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Sustainable Development in Construction: A Case Study

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Added on  2023-01-06

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This case study explores the goals of sustainable development and environmental aspects in the construction of a new condominium in Calgary. It discusses stakeholder involvement, engineering recommendations, compliance with guidelines, and risk mitigation measures. The study also examines the impact of constructing a natural gas pipeline and using a hydrogen pipeline.

Sustainable Development in Construction: A Case Study

   Added on 2023-01-06

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Introduction:
Any construction project plan which is implemented to improve the quality of life has both
build in positive and negative impacts on the environment. Sustainability in construction
refers to activities where we can minimize negative impacts and optimize positive impacts
to attain equilibrium between environmental, economic, and social. The three P’s People,
Planet, and profits are the dominant criteria in adopting a sustainable strategy [1]. According
to the WGBC (2020), 10 percent of global carbon dioxide emission is due to the building
construction industry [2]. Though, 50 percent of extracted natural resources and 33 percent
of Canada’s energy are consumed by buildings [3]. The Canada Green Building Council
evaluated that the buildings generate thirty-five percent of landfill waste while consuming
up to seventy percent of municipal water [1]. The Calgary ecological footprint was projected
to be between 9.5 and 9.9 global hectares Gha per person which exceeded the Canadian
global average ecological footprint of 7.6 & 1.8 Gha per person [4]. This case-study report
will highlight the goals of sustainable development and environmental aspects while
developing a new condominium in the city of Calgary.
Stakeholders:
Owner/Sponsor.
Main Consultant.
Sub Consultants.
Government Agencies.
Prime Contractor.
Sub-Contractor.
Local community.
Suppliers.
Customers.
Non-Government organizations.
First nation.
Summary:
A building is measured as sustainable due to its design, construction, and operational
features. While a green building is built to curtail or remove adverse environmental impacts
and create positive impacts on the ecosystem and the natural environment. Under the UN
sustainable development goals about net zero carbon policy, it is now need of an hour to
implement the sustainable methodology in construction for the betterment of future 7th
generations. To apply sustainable development and environmental stewardship, we will
Sustainable Development in Construction: A Case Study_1
consider the below-mentioned engineering recommendations in our project throughout the
construction:
1. It is recommended to prepare the project sustainability management plan in the
starting phase of the project based on project life cycle activities. Identify and
prioritize the noise, air, water, dust, and visual pollution aspects during all stages of
the project [5]. For Instance, anticipate plantation in the project sustainability
management plan to reduce noise pollution and absorb carbon dioxide for the
improvement of mental health [6]. Moreover, implement the application of highly
efficient building systems, climate-resilient systems, and resilient building strategies
that offers a positive sign of sustainable development during the project life cycle [5].
Green building bureau (2022) suggested some energy-efficient strategies such as
including the maximum size of windows for natural light and ventilation, adopting
proper insulation of the exterior walls and windows as per temperature, and an
efficient ventilation system [6]. The case study of Mackimmie Tower at the University
of Calgary is the perfect example of net zero carbon building where all sustainable
parameters are incorporated initially in a sustainable management plan [7].
2. Moreover, we should comply with the (ECO) Environmental Construction Operations
(provided by Calgary Municipality) and (LEED) Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (managed by Canada Green Building Council) guidelines or
checklists as a framework during all phases of the project with a goal of lower
environmental footprint [6], [8]. Afterward, evaluate your Zero-Carbon Building
standards annually by providing anticipated embodied carbon, operational carbon,
and avoided carbon emissions values to Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC) for
achieving the ZCB- Design certificate [9].
3. Subsequently, it’s also suggested to highlight sustainable outcomes and
environmental stewardship indicators in the project life cycle. In order to do that the
selection of subcontractors and vendors based on the environmental management
systems model (ISO-14000) is one of the important steps toward long-term
environmental stewardship [5]. In addition, the Green Business Bureau (2022) has
provided some provisions in the areas of construction, energy, and waste to
promote environmental stewardship during construction. These construction-based
suggestions are the selection of non-volatile organic compound (VOC) paint,
adoption of recycled recycle materials, and adding rain barrels [6].
4. Consulting with multi-discipline professionals (Environmental, Electrical,
Mechanical, Geotechnical, Lawyers, and Socialists) about the latest green building
regulations, tools, and technology before initialization any vendor, sub-contractor,
and procurement is an active way to address environmental and sustainability issues
Sustainable Development in Construction: A Case Study_2
smartly [5]. Waste and water management dealings of relevant technical
professionals will be surely beneficial for the eco-friendly building and lessen carbon
emissions. Based on their technical competencies, it is advisable to consult with
them about how effective it will be to deal with gravy water and deep irrigation
systems in the water management system. Similarly, how efficient will it be to
implement recycle program to reduce waste before sending it to landfills and
incinerations in the project? These measures will definitely decrease operational
costs, reduce environmental impact, and improve the health of the occupants [6].
5. Engineers should implement risk mitigation measures to minimize environmental
depletion. It is mandatory to identify relevant threats based on the likelihood and
consequences and mitigate the risk to acceptable levels [5]. The municipality of
Calgary provided the environmental construction operations (ECO) guidelines and
checklists to counter the risks associated with safety, hazardous materials, and
environmental emergency prevention and response. These risks could be the result
of natural events, accidents, human error, or improper work practices. Examples of
potential risks include contaminated spills and releases it into the environment, the
discovery of historical contamination, and erosion of lands and water courses[8]. ECO
recommended the contractor to equip with the following procedures that may
impact the environment:
Emergency training provisions for the contractor and sub-contractor about the
awareness and responsibilities[8].
A list of hazardous available materials on site with their location [8].
Immediate response action of environmental incidents to relevant authorities [8].
Initial response action to be taken on emergency response [8].
Post-emergency measures, disposal, follow up and improvement of procedures [8].
Investigation & Analysis
The development and growth are two essential aspects of human, but we as an engineers
must be responsible and incorporate sustainable development practices in our profession.
As we’ve already established that sustainable development is necessary in engineering
because it strives to achieve development without compromising on sustainability, but at
same time it also focuses on keeping the environment clean. While sustainability is holding
onto resources for our future generations to fulfill their needs. Thus, sustainable
development can be summed as being advantageous in the longer run for economic and
social change [10].
For this case study we are constructing a new condominium in the centre of downtown at
Calgary. Therefore, for this our object is to investigate the impact this construction will have
on the environment and try to mitigate them. As during various phase of construction there
Sustainable Development in Construction: A Case Study_3

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