Saturday, August 20, 2011

sustainability vs. practicality

In construction, there is going to be waste product.  Traditionally, the industry scraps over 30% of what comes onto the job site.  Up until recently, most of this waste material--packaging, broken items, left-over wire, ends of wood scrap, nails, screws, etc, etc.--wound up in a landfill. 

I am happy to report, the practice of not recycling the waste or not wasting in the first place, is slowly falling out of favor, for a multitude of reasons.  But, sustainability is not the first on the list. 

Generally, the first priority is to maximize use, thus maximizing profit. Engineered pre-fab houses or parts of them--framing sections, for example--are great ways to maximize the material use, and minimize waste, since the pieces are assembled off-site, in a highly engineered and controlled environment.  For example:

Low energy consumption processes and careful use of materials to limit waste and scrap are only part of Topsider’s commitment to sustainability and resource conservation

Now why do I mention this?

In the upcoming posts, I will be detailing the reasoning behind why we chose certain materials, our struggles with waste creation and disposal, and my feelings about the Reno-construction industry as a whole.  Please stay tuned!

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