Environmental Sustainability (incl. Durability and Resilience)


Molson Construction Values our Environment

The standard CSA Z762-95 (R2011), Design for the Environment (DFE), provides an overview of key environmental considerations and a method of defining the scope of the environmental design process.  It outlines that there is a need for designers to evaluate the total life cycle of a product through utilizing concepts such as life cycle approaches, risk assessment, and other means. It also reviews the lifecycle stages of a product and provides guidance on improving its environmental performance. Checklists are included to help designers evaluate their design options. 

Design for the Environment considers many core principles in conjunction with traditional building design criteria taken over the life of a proposed facility including addressing global and local concerns: 

• Global Concerns: Avoid the use of products or processes that contribute to ozone layer depletion, acid rain, climate change and global warming. 
• Local Concerns: Eliminate or reduce the use of products that are known to compromise local ecologies, including human well being and quality of life. 

The preparation of designs and specifications for green Construction, Renovation, and/or Demolition (CRD) projects using a sustainable development approach requires the integration of these core environmental principles into traditional design criteria. The application of a comprehensive life-cycle evaluation methodology that uses the best technology available is required to achieve an optimum, sustainable solution. The application of these principles to the planning, design and implementation of CRD projects supports sustainable development. 

Molson Construction's primary concern is the application of sustainable best practices, best-available-technologies, and highly qualified personnel for our clients' residential properties and the communities they belong to. Environmental sustainability is built into every service offering.

A. Life-Cycle Evaluation Methodology

Molson Construction believes a sustainable design should include durability for one century (100 years) with no need for unplanned repairs.

Designs are made for three or four generations of family use to integrate the century long service life into the preliminary project description of the residential development. This comes close to the native / aboriginal view of planning for seven generations, a Canadian view which helped keep our environment pristine for so much of our land's history.

The life-cycle evaluation framework of CSA Z760-94 (R2001), Life-Cycle Assessment forms a basis for our evaluation. This recognized standard identifies and describes four basic life-cycle stages for consideration in evaluating the total environmental impact of an item:
1. Raw Material Acquisition;
2. Manufacturing;
3. Use/Reuse/Maintenance; and
4. Final Disposal (Waste Management)

Life-cycle evaluation relationships, in terms of the inputs, outputs and resulting environmental impacts reflecting the Design for the Environment principles, are as follows:

Inputs: 
• Raw Materials
• Recycled Content
• Component Reuse
• Energy
• Water
• Land Usage

Outputs:

Positive:
• Useful Products
• Co-Products

Negative:
• Emissions
• Effluents
• Toxic Waste
• Non-toxic Waste
• Solid Waste
• Noise
• Vibration
• Radiation
• Other Releases

Impact Assessment:
• Resource Depletion
• Ecological Impacts
• Human Health Effects
• Energy and Water Usage

B. Resource Efficiency   

At the planning/conception stage, an analysis of resources is performed for each category shown in diagram below. Both the abundance / scarcity of each potential resource is analyzed so that decisions may be made on which resources are scarce (avoid) and which resources are abundant (favour). The objective is to minimize the impact that procurement, construction, renovation, decommissioning, and renewal activities will have on the overall sustainability of a particular project.

The objective of the National Energy Code of Canada for Building is: "...to limit the probability that, as a result of design or construction of the building, resources will be used in a manner that will have an unacceptable effect on the environment. The risks of unacceptable effect on the environment due to resources addressed in this code are those caused by EXCESSIVE USE OF ENERGY."

C. Sustainability Priorities

Sustainability priorities were created to inform all stakeholders of the not-so-well-established priorities that will be used as criteria in decision making throughout the building's 
life-cycleAll stakeholders are then actively involved in implementing these priorities throughout the project's life-cycle, minimizing disturbance to and improving the functioning of local, regional, and global ecosystems.

Environmentally Enhanced Design Strategies for Environmentally Enhanced Design:
Stage 1 Raw Material Acquisition
• Material reduction • Material substitution
• Reformulation • Transportation

Stage 2 Manufacturing
• Pollution prevention • Improved design • Process efficiencies • Process controls
• Remanufacture • Material reduction • Material reuse • Material recycling

Stage 3 Use/Reuse/Maintenance
• Adaptability • Durability • Maintainability • Reliability
• Operating efficiency • Refurbishment • Reuse • Recycling

Stage 4 Final Disposition (Waste Management)
• Recyclability • Degradability • Landfill recovery

The 6-R’s of Waste Management - in order of importance:
  • Respect the environment (Eliminate or reduce the use of Red List building materials) 
  • Reduce (the use of depletable and non-renewable material resources; and implement conservation measures to reduce the use of energy and water resources)
  • Re-use
  • Recycle
  • Recover
  • Residual management (last option).
Increased construction efficiency & effectiveness: 

Leads to a reduction of deficiencies / rework, reduced duration of construction, and reduced construction wastes. This involves employing highly qualified people and keeping those people up-to date with the current best-practices through continuing education.
Subpages (1): Durability
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