As an industry we are becoming increasingly aware of our environmental responsibility. Sigma Homes recognise the expectations placed upon us. In recent years, the bar has been raised of where sustainability should be in the building sector.
What is sustainability in construction?
In simple terms, sustainable construction means employing building methods that reduce the industry’s environmental impact.
In Ireland, building is responsible for 50% of the country’s produced waste. This is due to us being a linear construction economy i.e. we make, use, dispose of our materials. Therefore the very nature of Irish construction is unsustainable and needs to be re-imagined.
Thankfully, the IGBC (Irish Green Building Council) is leading us in moving away from a linear economy and towards a sustainable circular model. Circularity keeps extracted materials, re-using them to the highest possible level. A sustainable circular system has zero waste. It copies the regenerative cycle of nature, reducing fossil fuel use and avoids extracting the earth’s finite resources. As a result, there is significantly less carbon emissions and impact on the environment.
The impact of these changes
It is also important to consider the sustainability of the finished building. The retrofit grant scheme has made great strides in improving the energy efficiency of many Irish homes. By powering homes with renewables, updating windows and doors and properly insulating houses, thousands of homes around the country are burning far less oil and gas. Similar sustainability targets should be set for all new builds.
Ireland has a wealth of biodiversity with wildlife and habitats unique to our country. Construction is necessary and essential for the growth of the economy but we must also take great care when developing and disturbing the land. Site activities such as clearance, setup, groundworks and construction all have implications for natural habitats and wildlife. It is the contractor’s responsibility to adhere to guidelines set out for each phase of a build in order to limit the amount of disturbance caused by the project. By doing so our wild flora, fauna and marine life will be protected.
Our clients and partners are becoming more environmentally conscious and demand for sustainable homes is rising. Sigma Homes are waiting to help you with your sustainable build. Call us today to get started on your project.