New home construction is a good thing in many ways, as it brings jobs and affordable housing to areas that need these elements. One of the drawbacks of the booming construction industry is the impact it might have on the environment as a new home is erected. New home construction can impact the environment negatively, but there are ways to minimize this, like using sustainable building materials or performing environmentally friendly home maintenance using green products. Read on to learn more about the impact new construction can have on the environment and the ways you can act to help stop this negative impact.
The Impact of Land Clearing
Typically, it takes about two and a half hours for a construction crew with the right equipment to clear an acre of land. This is done to make room for new construction and allow the crew to level out the land underneath. The foundation of the home is then placed on flat, even ground to keep it from sinking over time. Unfortunately, in doing this, the natural environment of local animals and plants is taken away. This can contribute to the reduction in natural plant and animal life around your area. When too much clearing is done without monitoring, you can end up living in a neighborhood that is all concrete and buildings and fails to celebrate the natural beauty of your area. To stop this from happening, work together with the home builder to determine how many of the trees already in place around the property can be saved. Even having one large, long-standing tree stay in place helps the environment and adds value to your property in the future.
Displacement of Earth
Excavation is defined as any man-made trench or depression that is formed by earth removal, and it is generally necessary for most new construction projects. If your home is going to have a basement, dirt and rocks will likely have to be excavated from the ground to make the space needed. This dirt then has to be moved offsite, typically with the use of the truck. Overall, this increases the carbon footprint of the build. To minimize the impact of excavation, strive to do as little as possible and ask your construction company where the unused dirt will be going. If it can go somewhere local instead of a long-distance, this is better than transporting it a long way to get rid of it. You can also re-assess the need for an extra excavation on your property and minimize the amount of dirt pulled out of the earth.
Laying Roads and Sidewalks
In most new construction neighborhoods, the process of laying roads involves the use of asphalt to make the road’s surface smooth. Asphalt pavement material is a combination of approximately 95 percent stone, sand, or gravel bound together by asphalt cement. When it is laid in place, asphalt can contribute to the presence of greenhouse gases in the air. The particles that make up the material can get into the air when they are heated, lowering the overall air quality and adding to air pollution.
If you are having a new home built, you can take measures to offset some of the negative environmental impacts. For example, plant new trees to take the place of ones that may have been knocked down to make room for your construction or choose a construction company that uses earth-friendly materials whenever possible. Discuss with your builder from the outset your concerns with the environment and see what programs they have in place to help you offset them.