How Is Climate Change Affecting the Construction Industry?

15th October 2021

As the world begins to take climate change more seriously, construction companies find themselves in interesting times. Nations around the world are altering their construction legislation to combat these changes, and Australia is no exception. Learn how the construction industry is already being affected by the effects of climate change, and what positive steps are being taken for construction to be part of the solution.

Climate Change Is Already Affecting Construction

The construction industry is one of the key contributors to climate change, but it’s a relationship that cuts both ways. As extreme weather events become more extreme and frequent, climate change has a range of implications for the construction industry.

Construction is critically reliant on road networks to bring heavy construction machinery to the worksite. When it comes to hiring a crane in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas, delays in how quickly cranes can come to the construction site affects both the budget and the deadlines of a construction project. Adverse weather can affect the surface stability of construction sites, driving the need for all-terrain cranes.

And if extreme weather events make construction work difficult or impossible? This leads to further delays, driving up costs even higher. Even outside of the most visible effects of climate change, higher temperatures have their own impact, too. Warmer climates can damage sensitive electronics and other components in construction machinery and reduces worker productivity. As the mercury rises, expect higher maintenance costs and lower productivity.

How the Construction Industry Is Stepping Up

With low-emission steel and concrete, electric machinery, sustainable building materials and the recycling of demolition waste, the construction industry is stepping up. From new technology to new practices, construction is aiming to be part of the solution to climate change.

Low-Emission Steel and Concrete

The manufacture of cement, concrete and steel are major sources of global carbon emissions. New technologies are coming out to reduce the use of limestone and fossil fuels in cement, which are the two key inputs that drive its high carbon footprint. Steel manufacture is also increasingly powered by renewable sources, rather than fossil fuels.

Electric Construction Machinery

Construction machinery is increasingly becoming electrified to avoid diesel engines or generators that produce emissions and pollutants. For example, there are electric options for hiring a crane in Brisbane and Gold Coast, from battery-powered minicranes to models that can be plugged into the grid.

Recycling of Demolition Waste

Sending demolition and construction waste to the landfill drives higher demand for new building materials, many of which are non-sustainable to make. Slower, more careful demolition practices produce less wastage. Metals, plastic, paper, brick and concrete are increasingly being recycled or reused.

Sustainable Building Materials

Building materials are increasingly made from renewable or recycled sources. Look out for new, sustainable building materials such as bamboo, recycled timber and plastic, prefabricated concrete slabs, and more insulation in panels.

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