MANILA - The construction industry contributes around 30 percent of solid wastes that eventually end up in landfills, according to some estimates. But there is a way of reducing construction waste, experts said.
Instead of using traditional methods and materials, construction companies can adopt “green building” materials and technologies, which can significantly reduce waste products, said Micaela Rosette Santos, vice chair for the Green Certification System of the Philippine Green Building Initiative.
Builders simply need to keep in mind five Rs when procuring materials for their projects: reuse, recycle, rapidly renewable, regionally sourced, and responsibly grown, Santos said.
"If it’s a building or material, if you reuse it, you lessen the impact [on the environment]," Santos said.
Materials with recycled components are also preferable. Rapidly renewable building materials that come from the region where the construction project is being done also result in lesser waste.
“Sometimes they say that ‘green’ is expensive. [But] it just takes proper planning, the proper choice of materials to use. Sometimes it does not entail cost,” she said.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a sister organization of the World Bank, created EDGE or Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies, an international green building standard for emerging economies like the Philippines.
Yuan Xu, IFC country manager for the Philippines, said green buildings can go a long way in lessening human impact on the environment.
“A building is an investment for decades. So if we can adopt the right building standards we can lock in energy savings, water savings for future generations,” Yuan said.