Environmentally Friendly Techniques
With the increasing awareness to be environmentally friendly the Mayfair Building Group are continually developing various in-house practices and standards in which we implement on various projects to achieve 6-star energy accreditation.
To become an industry leader in delivering projects with environmentally friendly techniques during the construction phases and high energy ratings throughout the life of the buildings operation it takes time and practise an asset we have an abundance of.
When people often hear the words building green or energy efficient work places they also associate these words with high construction costs, however its quite the opposite if implemented correctly.
A project which is set up the correct way during the design/consultation phase with the optimum materials specified creating a green building is no harder than any other project. The onsite aspect is where our project managers excel. Their ability to follow complex specifications and architectural documents ensures the projects intended outcome is achieved.
What can be done during the building phase of a project to be environmentally responsible?
- Wash down bays and clean out stations: During the early phases of a new build there are typically some form of earth works which need performing whether it be foundations of plumbing trenches. When this material is then transported away from the site it is important to confine all excess dirt to the site through tyre wash stations, by doing this it keeps excess dirt and rubble out of our storm water systems and oceans. Painters and dry wall installers need to wash there tools daily and by providing proper wash down stations we keep the excess materials out of our sewer drains.
- Installations of materials with low VOC’s: When selecting materials such as paints, floor coverings and sealants we will always select the product which has the lowest volatile organic compounds. Through doing this we are reducing the ground level smog.
- Separating waste materials on site: Separating various wastes during the construction phase of a project is something which has really become a growing trend on many building sites today. Typically, we would have a site bin for metal, concrete, cardboard, plastics and general. By separating wastes, it firstly decreases the costs of waste disposal and secondly allows for all left over materials to be recycled.
- Zero disruption to the sites natural environmental and surrounding eco systems: Preserving surrounding vegetation and fauna with hoarding and exclusion zones enables us to keep existing eco systems intact.
- Hybrid machinery: Where possible we employ trades, whom use hybrid machinery such as the Komatsu Excavators, the use of diesel is and therefore the fumes being emitted are also far less a great win for the environment.
- Locally sourced materials and services: Through careful procurement of trades and materials our best practice is to have these sourced as close to the project as possible. Through not having to import building materials from overseas lowers the overall carbon footprint placed on the environment and by sourcing our trades locally this also allows for less impact on the environment through excessive travel.
- Task and passage lighting during darker work hours on site: To reduce the energy bill during construction we provide localised task lighting to each room as required and passage lighting to ensure a safe work place in all common areas.
- Reclaimed water usage onsite for non-potable consuming fixtures: Installing temporary rain water tanks on site during construction allows us to collect water from the site huts roof spaces and then reticulate it back through to areas such as toilet pans, urinals and wash down stations.
What can be implemented into a buildings operation to ensure it is resource efficient?
- Installation of water fixtures which have obtained a high WELs rating: Majority of sanitaryware manufacturers today offer a variety of water efficient fixtures. Items such as mixer taps from Hansa, Sensor flushing equipment from ZIP, water saving shower roses from Grohe and urinals from Caroma all provide high WELs ratings on their fixtures.
- Installing lighting which has high energy rating, timers and sensors: LED lights on timers and sensor allows for energy efficient lighting to be used in times when the room is occupied saving on excess energy needing to be used when the rooms are vacant.
- Using high quality insulation materials: Through selecting high quality insulation products as wall linings and ceiling insulations it allows for the building to stay at a more consistent temperature year-round allowing for a reduced need for H-VAC systems output. Adequate ventilation of roof spaces takes the strain off items which are installed inside plant rooms and helps the building cool down during summer periods and in times of high demand of the equipment working inside the plant rooms themselves.
- Glass with low temperature absorption ratings and external glazing shades: There is a variety of different types of glass on the market today with products such as doubled and panes of glass which have argon in between two sheets to help reduce the buildings temperature but still allow natural light to enter the building. The advantage of this is that we are creating user friendly experience while reducing the costs of running lighting and H-VAC systems. External shades are also a great addition to buildings which may be orientated in such a way that the aspect is absorbing the heat from the sun.
- Harvesting water for reuse in fixtures which require non-potable water for operation: Under ground storage tanks used to hold water collected from the roof are a common way in which we then deliver this water harvested back through the building to toilets, urinals and irrigation. In some projects we have managed to harvest up to 750,000 litres. Storage of Fire System water during testing procedures and then reuse for filling the system.
- Fresh air intakes to the building to allow for less use of H-VAC systems: Rather than recycling stale inside the building which can lead to spread of germs and create a lethargic work environment we implement the use of fresh air intakes to the building bringing the outside air in. Not only does this create a more positive work environment but it reduces the buildings need to rely solely on mechanical heating and cooling practises.
- Acoustic floor coverings, wall linings and ceilings: Carefully selecting the right products in each work station helps increase user comfort and in turn creates a more efficient work place.
- Solar water and electrical panels on roof spaces: Solar a great way to utilise the powerful rays from the sun. Whether it be to create electricity or to assist with the pre-heating of water this substantially contributes to a building reduction in energy consumption throughout its life.
- Internal recycle programmes: Implementing in house recycling processes in large office buildings can make a big difference to the overall general waste output. Items such as coffee cups and other disposable items which can be recycled cans, bottles and paper.
- Paper free environment read on the screen and be green
After all even waste deserves a second chance!