3.3.1 Sustainability Issues on site.
Sustainable means “maintaining something’s viability by using techniques that allow continual reuse”. So if we are looking at the methods of work that will ensure sustainable quality on site we need to look at the following:
The way that this is done is through the following:
In order for these factors to be effective all personnel need to be aware of the effect that each of the points listed above will affect the project. This will involve the training of personnel in the methods of work to be used so that the environment is considered.
It is important that systems are in place to ensure that work carried out is consistent with the factors to reduce the negative effects and promote the positive ones. In many companies the requirements will be specified in the Environmental Policy which the site manager must be familiar with and incorporate into the methods of work for each project. In order to ensure that personnel conform to the requirements specific individuals will need to be made responsible for adhering and confirming that the work is carried out in a manner that is sympathetic to the requirements. Although as a site manager you would be responsible to ensure that all aspects relating to sustainability during the construction phase are considered, actioned, monitored and enforced and that any appropriate records are maintained.
The failure to consider these can have an adverse affect on the quality of the work produced, the perception of the company by the public and, if a breach of any legislation results, in the imposing of a fine. Consequently the site manager will need to ensure that any breaches are dealt with quickly and efficiently.
The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation and is a widely recognised measure of a building's environmental performance. Carried out by external licensed assessors it addresses wide-ranging environmental and sustainability issues and enables developers and designers to prove the environmental credentials of their buildings to planners and clients.
The site manager must be aware that materials which appear green or environmentally friendly do not necessarily produce the best quality of construction and may well result in additional maintenance and repair throughout the life span of the structure. Similarly, materials which are of composite construction may use vapour barriers and other materials which must be incorporated into the structure in a defined and certainly careful manner if the integrity of the units are to be preserved.
Quality means setting a standard and monitoring that standard to ensure that the work incorporated into the structure meets a predetermined specification. Where substandard materials are accepted or specified materials incorporated into the structure in a manner which does not comply with specified standards of workmanship, the object of the use and incorporation of sustainable materials may be defeated.
Sustainability is also about minimising waste; construction design should take into account standard panel sizes produced by the manufacturer ensuring that these fit into an integrated system without undue waste. Minimising waste would be enhanced by the use of Integrated Modular Design Systems of construction whereby all components are prefabricated to be fitted together on site.
Any waste should be collected and recycled as far as possible to recover materials or seek an alternative use, as an example: whilst short ends of timber cannot generally be used they can be used in chipboard production or similar and as a last and final result clean timber can be used to produce energy. Quality monitoring and effective Site Management will ensure that waste is minimised and recycling is a factor which everyone to must promote.
In many respects the key to quality on site is good leadership and management by education of the workforce; most operatives know and understand what quality is and how sustainability can be enhanced by maintaining a positive response; the trick is to ensure that all are pro-active and never complacent.
It also must be appreciated that sustainability is not just about materials and workmanship, other factors which all form part of sustainability are the responsibility of the Site manager all result in improved quality of site presentation, workmanship and reputation of the company.
3.3.2. Protecting the Environment
The way that the company will protect the environment is set out in the Environment Policy.
This is a statement of a company's stance towards the environment in which it operates. It is a commitment to implement and enforce the measures within the company organisation and method of work to protect the environment.
All environmental commitments should be an integral part of the day to day activities, clearly communicated to all employees and may form part of application for ISO 14001 certification or registration under the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) which is a voluntary scheme which allows all types of organizations to improve their environmental performance and achieve recognition.
Contents of a Policy
Although there is no legal requirement or standard structure for an environmental policy there are key aspects that it should contain. It should state what the key objectives of the company is; who is accountable and how these are going to be achieved and by whom.
In addition, the policy should contain brief statements on the following:
It may also include additional issues relevant to your business that you may wish to address in your environmental policy, these could include:
An example of an Environment Policy can be seen by clicking on the link at the end of this section.
There is no standard content for an environmental policy, although policies normally contain similar themes. Your policy should be personal to your business, so it should reflect the business' main activities, priorities and concerns.
Before you write your policy you should assess which aspects of your business affect the environment and what the potential impacts are. The content of the policy should be based on the results of the assessment, which should have identified the key environmental issues that apply to the business.
Senior management must be involved in the production of the policy and must understand the principles and be committed to it. It's not compulsory to have an environmental policy but an increasing number of businesses are choosing to have one and one will be needed the company wishes to obtain an environmental management standard, such as the European Union Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), BS 8555 or ISO 14001. It's also vital if you currently work or intend to work with large organisations, or if you need to demonstrate to customers and other stakeholders that you are committed to managing your environmental impacts in a responsible way.
3.3.3 Maintaining Environmental Records
The retention of records is essential to prove that your company complies with legislation and government regulations and proves you have fulfilled your environmental responsibilities: The regulations that apply include:
In addition to showing compliance to the regulations it also enables the monitoring and improvement of the measures used.
The records will include:
Ensure that training induction records prove that all employees are assessed for their competence regarding their proper use of Occupational Health & Safety and Environmental issues.
All unusual environmental events should be recorded in the site diary.
Records will also be kept regarding the following:
Environmental records should be kept for at least 3 years, which means having the system in place to store and locate documents. One way of doing this is to record them in an index as shown below in Figure 3.3.1
Figure 3.3.1 Record Index
You have now completed Unit 3. So you should complete your assignment and send it to email@example.com.
When submitting your assignment you should ensure that it meets all the requirements set out on the Submitting Assignments page, which is accessible from the Student Area.
You will be notified as soon as this has been assessed and will then be advised as to your next unit.
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