Sustainability covers a wide range of issues, including:
- Social progress which recognises the needs of everyone
- Effective protection of the environment
- Prudent use of natural resources
- Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment
Sustainability is of increasing importance to businesses, because it provides a focussed way of addressing a range of economic, social and environmental issues that can help in the efficient, effective and responsible operation of those businesses.
Consumers are increasingly demanding more sustainable products; products that are made using local materials; products that are durable and have good whole-life performance.
Sustainability has become a watchword for owners and architects when designing new buildings, intermingled with terms such as “environmental friendliness” and “green building.” Today’s green-building approaches extend beyond the ability to renew or recycle resources and examine the embodied energy required to make use of that material.
This accounting practice encompasses all the energy necessary to manufacture, deliver and install the product. This includes the fuel to extract materials, finish them and transport them to the site.
While other building materials may have to alter their configurations or properties to be applicable to sustainable structures, precast concrete’s inherent composition provides natural advantages for sustainability. It contributes by incorporating integrated design, efficient use of materials, and the reduction of construction waste, site disturbance and noise.