Earth Day 2021: How Can Design & Construction Industries Practice Sustainability?

Today we celebrate our beautiful planet.

This year, a deadly pandemic has gripped our planet and climate change helped spark a cascade of natural disasters from raging wildfires to a ferocious hurricane season. With the theme being Restore the Earth, the focus of this year's Earth Day couldn't be more timely.

As members of the construction, design, and real estate industries, sustainability practices are always top of mind when starting a new project. And they should be.

Both sustainability and wellness design have important roles to play in conversations around climate change, the hot button topic of this year's Earth Day theme. If what we build and inhabit can reduce waste and emissions, increase human health, and simultaneously advance the goal of climate change, then we are doing something right.

You might be wondering - what are some ways architects, designers, and constructors can 'build' a stronger, healthier, and more responsible built environment, while also fighting climate change?

  1. Build with timber

  2. Use Pre-fab construction materials and modular construction

  3. Adapt and retrofit existing buildings

  4. Lean manufacturing & construction processes to reduce energy

  5. Material Selection - selecting materials manufactured from recycled products and from local sources.

We can all do our part in nurturing our planet. Buildings are a major contributor to global warming, but we can start to enact change by thinking about how we practice architecture & construction. By not doing so, the effects will be drastic and irreversible.

“The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.”

-Lady Bird Johnson

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