Did you know that in the United States construction accounts for 36% of total energy use? That is a huge number when you stop and think about it. Perhaps if the products we used were biproducts of another industry (like, hmmmm……STRAW) we could lower that number a bit.
But hang on, it gets worse. 65% of the United States energy consumption is related to the construction industry. The U.S. uses more energy than the rest of the World as is, and 65% of that energy is used by the construction industry.
The process of building is also responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. Most people talk about cars when it comes to greenhouse gases, but rarely consider the home they build as an impactful source of pollution. What may seem more understandable, 30% of the raw materials used in the United States go towards construction. Again, if we could focus on the use of bi products like straw, fly ash, and recycled materials, we could have a significant impact on the shape of things in the States. In fact, if people recycled their product waste instead of throwing it away (as is often the case on job sites) we could reduce the 136 million tons of garbage produced annually by construction projects. That’s 30% of the total waste output for the U.S. each year.
As you may already know, the World’s water supply is in trouble and is not large enough to sustain the growth we are seeing worldwide. With that in mind, consider that construction projects account for12 % of potable water consumption in the United States. That is a lot of water and much of it can be seen cleaning out wheelbarrows and washing down the sidewalk after a day at the job site. Conservation has to become the mantra for contractors if we plan to keep our great trade alive without killing the World in the process.