Eco-Friendly Construction Practices: 5 Ways to Make Construction/Demolition Green & Sustainable

March 27, 2024

The construction and demolition industry has long been associated with significant environmental impacts, from the loud rumble of heavy machinery to less visible carbon emissions and resource depletion. But as awareness of environmental protection grows, the sector is undergoing a groundbreaking transformation—towards sustainable, eco-friendly practices. There’s also the fact that the EPA and the government are incentivizing going green (1)for businesses of all types, including construction and demolition.  There are many ways that one could become green and sustainable. This post outlines five crucial strategies that construction professionals, sustainability advocates, eco-enthusiasts, and more can adopt to reduce their ecological footprint and contribute to a greener future.

Sustainable Materials: Building Blocks of Green Construction

One cannot overstate the importance of materials in construction and demolition. The move towards eco-friendly construction has seen a significant shift in material choice, prioritizing recycled, renewable, and low-impact alternatives.

  • Recycled Materials: Using reclaimed wood, recycled metal, or repurposed glass not only reduces waste but also consumes far less energy compared to producing new materials. Plus, they offer a unique aesthetic appeal and story. Recycled wood is perhaps one of the best material choices you can make, especially since wood stores carbon, so reusing it won’t create new carbon sources. 
  • Renewable Resources: Materials like bamboo and cork are rapidly renewable and serve as excellent alternatives due to their durability and low environmental impact. The more renewable a resource is, the better it can be for the environment. 
  • Low-Impact Alternatives: Green insulation options, such as sheep’s wool or cotton-based materials, minimize the use of harmful chemicals and reduce the energy needed for temperature regulation. When it comes to construction, there are many environmentally friendly alternatives to standard cement. There are some options for environmentally friendly cement on the market, with all of them being a safer option than standard cement. 
Recycle Materials

Energy Efficiency: The Power of Conservation

Incorporating energy-efficient systems and harnessing renewable energy sources can make a profound impact on the sustainability of construction projects. In demolition, this gets a little trickier, as we need to use power sources of some type to operate our machinery. However, there are a few general ways that nearly anyone can lower their energy consumption. 

  • Energy-Efficient Systems: Smart HVAC systems, LED lighting, and energy management technologies can dramatically reduce the power consumption of buildings. For those in construction, choosing smart, efficient systems is crucial. For those in demolition, choosing machinery that requires less resources and less power is preferred. HydroDemolition naturally uses less resources, less manpower, less time, and therefore less energy to complete, making it a smarter choice for demolition. 
  • Renewable Energy: Solar panels, wind turbines, or geothermal systems represent clean and inexhaustible energy sources, lowering the reliance on fossil fuels. Aggregate Technologies always tries to recycle and reuse wherever we can. We follow OSHA guidelines for on-site cleanup, treating, and the ability to recycle nearly half of the water used in our HydroDemolition jobs. We also always try to properly dispose of or recycle any debris or material whenever possible. 

Waste Management: Circular Economy in Action

A rigorous reduce, reuse, and recycle approach must be central to construction and demolition to minimize waste generation.

  • Construction Waste Management: Modular construction, precise prefabrication, and efficient onsite practices can significantly reduce waste. Looking for ways to reduce and reuse are important, and can be done by making small, actionable choices for every job. 
  • Demolition and Deconstruction: Environmentally friendly demolition techniques like HydroDemolition help preserve the integrity of reusable materials. Deconstruction versus demolition allows for the sorting and salvaging of materials for future use.
  • Long Lasting Choices: Choosing processes that last is important. Bridge repairs, and other repairs completed using HydroDemolition can last up to three times longer than standard demolition. This is because HydroDemolition is low-impact, creating no micro-fractures, while also cleaning and leaving the surface perfectly ready for bonding. HydroDemolition also saves materials, water, time, and energy, and reduces the risk of safety accidents. 
Deconstruction and Demolition

Water Conservation: Every Drop Counts

Efficient water management is vital in construction, with eco-friendly practices focusing on reducing consumption and maximizing efficiency.

  • Efficient Plumbing Fixtures: Low-flow toilets and faucet aerators can substantially cut down the water usage in buildings.
  • Rainwater Harvesting: Collecting rainwater for non-potable uses like irrigation and flushing toilets is a practical and sustainable solution.
  • Reuse Water Sources: As in HydroDemolition, one should always collect, treat, and reuse their water source whenever required. Aggregate Technologies uses a closed-loop system, allowing for water treatment and reuse on the job site. This saves money, time, resources, and energy that would have been spent by trucking in and out mass amounts of water.
Closed-loop system - reuse water sources

Green Building Design: Harmony with the Environment

Green building design is all about creating structures that work with the environment, rather than against it.

  • Passive Design Strategies: Employing the building’s orientation, utilizing thermal mass, and considering local climate conditions can help minimize energy usage for heating and cooling.
  • Natural Lighting and Ventilation: Maximizing daylight use while ensuring proper ventilation can reduce reliance on artificial lighting and air conditioning, promoting better indoor air quality and energy savings.
  • Harness Solar Power: Those who harness solar energy may not only be available for government subsidies, but they’ll also decrease their energy usage and costs. The average homeowner can save between $20,000 and $96,000 over a solar panel system’s lifetime, depending on the electricity costs in your area. For those looking to run certain gadgets and machinery via solar energy, savings could also be incredible. 

Building a Sustainable Future

Adopting eco-friendly construction practices is not just about meeting regulations or achieving certifications; it’s about a conscious choice to preserve our planet for future generations. The benefits of green construction and demolition extend beyond environmental impact – they also lead to economic savings, improved occupant health, and a resilient reputation in the industry.

Now is the time to lay the foundation of sustainability within the construction sector. Let’s commit to these cleaner, greener methods and design a future that’s not only sustainable but also inclusive and prosperous for all.

So, what action will you take today for a sustainable tomorrow? Join the conversation and start implementing these strategies in your next project. Are you looking for a company committed to the future? Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can serve you. 


Contact us when you need a contractor with a record of safety and success for your concrete cutting and hydrodemolition needs.

Contact Us For a Quote