How is Lignacite fine-tuning its manufacturing processes to support sustainable construction? Read on to find out.
What is sustainable construction?
Sustainable construction means that you design, build, operate and demolish buildings in an environmentally responsible and efficient way. A truly sustainable building must therefore have its environmental impact managed through each construction phase.
Important sustainable construction practices for construction companies to consider include:
Use of renewable and recyclable materials
For sustainability to be achieved, the materials and natural resources used in construction must be weighed up. This means that sustainable, renewable and/or recyclable materials should be used in buildings wherever possible.
Reducing the embodied energy in building materials
Embodied energy or embodied carbon refers to the impact of all of the emissions linked to a building material during its life cycle. Designers thinking about sustainable construction methods should therefore pick materials that have lower embodied energy before beginning their build.
Reducing the energy consumption of the finished building
A modern, sustainable development should be insulative, conserving heat in the colder months and keeping the interior cool during our increasingly hot summers. This means that future inhabitants can rely less on artificial sources of heating and cooling, which are energy intensive.
A significant amount of waste can put a dent in the ambitions of any sustainable construction. Reducing waste throughout the construction supply chain is therefore an important consideration in sustainable construction practices.
What is sustainable manufacturing?
Like sustainable construction, sustainable manufacturing tries to minimise its impact on the environment by controlling waste and consumption. This means that environmentally responsible practices must be integrated throughout the whole production process.
Key principles include:
Adhering to environmental regulations and achieving relevant certifications and standards is a common practice in sustainable manufacturing.
At Lignacite, for example, we have created a framework of processes that meet the requirements of ISO 14001, the international standard for environmental management. We also hold a certificate for ISO 50001, the global standard for energy management.
Sustainable manufacturing focuses on optimising the use of raw materials, water and energy. This includes reducing waste, improving production processes and minimising energy use.
The use of cleaner technologies is another important element of sustainable manufacturing. By reducing the amount of pollutants released into the air during production and distribution, sustainable manufacturers can help to minimise the carbon footprint of a finished structure.
Manufacturing requires significant energy. However, renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and tidal energy are increasingly being used by eco-conscious manufacturers to reduce fossil fuel consumption.
At Brandon, we have installed solar panels to provide us with a source of renewable energy. These panels now provide 12% of our electricity, and we are looking to install more at both of our sites.
The importance of sustainable manufacturing for the construction industry
Buildings can only be as green as the products used to construct them, making the sourcing and production of materials a key factor in sustainable construction. By embracing sustainable manufacturing practices, the construction industry can significantly reduce its environmental footprint.
At Lignacite, we are continually working towards our net zero goal, which we are aiming to reach by 2030. By promoting sustainable manufacturing, we can support more sustainable construction, creating green buildings with fewer emissions and a lower carbon footprint.