Moving Towards a More Eco-Friendly Construction Industry

30th September 2021

The construction industry of Brisbane and Gold Coast has a long history of leading the way in finding new and improved ways of working. This includes incorporating the latest innovations that are helping drive towards a more eco-friendly construction industry. Dive into the upcoming trends in construction technology, and learn how Surf City Cranes are adapting to reduce emissions, reduce waste and increase efficiency.

Electric Construction Machines

Brisbane and Gold Coast cranes rely on huge amounts of energy to power their work. While this energy has historically come from polluting diesel sources, cranes at the cutting edge are moving to electric.

For small lifting capacities, electric or hybrid crane models have existed for years, in both plug-in and battery-powered forms. Being compact and non-polluting, these models have been used in indoor construction sites where they can operate small loads without producing dangerous emissions.

Minicranes are challenging to electrify as they are mobile over a wide-ranging area, but battery models have come out to take on this challenge. It’s now possible to have rough- or all-terrain cranes that are non-polluting.

As for the largest of them all, there are even electric models for tower cranes. Electric tower cranes can be plugged into the grid, for constructions sites where the grid infrastructure is able to supply the amount of power needed.

Innovative Recycling Programmes

While construction machinery is going electric, they still produce a huge amount of waste and debris, especially if demolition is undertaken. As well as demolition waste, construction waste includes excavated soil and rock, vegetation, and contaminated materials such as asbestos and heavy metals. Tackling waste is key to reducing stress on the environment, both in terms of high resource consumption and the need to treat dangerous materials.

It’s an arduous process to sort this construction waste, but a wide range of uses exists to reuse this material. Bricks and concrete are crushed to be reused as filling materials for the road base and trenches. Plastics can be recycled into roofing and flooring products, such as cable ducting. Timber can easily be resized and reused.

Many materials can be recycled outright. Aluminium, copper, lead, zinc and especially iron can be recycled with nearly no loss in quantity or quality, even when recycled multiple times. Paper and cardboard comprise a large proportion of construction waste, and they can also be recycled into new products without loss of quality.

Sustainable Building Materials

Construction that uses sustainable building materials puts less stress on limited resources and are eco-friendly in their processing and recycling. Whether a building material is truly sustainable is determined by its entire lifecycle, which can make it difficult to classify. For example, vinyl flooring is both made from non-renewable sources and difficult to dispose of, but can be an eco-friendly choice if it is recycled from construction waste.

In this vein, the most sustainable building materials are recycled ones such as steel and timber from construction waste. In terms of new building materials, bamboo is one increasingly seen on construction sites, as it’s a quick and resource-efficient material to grow.

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