Construction, which is one of the most critical activities for the human kind, inevitably impacts the environment around it and person within it. For instance, the traffic flow, which is contributed by construction transport, could possibly increase traffic conflicts and safety issue around a job site or along the route of transport; possible noise pollution can be produced by operation of equipment; dust pollution, which is induced by excavation, could threat nearby ecosystem and community; inappropriate waste disposal after construction and demolition can cause potential threats in the future. Besides, form construction management perspective, risk and cost control can always be the terminal point in a race, while unsustainable construction management possibly brings a great amount of wastage or even triggers an interrupt of construction.
Nonetheless, those problems above could be reduced or eliminated during construction process with the thought of sustainability. This paper focuses on analysis to sustainability in both construction and demolition operations based on various methods and techniques, as well as the challenges to these applications through 3 aspects – cost, environmental awareness, and management. Consideration for pollution, weather, energy, resources are the guideline for the analysis. The methods and techniques such as silent vibration, resource recycling, computer simulation technology and proper equipment arrangement according to site condition, which will be introduced in the paper, make a remarkable difference between unsustainable construction methods in both environmental and project angle.
Construction and people’s daily lives are inseparable. About 8,000 years ago, humans began to use dried bricks. About 5000 years ago, humans began to cut stones for their houses. About 3,000 years ago, human beings started using fired bricks for constructing buildings. Nowadays, high-rise buildings, roads, and bridges enhance human is development, especially for the economy. The rapid development of economic due to construction is a double-edged sword, which has brought us tremendous wealth and also caused the deterioration of the environment. The economic development achieved by developing countries indicates a large-scale energy consumption, deforestation, natural species loss, and serious air pollution,
The above situation is not only a true portrayal developing countries’ economic development and the deterioration of the environment nowadays, but also reflects the same problems that the developed countries have encountered in the past. With the advent of a series of global environmental problems like greenhouse effect and large-scale haze, human beings have to look back at the road they have taken in the past and re-examine the impact they have for future generations. Therefore, the concept of sustainability will be introduced and analyzed in this paper.
In ancient times, humans lived the primitive life of gathering and hunting. During that period of time, humans can only passively adapt to natural forces. The idea of sustainability hasn’t been generated yet. Agricultural civilization is an important turning point in the history of mankind. At this time, humans can gradually use its own power to change and affect nature. An urban society based on agriculture began to emerge. During this period, the balance between man and nature shapes. In order to obtain more resources, human beings have cultivated large areas of grasslands and deforested vast lands. However, due to the low productivity at that time, the damage and impact of human beings to nature are relatively minor. At this phase, the idea of sustainability has taken shape. For instance, during the Warring States Period, China scholars had the idea of sustainability for hunting and planting.
When the mankind steps into the industrial society, the relationship between mankind and the environment has been shaped significantly. The idea of ruling the nature has spread and inspired people to conquer nature. During this period, mankind began wild expansion, plunder, and destruction of nature. At the same time, technological advances have provided the mankind better conditions and methods to transform the nature. The world population is rapidly boomed, which increases the load of nature. The number and scale of cities are expanding day by day. By the 30s of this century, human beings have not only acquired the fruitful results brought by the industrial revolution but also realized overwhelming revenge from nature. The continuous deforestation leads to a long-term damage to the environment. The reckless development of mineral resources leads to serious land degradation. Meanwhile, land desertification is expanding, and biodiversity is declining magnificently. The amount of greenhouse gas is increasing constantly and the global climate change becomes obvious day by day.
What is Sustainability?
Sustainability has different definitions, because different people view it in their own way. Sustainability is a broad term covering economic, social, and environmental issues (Khatib 2016). For construction, these various definitions allow both board opportunities and challenges. Nowadays, the sustainability is a fashion pursuit by most construction companies, while the result stays uncertain. Being a new trend has some advantages and disadvantages. Many construction companies take sustainability as an important role instead of making profits. However, this new perspective may not be valued by the companies with relative low management and financial capability.
Uly ma has developed his own definition for sustainability using the triple bottom line. Sustainability is achieving an effective balance between the financial, social and environmental choice when carrying out business activities (Ma 2012).