The present article defines the sustainability practices to be followed in the construction project by professionals as a principle of practise in business. The article will assess economic, social, environmental aspects affecting construction and their role in sustainable practices. The influences of the owner, constructor, and designer build over sustainable construction. Critical evaluation of professional practice principle applicable to the sustainable use of the material in the construction of New Zealand:
Sustainable practice is essential for social development and environmental protection in the long run.
New Zealand’s construction sector has identified a principle of sustainable development that can be used professionally under three pillars namely, economic, environmental, and social. All three of these aspects are directly influenced by the business operations of the construction industry. There is a rising trend of using sustainable resources in the construction sector of New Zealand. There is one such resource called Timbercrete that is used for the sustainable construction of homes. It is a blend of cement, binders, sawmills waste, sand, and a non-hazardous deflocculating preservative, which is healed with the use of renewable resources like wind and sun to convert it into an inimitable building block.
Figure 1: Timbercrete bricks in used in sustainable construction
(Source: Simmons, 2018)
The environmental condition has worsened due to the end product of resource use are having increasingly negative effects (Carlson, 2017). This presents the requisition of sustainable development in the construction sector. By sustainable development, it can be understood that meeting the basic needs of the public and their aspiration must be satisfied for a better life with on compromise on the ability of the future generation’s needs.
This requires a social, economic, and environmental development balance among these three elements. Three aspects of sustainable constructions are: FIGURE 2-2 Three sustainability pillars, showing various indicators in their relevant domains. (Source: EPA 2012c, p. 7.)
The construction sector is one of the largest sectors in New Zealand and it brings several numbers of economic benefits for the nation as well as its community. The society offers some primary materials to this industry in the form of labours, natural resources, and others. Sustainability in this area focuses on the growth of the business by understanding human needs and act in a sustainable manner which is acceptable to the society. The main focus is on growth, development, and productivity. Therefore, the use of sustainable resources in this industry should be economically beneficial instead of being expensive (McEwan, 2018). Timbercrete is highly beneficial from an economic point of view. It is because of its affordable production that needs less energy when compared to the other construction materials such as traditionally fired clay and bricks, etc. For which, it has been awarded as the most progressive and innovative greenhouse friendly product.
The creation of a small or large infrastructure brings various challenges for society and people living in the vicinity. Effective measures must be taken up to make human life better and promote safety and equity. It considers equity, empowerment, accessibility, sharing, cultural identity, and institutional stability (Ericksen, Berke& Dixon, 2017). Herein, the construction practices must assure benefiting the society and promote an equal distribution of growth and development across the community. It is mainly to improve the social, physical, and mental well-being of the people living in it. Here, as well, the use of timbercrete is not only beneficial from the economic viewpoint but it together provides a reasonable option to the underprivileged people of the society to build a house at an affordable price range.\nEnvironmental aspect: The construction practices adversely impact the environment due to the emission of gas and dust, noise, air and water pollution, consumption of non-renewable natural resources, land and water misuse, and others. The approach to sustainability includes the responsibility of preserving the environment and avoids its degradation which is leading to the depletion of natural resources. It is also important to ensure preserving the environment in the long run. One of the most captivating traits of timbercrete is its ecological benefit. Timbercrete blocks can contribute to declining the emission of carbon dioxide. This is due to its ability to store carbon gas. It operates as a carbon sink and counterbalances the release of carbon gas from thousands of cars per year.
However, there is another approach to sustainable practice in the construction sector. It involves some such vital aspects that are addressed to adapt a sustainable construction practice:
This approach specifies the rules and principles to improve the quality of human life (McDonagh, Bowring & Perkins,2019). The construction projects must involve professionals who are skilled and capable of adapting the altering measures of enhancement. However, the companies must also provide effective training for equal distribution of knowledge among the workers to seek the social cost related to construction and intergenerational equity. The timbercrete was primarily invented to serve the underprivileged group of society. Its use has largely benefited the consumers and offered an affordable and energy-efficient material to them for constructing a building (Simmons, 2018). Also, the franchisers have got a major financial breakthrough from its use. The blocks made up of timbercrete can be shaped into altering lengths and textures to produce attractive and unique homes. As a result to which, it is not only used for industrial, residential, and commercial building projects but landscaping designs as well.
It ensures financial affordability to the proposed recipients for promoting the creation of employment, increase competitiveness, and fulfilling the environmental responsibilities of suppliers and contractors to further meet the needs of the future generation. Besides, it is affordable for not only the parties responsible for its production but also benefits the community to a great extent. It can resolve the rising issue of homelessness in many leading nations and offer an inexpensive alternative to the destitute who are forced to live on the roads.
The construction industry is the largest user of the 4 generic natural resources that involve water, land, oil, and energy. For which, undertaking sustainable and specialized practices in this sector is very essential (Li et.al.,2019). The engineers must come up with designs that show a sustainable holistic approach and consider adding “green” features in conventional projects.
Influences on the decision of use of sustainable use of the material in the construction project of New Zealand:
The client of a construction project is the one who takes the initiatives of sustainability in the first place (Stocchero, et.al.,2017). The contract entered containing clauses of having a sustainable approach and owner to incur extra cost for sustainable practice is the most important thing in this direction. If the client does not want to pay a sufficient amount for recycling of wastage, reuse of material then the project cannot be a sustainable one. The use of timbercrete blocks is thus effective for the owner to incur almost no loss or any extra charges. It is the most cost-effective when assembled as a “single skin” wall construction. However, one can opt to construct a more conventional “brick veneer” house using Timbercrete blocks. Also, there is no requirement of lining the interiors of the walls with gyprock due to an attractive internal finish offered by Timbercrete. It reduces overall construction-related costs.
Influences of the designer: The engineer and designer engage actively in the stakeholder and public understanding to develop a socially acceptable design of the project (Balador, et.al., 2020). With a view of environmental and social cost benefits, they frame such innovation in the project which allows reuse and recycling of some of the resources. Timbercrete is of great use because other than housing, it can also be used for retaining walls, barbeques; build fences and garages, along with indoor fireplaces as long as it is lined with reflective materials like cast iron, steel or terracotta tiles. Due to which, the designers get diverse project options.
The builder is responsible for the commencement of sustainability measuring in practice. Various guidelines and regulations published by the government for sustainable construction and the contractor are responsible to abide with them all. Builders are together known to undertake repairing and renovation related projects. Timbercrete is thereby effective for the designers who can use it for renovation as well. These blocks can be used to clad the walls and it relatively needs a thin block that mounts to existing brick veneer, fibro walls, cement, and timber, etc.
Influences of sub-contractor: When a job is assigned to a subcontract, he is under the full responsibility to act following the sustainability approach of the main contractor (MacAskill& Guthrie, 2016). Though some of the rules and laws are required to follow mandatorily other practices can also be adopted by the sub-contractor and take guidance from the contractor to make the full project sustainable. Sub-contractors are mainly hired to perform some specific tasks on a project and ensure low overhead and labour costs. Using timbercrete blocks guarantees improved workability and fire rating at fewer expenses.
The article can be concluded as New Zealand has adopted sustainable practices in construction and in every aspect that is economic, environmental and social a substance Timbercrete is used to make construction more ecological and saving natural resources. Owner, builder and designer all influence each other to increase the use of Timbercrete in construction to make it more sustainable.