Smart Project Management tips for a sustainable environment | Vol. 2

Subsequent to my earlier post, Smart Project Management tips for a sustainable environment | Vol. 1, on Landscape Topography, Dust / Air Pollution and Noise Pollution, I would like to share some tips on Material Selection, Waste Management and Water Efficiency, here.

Material Selection

  • Use nontoxic paints, solvents, chemicals and hazardous materials with low Volatile organic content (VOC) as exposure of same can cause headaches, respiratory problem and eye infection.
  • Use material that has recycled content like fly ash blocks, steel, glass, ceramic tiles, MDF wood or come from rapidly renewable sources like Bamboo, woolen carpet etc.
  • Avoid material with carcinogen content like Asbestos, Polycarbonate, Arsenic, Benzene, formaldehyde, PVC etc. as inhalation of such material can cause cancer.
  • Exposure to Lead & Mercury can cause fatigue & damage to brain & kidney. Excess inhalation of mercury can cause lung disease and memory loss as well.
  • Install Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) filters in Air Handling Units (AHU) to arrest airborne particles.
  • Provide separate enclosed rooms with independent exhaust for storing potentially hazardous chemicals.

Waste Management – I propose a 3R approach

  • Reduce – Waste minimization. Devise way to reduce or salvage construction, demolition debris having high recycled content like Asphalt, Wood, Metal, Concrete, Brick, Land clearing residual etc.
  • Reuse – Segregation and best utilization of waste to eliminate use of resources in making new product
  • Recovery – Recycling, composting and generation of energy

Recycling of approximately one ton of paper prevents cutting 17 trees!

Recycling process helps to save energy and money and generates employment in the recycling industry. Surplus waste and sludge must get disposed in compliance with BPEO (Best Practicable Environmental Option) regulations. Lack of awareness in implementing source separation practices at construction sites is one of the major challenge in an unorganised sector like India and hence, needs correction at the earliest.

Approach with ultimate goal on waste management is collectively ours – Should it be towards Landfill or Recycle!

Water Efficiency - Implement 3R approach

  • Reduce – Install water efficient fixtures in compliance with EPACT (Energy Policy Act of flow requirement) like waterless urinals with 95% biodegradable blue liquid of density lower than urine, install irrigation technologies with high efficiency.
  • Reuse – Treat storm water before discharge by installing rain water harvesting system and keeping the imperviousness and run-off coefficient to a minimum.
  • Recovery – Use recycled water for sewerage conveying, cooling towers, irrigation using high efficiency system like sprinkler.

Rain water harvesting for 2400 sq ft can harvest 700 liters per day, all through the year, considering average rainfall @ 800 mm / year.

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