating and cooling.
Water usage, according to Chaparral Concrete Equipment, is another area of concern. New buildings should install low-flow appliances and greywater recycling systems to reduce overall consumption. Air quality, for office buildings, is also important. Poor quality air can spread illnesses and, ultimately, reduce a company’s productivity. The most obvious benefit of going green is the savings, though there is also the knowledge that builders are doing their part for the environment.
Based in Grapevine, Texas, Chaparral Concrete Equipment is a family company founded in 2000. The company trades approximately 6,000 mixer trucks every year.