Climate change is a growing concern. Now, more than ever, it is important to incorporate sustainable practices in everything that we do, to tackle the effects of climate change. By employing sustainable development practices, we will be able to ensure the protection of natural resources and save the planet for future generations. It is projected that by the year 2050, the Earth’s population is going to balloon to 9 billion people. The role of sustainability is crucial in ensuring that each of the 9 billion people will have equitable access to natural resources so that they can enjoy a good quality of life. No longer a buzzword that companies can use to improve their image, sustainability claims demand action.
Like many others, the construction industry has started to respond to the need for sustainability. Stronghold Engineering, a construction company based in California, is leading the charge for sustainable construction practices. Not only is Stronghold committed to incorporating sustainable construction practices in their projects, but a lot of the company’s recent projects have environmental sustainability as their focus.
In this article, we will be exploring the different sustainable construction practices that Stronghold Engineering incorporates in their operations to safeguard the future of this company. These practices have been formulated keeping in mind the rapid population growth, and the harmful effects on the environment of conventional construction practices.
To understand sustainable practices, we need to first understand what ‘green building’ is. An emerging concept, a ‘green building’ is designed and built with a focus on the health and comfort of its inhabitants, its impact on the environment, and minimizing the costs associated with construction.
Safe Building Materials
The negative impact on health, such as respiratory complications, caused by conventional materials are well known. Changing the materials that we use in our construction will prove beneficial in the long term for all parties. Stronghold Engineering is committed to the safety of its employees and customers. In all its projects, Stronghold uses non-toxic building materials, solvents, and paints. The result is a building that is not only safe for the environment but also its inhabitants.
Water is quickly becoming a scarce resource. Managing water resources is an important requirement of sustainable development. Water management strategies are fairly straightforward and can be incorporated with relative ease. Stronghold has incorporated water conservation techniques on its construction sites with great success. For example, collected rainwater is often recycled for various construction processes alleviating the strain on depleting water resources.
Locally Sourced Materials
When sourcing materials for construction, Stronghold ensures that materials are locally sourced. The popularity of Stronghold as a construction company has meant that it has been handed projects that are often located far from its offices. Instead of incurring extra costs on transportation of materials, locally sourced materials keeps the costs down for the customer and decreases the impact on the environment. With trucks not hauling materials over long distances, Stronghold is able to decrease its carbon footprint and is also able to help local businesses.
Energy efficiency is relatively easy to achieve. Alternative building materials are all that is required, and they prove to be highly cost-effective in the long run. Insulation cuts down the cost of HVAC systems and reduces the carbon footprint of the building. Companies have a host of environmentally friendly materials to choose from. Some of the alternatives include recycled cotton, which can be obtained from used clothing, or wood fibre, which is a by-product of the timber industry.
Large construction projects often produce a lot of waste. While Stronghold tries its level best to keep waste to a minimum, eliminating waste entirely is impossible. Materials that can be recycled on-site are recycled immediately. By relying on industrial crushing facilities concrete and steel can be repurposed for use on new construction sites. This further reduces the environmental impact as refuse material is not disposed of in landfills and reused for later projects.
Another way to cut down the carbon footprint of a building is to rely on renewable sources of energy. The sun and the wind are excellent sources that have virtually zero impact on the environment. Relying on solar power has immense benefits because not only is it cost-effective, but also reduces the strain on electricity producers. The roofs of homes and car parks can be fitted with solar panels that can provide electricity for the building and lessen its carbon footprint. Energy-saving can be taken to another level by installing photovoltaic windows. Photovoltaic windows are fitted with solar cells that can change the transparency of the window and help keep indoor temperatures down.
Solar Power Projects
Stronghold Engineering has also played a pivotal role in facilitating a shift towards greener living. Recently, Stronghold completed the LEUSD Solar Carport Project in Lake Elsinore Unified School District. By the end of this project, Stronghold had successfully installed 67 solar carports over a parking area covering more than 225,900 square feet. The energy gathered from these solar panel installations powers elementary schools in the district and has been able to greatly cut down on monthly electrical costs. In the near future, Stronghold will also be adding electric vehicle chargers under these carports.
The West Riverside Landfill in the City of Jurupa Valley, CA, is another huge project has completed phase 1 with 2 more phases to be completed in the future. Started in 2014, the project includes designing, procuring, and constructing an 8.2-megawatt solar power plant at the site of the former Riverside Landfill. This project covers an area of 74 acres and upon completion, will be managed by Stronghold.
In another project that was completed in 2012, Stronghold installed solar photovoltaic electric generating systems for several facilities in Santa Clara County. The project included solar panels for carports, rooftops and ground-mounted systems. Together the project can now generate 5-megawatts of electricity.
In July 2021, Stronghold was awarded the Top Solar Contractors by the Solar Power World. In 2020, Stronghold installed 7,631.98 kW of solar power. The award was presented to Stronghold on account of the number of kilowatts installed in the previous year. Stronghold also ranked 59 for Top Solar & Storage Installers and 57 for Top Solar EPCs.