Sustainability In Construction By: Kirsten, Flora, Nicoya, Meaghan, and Jessica



“Renovation is considered to be the action of improving the use of a structure by, repairing a building or house so that it is in good condition again. It can also be seen as remodeling or adaptive reuse.”
  • Constructing new, energy-efficient buildings can be less eco-friendly than renovating old ones.
  • Existing buildings in the U.S. make up about 39 percent of total energy consumed nationwide.
  • It can take from 10 to 80 years for a new energy-efficient building to overcome the negative climate change impacts made during its construction.
  • Renovated building savings are between 4 to 46 percent over newly constructed buildings of equal energy performance levels.
  • Building-related waste from construction and demolition accounts for nearly 60% of all non-industrial waste, which amounts to about 136 million tons annually.

New Building

New Building:

What is sustainability?

  • Over the past few years the terms ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ have become more popular
  • But these two terms often get confused with one another.
  • Green is often associated with expensive solar panels, geothermal heating, and net-zero. Instead of the more practical, energy efficient, and less costly practices.
  • Sustainability is defined in many different ways one being; it is used to describe the action of using materials that do not deplete resources or have harmful impacts without compromising the ability of future generations.

What is sustainability in Construction?

  • Buildings have the capacity to make a major contribution to a more sustainable future for our planet.
  • It is large and complex, making it essential to consider things from the beginning of the design process.

Why have sustainable construction?

  • The world population is increasing and with that being said the construction sector must develop solutions to meet these needs by creating decent housing and infrastructures, contribute to better lives in towns and cities, all while protecting the natural environment.
  • Buildings account for
  • 45% total carbon emissions (in the UK)
  • 72% domestic emissions (space heating and hot water) (in the UK)
  • 32% of landfill waste comes from the construction and demolition (in the UK)
  • 13% of the products that go to the landfills are unused (in the UK)
  • Consume more than half of the world's resources and 30-40% of the world's energy.
  • By improving the impact construction has we can fight climate change and provide good quality of life for occupants and contribute to economic development.


  • Leadership in energy and environmental design.
  • Changing the way we look at the way buildings and communities are constructed, maintained and used.
  • Looks at all types of buildings at any point in their life cycle
  • This group focuses on buildings but the effort is aimed to have a ripple effect throughout the economy and the world.

How can this be achieved?

  • It requires many steps.
  • There isn't much information about the site practices so hiring an independent client adviser with specialist knowledge of sustainability may be helpful.
  • Start thinking about this at the design stage in order to offer solutions.
  • Think about waste management

Sustainable Companies:

  • Bouygues encourages many companies to come together to make the most sustainable buildings. With many different views and ideas they can get the best results. Here is an example of one project, “Our innovation processes strengthen the partnerships that we forge with companies, laboratories, colleges and universities… Combining all of these skills enables us to carry out a large number of future projects with significant added value. For example: the designing of insulating concretes (Thermedia 3.0) with Lafarge, optimisation of window insulation with Saint-Gobain, and creation of the "Sustainable Building and Innovation" chair with the l’École des Ponts Paris Tech, l’École Centrale Paris, Supélec and the CSTB ( l’École des Ponts Paris Tech), etc.”
  • One tree Planted is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with entrepreneurs who want to give back to the environment. By planting a tree in a region of the world (specified by the partner) for each sale the small business makes.

Construction Waste

Construction Waste:

What is Construction waste?

Construction waste is any material created for construction and is later abandoned, regardless of the product/Materials condition.

Example: includes building materials such as insulation, nails, electrical wiring, shingle, and roofing as well as waste originating.

A large percentage of building waste is made up of materials such as bricks, concrete and wood damaged or unused for various reasons during construction. All products that are capable of being either recycled or reused.

  • The canadian government is aware of the seriousness in regards to construction waste and is said to be doing their part to create a change
  • One problem with the laws and regulation of this particular issue is that they are not controlled nationally or provincially but locally.
  • The problem with the municipal government regulating this topic is that it it is often not taken seriously and lacks enforcement.
  • Although there are some provincial and federal environmental laws, they do not seem to be enough.

“It is estimated that the construction industry in Canada generates about 9 million tons of C&D waste annually”

  • The Ontario government shares with us the need to practise the 3R’s,(Reduce, Reuse and recycle)
  • The biggest problem with this is the lack of enforcement
  • Building sites need to have a much more strict and enforced plan and rules to reduce the construction waste
  • Designers need to also have adbid by these rules in the designing process to insure that the buildings being design are to code

Alternative Solutions

"Construction waste reduction should be considered at an early stage and by all parties involved in the building process.”

The three R’s

Reduce- the unnecessary materials and products used in design as well as the hazardous, access materials being produced, clippings and scraps by planning the cutting more accurately, The waste created due to last minute changes

Reuse- The products and materials from building and use them in the building of this one, reuse extra material form this building and use somewhere else in the building, reuse any good leftovers from construction for another project. Reuse furniture and materials from old buildings and use in new one

Recycle-used recycled materials in new building, recycle any recyclable materials from new building

"Off the Grid"

"Off the Grid"

What is “Off the Grid”

  • Living off the grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on public utilities

Harvesting Rain Water

  • Harvesting water is the act of collecting rainwater to either store for direct use or to be recharged into the groundwater
  • Capturing runoff from rooftops, capturing runoff from local catchments, capturing seasonal floodwaters from local streams, and conserving water through watershed management
  • Capturing runoff from rooftops is the easiest and most common method of harvesting rainwater
  • Using a conveyance system
  • Materials
  • Which affects the quantity of rainwater harvested

Watershed Management

  • Watershed management is simply the process of managing upstream activities so that downstream remains healthy

Sewer Solutions

  • Septic system is the best solution
  • An alternative solution to a septic tank is a composting toilet (2 min youtube video about composting toilet)


  • Solar energy is energy from the sun in the form of radiated heat and light
  • Another power source is wind power
  • Another power source is micro hydro-electricity

Unique Construction

Unique Construction:

Unique construction is using alternative methods and materials to build more sustainable homes that will last for a long time, but still be good on the environment.

Some unique materials are:

Rammed Earth:

Compacting earth to create the walls of a home

There are many sustainable ways to create beautiful and unique homes, you just need to get creative with your materials


Packing the tires so they are strong and stable like bricks


A mix of natural materials such as dirt and straw

Straw Bale:

Constructing the walls of a home out of bales for straw

Glass and Plastic Bottles:

Packing the bottles with mud and using them as bricks within a home

Other Methods:

Using old parts from planes, ships, and shipping crates. Also renovating silos, water towers and light houses to become new homes

There are many sustainable ways to create beautiful and unique homes, you just need to get creative with your materials



Botta, M. (2005). Towards Sustainable Renovation. Stockholm, Sweden: Universitetsservice US AB.

New Building:

1. Sustainability in building design and construction. (2016, November 27). Retrieved September 30, 2016, from

2. Green sustainable building in Canada. (n.d.). Retrieved September 30, 2016, from

3. Better Buildings are our legacy. (2016). Retrieved September 30, 2016, from http://www.usgbc.orgleedgclid=Cj0KEQjwg8i_BRCT9dHt5ZSGi90BEiQAItdjpJLMWcuwyHxJWbjIQAJwkCmkZ_T_-3tdk7tvZc_I47gaAoOz8P8HAQ

4. Sustainable construction & cities. (2015). Retrieved September 30, 2016, from

5. Environment and sustainable construction. (n.d.). Retrieved September 30, 2016, from

6. Uzialko, A. C. (2016). Green Building Entrepreneurs Think Sustainability is Key to Economic Growth. Retrieved September 30, 2016, from

7. Kibert, C. J. (n.d.). Sustainable Construction (4th ed.). Retrieved September 30, 2016, from construction&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiglZ2Egb_PAhWDWz4KHc9YBEUQ6AEIJTAA#v=onepage&q=sustainable construction&f=false

8. Lafarge Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction. (2015, July). Understanding sustainable construction. Retrieved September 30, 2016, from

Constriction Waste:|A163771458&v=2.1&it=r&sid=summon&authCount=1|A163771458&v=2.1&it=r&sid=summon&authCount=1

Off the Grid:

What Is Water Harvesting? - (n.d.). Retrieved December 02, 2016, from

Collecting and Using Rainwater at Home | CMHC. (n.d.). Retrieved December 02, 2016, from

User, S. (n.d.). Watershed Management. Retrieved December 02, 2016, from

Dodrill, T. (n.d.). Off-Grid Toilets: Your Options For Life's Necessity. Retrieved December 02, 2016, from

Dunn, C. (2008). Generating Off-Grid Power: The Four Best Ways. Retrieved December 02, 2016, from

G. (2014). Retrieved December 02, 2016, from

Unique Construction:

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