Sustainable Construction Materials

Topics: Recycling, Architecture, Construction Pages: 9 (2438 words) Published: March 8, 2012

the construction industry has many advantages as well as many disadvantage. For one side, this industry provides new ways to improve our lifestyle and welfare, it help us to survive climate, and give us plenty of facilities to all the social need that we have. But the bad part of this industry is that in order to satisfy all our needs, the environment results damaged, due the exploitation of the natural resources needed to produce construction materials, and the devastation of natural ecosystems.

In this essay we attempt to demonstrate that even when the construction industry has several issues, there are many options to improve it and the impact of them in the environmental, social and economic dimensions can be considerably reduce in order to get a higher social responsibility.


1. Environmental Impact.
Half of the materials used in the construction industry come from the earth's crust, producing annually in the field of European Union (EU) 450 million tonnes of construction waste and demolition waste (CDW), that is, more than a quarter of all waste generated. The constantly increasing volume of CDW, with its increasingly complex nature as the range of materials used. This limits the possibilities for reuse and recycling of waste, which currently is only about 28% (in the case of Spain, 5%), which increases the need for landfill sites and to enhance the extraction of First [1].

In statistical terms, one can say that the construction sector is responsible for 50% of the natural resources used, 40% of the energy (including energy use) and 50% of total waste generated [2 ].

2. Social Impact
the increasing demand of more buildings in cities and the need to improve the welfare and lifestyle of the citizens leads to the need of create more jobs that work in the construction, however the work in this industry has been always one of the most dangerous, and even when the human right had made a positive impact in the sector, there is a need to give education to the workers in order to get more knowledge about the care they should have towards themselves and their job, having this knowledge can improve their possibilities to have a better lifestyle and improve their welfare. Moreover, there is a trend in the industry of having the workers in outsourcing this is due to the increasing demand of new machinery that can performance as the regular worker used to do. The outsourcing of the labor, makes workers lose their job, plus they are out of the social security system. 3. Economic Impact

the need to use elegant and more processed construction materials increase the overall cost of a builindg, plus we need to consider that the cost of extraction and transportation of them its even higher because lots of them are not easy to extract and process. And there are also some materials that can be used in construction but are dangerous Silver bullet: New materials and technologies used in construction industry In our opinion the one factor that can make the difference in the construction is the type of materials used…bla bla Importance of the selection of materials in the construction industry Currently the construction industry is responsible for the consumption of between 40% and 50% of the raw materials of the earth (Mellado, 2005), this has serious consequences for our environment and our quality of life because we are depleting resources that in the future will be needed; this is why the knowledge about what materials and technologies to use in construction is a determining factor in sustainable construction.

Green Building Materials
Every day there are new products or materials that claim to be sustainable or ecological; some of the characteristics that must have the materials to be considered ecological are: 1. Not deplete natural resources. I.e. Hardwood obtained from sustainably managed farms. 2. That its extraction doesn’t cause “ecological hurt”. i.e....
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