Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Environmental Impact Of Building Construction Can Now Be Predicted

Date:
February 18, 2009
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
Researchers have developed a method that makes it possible to evaluate the environmental impacts caused during the construction of buildings in advance. Before beginning the works, with just the project data, the new method makes it possible to predict up to 37 environmental impacts. This information, according to the creators, could help improve environmental management in the construction processes.

Buildings in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.
Credit: SINC

A team of researchers from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) has developed a method that makes it possible to evaluate the environmental impacts caused during the construction of buildings in advance. Before beginning the works, with just the project data, the new method makes it possible to predict up to 37 environmental impacts. This information, according to the creators, could help improve environmental management in the construction processes.

"This model identifies in advance the environmental impacts associated with carrying out a particular construction project, making it possible to program the inclusion of environmental improvement procedures or apply preventive measures right from the project study, planning and preparation phases", Marta Gangolells, a member of the Group of Construction Research and Innovation (GRIC) at UPC and one of the authors of the study, explained to SINC. The technique can be applied to the construction of both single-family homes and apartment buildings.

Researchers began by classifying the environmental aspects into nine categories: emissions into the air, water spills, waste generation, soil pollution, resource consumption, local impacts, impacts associated with transportation, effects on biodiversity and emergency situations and incidents. This division is based on the EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) Community Regulations, a piece of legislation that aims to improve organizations' environmental performance.

To increase the level of precision, the researchers subdivided these categories into specific impacts. For example, the "emissions into the air" category includes two environmental impacts: greenhouse gas generation (emissions from the machinery and vehicles used on the work site) and emissions composed of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFC).

New environmental indicators

The team has identified 37 environmental impacts, according to the online version of the magazine Building and Environment, and for each one they have developed an "environmental forecast indicator". This parameter, which is based on the information in the project documents, makes it possible to evaluate the impacts objectively.

Continuing with the example, the greenhouse gas emissions can be estimated by analyzing the volume of material dug per square meter of construction surface area and the existence of special machinery or electricity generators on the work site. On the other hand, the VOC and CFC emissions are forecast with the percentage of synthetic paints and varnishes used.

The project measurement status also includes other practical information, such as the amount of thixotropic mud (semi-solid) used on the site, which is used as an indicator of the environmental impact from "dumping water from the construction of foundations and retaining walls".

To draw up the study, financed with funds from the Ministry of Public Works, the researchers analyzed statistics from 55 new construction residential sites. By doing so, they established ranges related to the magnitude of each environmental impact (non-existent, hardly significant, slightly significant and extremely significant). They have also confirmed the validity of the method by testing it on four new construction projects.

GRIC coordinator Miquel Casals concludes that these results will offer "a major incentive to construction companies that want to follow an environmental management system, either under the umbrella of ISO 14000 standards (environmental management for companies) or the EMAS Community Regulations".


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gangolells et al. A methodology for predicting the severity of environmental impacts related to the construction process of residential buildings. Building and Environment, 2009; 44 (3): 558 DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2008.05.001

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Environmental Impact Of Building Construction Can Now Be Predicted." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204140815.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2009, February 18). Environmental Impact Of Building Construction Can Now Be Predicted. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204140815.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Environmental Impact Of Building Construction Can Now Be Predicted." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204140815.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) Speaking about the future of the United States Air Force, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh says the choice to divest the A-10 fleet was logical and least impactful. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jets Fuel Jump in Boeing's Revenue

Jets Fuel Jump in Boeing's Revenue

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 23, 2014) A sharp rise in revenue for commercial jets offset a decline in Boeing's defense business. And a big increase in deliveries lifted profitability. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) South Korean officials say North Korea is preparing to conduct another nuclear test, but is Pyongyang just bluffing this time? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins