I’m not sure what this is yet but it looks exciting to be a part of based on some of the names I’ve seen so far. Construction was empty so i figured I’d kick it off with some of the road blocks we’re seeing in the residential space. 1. Waste management. This is unnecessarily difficult when operating in the city. The firms out there that do proper diversion have brutal service and/or availability (from what I’ve found). 2. Availability of information. We started modelling everything in Revit and pulling into a BIM system for greater oversight and transparency. The uptake from typical architects is brutal. No one wants to model anything so we get caught holding the bag. I need to check out EC3 because we need some sort of tool that will quickly produce the info we need. A long slow LCA only delays public uptake. Most homeowners (no matter how idealistic) care about the bottom line more than anything else, until we solve that this will be an uphill battle. I think i created a few topics here in one but figured I’d get the ball rolling with discussions and how we can push the broader industry forward! Would love to hear from fellow home builders on some strategies.
We’ve had an ongoing conversation within our firm (of structural engineers) about what LOD to specify for our Revit models and how to track the quantities of our structure and enclosure. Of course there’s no right answer, but we’ve found a workflow that works reasonably well for when we conduct WBLCAs. I’d love to see models held to a higher standard, but I also understand the extra work this takes, which makes it a tough sell.
I think waste management has high potential for improvement within the industry. I definitely agree that it is difficult for contractors to maintain high waste diversion, and increasingly more difficult in remote areas. However, I have also found, in Canada, most facilities divert wood, metal, concrete, and cardboard which are significant contributors to the waste generated on construction sites. To do so the contractor has to be willing to use separate bins and train/police their site teams, which is also difficult and requires additional resources.
The other issue I have observed is waste generated from construction activities. Aside from the normal cutting of materials there is a lot of waste generated from site activities. 1). Defects - The amount of materials that are installed incorrectly, damaged after installation, or changed by the project team contributes significantly to the waste generated. I think this would be hard to tackle from a sustainability angle, but if these issues were minimized the waste generated would be reduced. 2). Inventory - The materials that are stored on site, moved around frequently, walked or driven over, picked through, and then eventually disposed of many times without ever being used on site. Reducing this is something that I am passionate about because it is something we can reduce at a site level saving both money and reducing waste generated.