How to Trade Paper-Based Systems for Sustainability in Construction

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As we race against climate change, the construction industry, by nature, continues to be one of the top users of natural resources leaving a damaging footprint in the environment.

In recent years, sustainable construction has become a growing focus to reduce its negative impact. While there are some challenges involved in embracing sustainable construction methods, there are also a lot of great benefits in adopting these methods.

Green building; image: Shutterstock

What is sustainable construction?

Sustainable construction is the use of renewable and recyclable materials when building new structures, as well as reducing energy consumption and waste. The primary goal of sustainable construction is to reduce the industry’s impact on the environment while improving the way people live.

Why is sustainable construction important?

Damage is caused to the environment because of the construction industry’s energy usage and emissions. It’s been reported that the construction industry accounts for 36% of worldwide energy usage and 40% of CO2 emissions.

In order to have healthy communities, we need clean air, natural resources, and a nontoxic environment. The 3-R’s, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” sets the blueprint for communities to promote a sustainable future, but industries like construction play a pivotal role in driving impact.

Sustainability design; image: Shutterstock

How can it be achieved?

What can the industry do to drive change and lower its impact on the environment? It starts with understanding sustainable construction and where your company fits in that box. Once you understand the role you play, you can start adopting the proper methods, like the ones discussed below.

Minimize costs and increase value

Green buildings have been shown to save money through reduced energy, water consumption, and long-term operational and maintenance costs. It’s projected that the green building market will be among the fastest growing industries worldwide. In the US it is expected to reach $103.08 billion by 2023.

Using sustainable construction reduces the cost of production and increases the structure’s long-term value.

Say no to paper and yes to technology

Paper-based systems are no longer practical. A study conducted by ACA Research found 21% of construction businesses were still using paper. By implementing technology like Bluebeam Revu, you can save time and money while making a positive impact on the environment.


Fun Fact: In 2020 alone, Bluebeam helped the construction industry digitize documents totaling to 80 million. Creating this many documents digitally instead of using paper saves roughly 4.5 million kilowatt-hours of energy, or 2.3 million pounds of greenhouse gases. That many sheets of paper would cost around $800,000, which could buy roughly 2,000 tablet computers for construction workers to use on a jobsite.


Reuse, Recycle, and Reduce rework to produce less waste

Around 30% of overall construction work is rework. While external factors may be out of one’s control, such as natural disasters or material shortages, internal factors weigh heavily on a company.

With renewable resources and technology that enables efficient communication and collaboration, companies can cut back on the amount of rework in projects – producing less waste.

Conclusion

Sustainable construction is more achievable than before, and it no longer needs to be more expensive to deliver. The key is to invest in the time and resources to fully understand how your business plays its role in a positive environmental future.


Looking for sustainability and a better way to manage your projects?

You can try Bluebeam Revu for yourself with a full working version on a 30-day free trial. If you want to transform the way you do business and positively impact the environment with Bluebeam Revu, contact Applied Software. The experts of Applied can help you champion the solution that is right for your company.


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