‘Construction industry must ensure minimum environmental impact’ | Sunday Observer

‘Construction industry must ensure minimum environmental impact’

The local construction industry needs to look at new methods of building such as pre-cast construction to ensure minimum environmental impact. These alternative methods will enhance the quality of construction while preserving the environment, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Pathali Champika Ranawaka said.

The industry should work on reducing the consumption of sand for construction related activities which damages the environment. Sand has become an essential product in the building sector. However, we should be concerned of the environment as it will have long term adverse effects which is harmful for the country, he said at a symposium on supply of sand for construction work held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute last week.

“The government encourages green building initiatives and this approach will reduce environmental damage. The construction sector needs to focus on a cost effective, energy saving building process to reduce cost and energy consumption while adopting green building efforts,” he said. There is huge damage caused to the natural environment due to sand mining. This action also causes the destruction of the water tables. The entire process posed an indirect threat to climate change which will affect the agriculture sector as well, said Professor S.M.A. Nanayakkara of the University of Moratuwa.

While appreciating the pre-cast concrete method introduced by late Dr. A.N.S. Kulasinghe, he said that it is time that Sri Lanka adopt this methodology of building which preserves the natural environment. This method will help maintain a clean environment and also will help time saving in building. It is an easy method of building where cost too could be reduced, he said. Parts of destroyed buildings could be made use of to fill new building sites. This process will help maintain the environment and make better use of concrete waste, he said.

“We should attempt to reduce the consumption of sand as 70 percent of sand is used to construct houses in Sri Lanka. This will be a bigger challenge in future as construction related development is on the rise at present, Prof. Naanayakkara said. 

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