September 5, 2022 /

Modular Construction Sustainability: Green Construction

modular construction sustainability

Everyone wants to do their part in preserving the environment for generations to come. In the construction industry, however, that’s no easy task. It takes dedication to develop and adhere to sustainable construction methods that protect the planet while still creating high-quality, affordable buildings. 

Modular construction is a greener alternative to traditional building methods without sacrificing quality, safety, or security. VESTA Modular is proud to pursue green, sustainable construction through our VESTA Verde initiative.

Reducing Carbon Emissions in Construction

How Does Construction Affect the Environment?

Traditional construction affects the environment in a variety of detrimental ways.

  • Global emissions: About 50% of global CO2 emissions annually are generated by the built environment. Construction accounts for around 38% of global emissions. 
  • Toxic pollution: Construction can pollute the air and nearby water sources, subjecting communities to additional toxins. The construction equipment tosses up dirt, dust, and other pollutants to be breathed in by surrounding communities. Any rain or wind leads the excess materials and toxins into streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes in the area.
  • Excess waste: Traditional construction methods often lead to overuse of energy, water, and material, leading to excess waste. Plus, many of the materials used in traditional construction are bad for the environment, from their manufacturing process to the effects they have when placed on earth and near ecosystems.

Sustainability in Construction: What Is Green Construction?

Green construction is a method of construction that focuses on reducing the impact on the nearby environment and global emissions levels. It’s one way to reduce the carbon footprint that humans are leaving on the planet. 

The five principles of green building, according to the Land Conservation Assistance Network, are:

  1. Creating livable communities
  2. Enhancing energy efficiency
  3. Improving indoor air quality
  4. Conserving resources
  5. Conserving water

Building greener is a healthier option and also saves money. It’s the future of the construction industry because it promotes the well-being of communities, the economy, and the environment.

Is Modular Construction Sustainable?

Modular construction is a more sustainable way of building than traditional construction. It brings a new level of environmentally-friendly processes. Buildings produced in an off-site factory like VESTA’s modular buildings can produce up to 45% less carbon, according to research by the University of Cambridge. Another study found that a modular housing design that consisted of around 900 homes saved 28,000 tons of carbon.

The Sustainable Benefits of Modular Construction

  • Fewer carbon emissions: Modular construction sustainability means fewer carbon emissions. Carbon emissions are released during the manufacturing, transportation, and use of the large machines and equipment necessary on a traditional construction site. With modular construction, those machines are no longer necessary or are only used in a specific location, decreasing their overall carbon footprint.
  • Energy efficiency: Many traditionally built buildings are not energy efficient and may require more resources to make efficient than to simply replace. Modular buildings can be designed to adhere to LEED certification guidelines, and they can incorporate other green technologies as well, increasing energy efficiency.
  • Reduced costs: Pre-owned modular buildings cost less than new traditional builds but come with all the benefits of more modern construction. Plus, their reusability makes them incredibly sustainable as well as cost-effective.
  • Less waste: Green construction methods have diverted over 80 million tons of waste from landfills. They reduce carbon emissions while lessening the waste of material, water, and energy. Production of buildings in a factory setting promotes reuse and recycling practices. 

Modular Construction Sustainability vs. Traditional Construction

When compared to traditional construction methods, modular construction is definitely a more sustainable solution. Built in off-site factories, modular buildings cut down on the need for heavy equipment and machinery to be transported to a construction site. This also means less transportation needs for workers and the delivery of materials. 

Modular buildings require fewer products like concrete and steel, which are known for being carbon intensive. Traditional construction might require additional energy, materials, and equipment for demolition, while modular buildings can simply be removed from a site and transported elsewhere in many cases.

Choosing modular construction for your building project is just one way you can make an impact on the environment and take steps toward a greener future.

How to Make Your Modular Building Greener

Prefabrication is listed as a top method for reducing waste and emissions. Modular buildings are prefabricated in factories before being delivered to a property. VESTA can help make your modular building greener through customization. 

  • LEED certification: A modular building can help contribute to LEED certification
  • Beyond the Box: Using our Beyond the Box service, all of your furnishings will come from the same source, reducing deliveries and excess packaging. 
  • Layout options: Choosing a double wide modular office over two single wide offices is better for both the environment and your wallet.
  • Pre-owned buildings: By choosing a pre-owned modular building instead of a new one, you lengthen the building’s life cycle, making it more environmentally friendly.
  • Electric appliances: Choose to furnish your building with electric appliances. Gas-fueled appliances release emissions and lower air quality.
  • Conserve energy: Implement more windows for natural lighting and ventilation, lessening the need to keep bright lights and fans on all day.
  • Try natural energy: Consider trying solar power for some or all of your electricity needs. Ask VESTA about the installation of solar panels on your modular property.
  • Add plants: It might seem silly to say at first, but plants are the perfect, natural way to improve air quality both inside and outside your building.
  • Smart thermostats: Let VESTA install smart thermostats throughout your property to lessen energy consumption and waste. We can also install CO2 sensors that provide on-demand ventilation to reduce energy costs and maintain fresh air for occupants.
  • Landscaping: Choose native plants, create an outdoor compost, and channel your gutters’ runoff into a rain garden.

Become Part of the Solution: Choose Modular Green Construction

Contact VESTA Modular today to learn more about our modular construction methods and Beyond the Box service offerings, or check out our VESTA Verde initiative for more information. We look forward to joining you in becoming a part of a greener solution to construction.

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