Reducing Carbon Footprint: A Benefit of Sustainable Construction

Coal-fired power stations pumped out more pollution last year -
The construction industry could reduce its carbon footprint by using building materials that are manufactured with raw materials harvested locally or domestically. This will reduce the energy consumed from fossil fuels from transporting building materials. For example, the raw materials may be harvested in Africa and then transported to China for manufacturing and finally transported to the United States of America to be used as a building material on a construction project. China is rank number one as the world greatest emitter of CO2 and much of this carbon dioxide is produced from manufacturing and international trade (Wang, et al., 2008).
A challenge to this option for conservation of fuel emission is the increase cost of materials due to higher labor cost for manufacturing domestically. Another challenge is the loss of revenue for the import/export industry. The construction industry could use more energy efficient equipment on its construction projects.
In the United States the construction industry uses about 6 billion gallons of fossil fuel a year in equipment such as tractors, generators, backhoes, trucks, mowers,
pumps, chainsaws, trimmers, etc. (Frey, et al., 2010). The draw back from this initiative is the increase in cost to the contractor to replace existing equipment with modernize energy efficient equipment.
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John Muhammad, President/Owner of Nation’s Builders, Host of the Business Building Blocks Podcast, Graduate Student of the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in Construction Management M.S., B.S Degree from Texas Southern University, former Site Health and Safety Specialist for the renovation of the Administration Building of the Johnson Space Center at NASA and former Superintendent for semi-custom home builder, Emerald Homes.
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Wang, T., & Watson, J. (2008). China's carbon emissions and international trade: implications
for post-2012 policy. Climate policy, 8(6), 577-587.
Frey, H. C., Rasdorf, W., & Lewis, P. (2010). Comprehensive field study of fuel use and
emissions of nonroad diesel construction equipment. Transportation Research Record, 2158(1),