Professionals working on and conducting construction projects need to be fully aware of their environmental obligations and the benefits that can be found through employing good practice.
This will provide benefits through every stage from; feasibility studies through to design, construction planning and actual works on the site.
This is because most pollution incidents are avoidable, with careful planning you can reduce the risk of your work causing pollution.
Your construction and maintenance activities in or near water have the potential to cause serious pollution as this will impact on the bed and banks of a watercourse, and on the quality and quantity of the water:
- Silt pollution is a major cause of environmental incidents. It can damage and kill aquatic life by smothering and suffocating, and can cause flooding by blocking culverts and channels.
- Sealant, coatings, adhesives and glazing can be toxic to plants and animals if released in to the environment.
- Abrasive blasting produces the greatest level of dust and debris.
- Grit blasting with slag-derived grit contains significant levels of heavy metals such as copper. These can be toxic if they get in to the water environment.
Under the Duty of Care, you have a legal duty to make sure any waste you produce does not escape from your control. Hazardous or special wastes such as; oils, acids, solvents and solvent-based products have particular legal requirements. This calls for performance-oriented building design, aiming to develop economically feasible design configurations that have low resource consumption and the smallest possible environmental impact. This topic is often discussed by architects, designers and developers.
Aside from legislation, following environmentally safe practices offers two major incentives for improving performance:
1 – Environmental benefits – Protected and enhanced water quality and river habitats resulting from good practice.
2 – Economic benefits – Avoidance of fines for water pollution incidents and fees for clean-up activities. Also lower expenditure on water resources and discharge fees through reduced water usage.
This may also improve your opportunities to tender as many clients throughout Europe are increasingly using contractors who demonstrate good water quality management, and avoid those who don’t.
With this in mind many companies have increasingly been adopting Tufcoat’s shrink-wrap services as a means to encapsulate their construction works in order to shelter the surrounding habitats. This solution means that environmental and economic requirements are adhered to with the minimum possible difficulties within the project.