Sustainability is not just in design; it’s also how the products you select are manufactured and sourced. Architects can select sustainable products, and building owners and developers should know how the products in their projects are manufactured. Particulate and CO2 emissions, raw material usage, and proximity to the project site are all factors that should be considered when choosing products.
Below are products that are manufactured in a sustainable manner to consider for your next project.
Prefabricated and Modular Products
One way that owners and developers can choose sustainability is by using prefab and modular products. As opposed to traditional construction methods that send a considerable amount of waste to the landfill, prefab products are made in the factory, where the extra materials can then be reused.
Also, because prefab often has more precise measurements, there’s less waste and tighter joints, resulting in better wall insulation and air efficiency. There are also many other benefits to using prefab products and systems in construction. Below are examples:
Precast Building Systems
A precast building system can include a variety of components designed to work together. Components can include floor and roof planks, wall panels, beams and columns, stairs, and more. There is reduced construction site disruption when such a system is built offsite in a weather-independent environment. Plus, most precast products are produced locally which means shorter travel distance and less fuel consumption.
Designed using 3D modeling, prefabricated bathroom pods are complete rooms assembled in a factory that are installed and connected to mechanical, engineering, and plumbing services within hours on the project site. One example is bathroom pods by Oldcastle SurePods®, a CRH Company, that are used in hotels, hospitals, military barracks, and multi-family residential projects. Benefits of using SurePods include reduced waste and an accelerated schedule since all steps of the build are automated and done in a controlled assembly environment.
Unitized Curtain Wall Systems
These type of curtain wall systems are assembled and glazed within a factory, and then shipped by elevation to simplify installation. Due to the speed of installation, unitized curtain wall systems are well suited for large projects.
A totally inert, emission-free substance, precast does not emit any gases, toxic compounds, or VOCs. Precast products do not contribute to “sick building syndrome,” and they leave a smaller environmental footprint than other building methods thanks to increased recycling and reuse. Additionally, they can be made from plentiful, local materials that come from natural and recycled sources which are widely available. Precast concrete building products correlate with at least four categories of LEED certification.
Plus, in projects where there are environmental considerations, precast concrete minimizes impact to the surrounding area because the precast structures are manufactured away from the project site without any formwork.