Home » Environment » Why Are Sustainable Development Options Critical?

Scott Beckman

Director – Sustainability, PCL Construction

In today’s rapidly-growing economic environment, there’s an abundance of infrastructure projects underway across Canada from coast to coast. While this development is needed to support a growing population, it’s critical for the building industry to incorporate sustainable development options and green building solutions that consider our carbon footprint on the planet. 

To help Canada reach its 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) emission goal and climate change commitments, it’s crucial for the companies involved in designing, building, and operating buildings in Canada to commit to advancing to a greener economy. It’s smart business and the right thing to do as responsible corporate citizens. 

Canada has a successful history of public-private partnerships that serve public interest while saving taxpayers money. The public and private sectors are making the environment a priority, and this is increasing the demand for sustainable buildings and construction, as well as for renewable energy, smart building technologies, and green innovations. This demand has driven down renewable energy costs while helping to tip the balance towards environmentally-friendly, high-performance infrastructure. Companies like PCL Construction are leading the charge towards this lower carbon future. 

Scott Beckman, Director of Sustainability at PCL, explains what puts PLC ahead of the crowd, “Our in-house experts have the right knowledge and right resources to provide cost-effective, sustainable solutions for our clients,” he says. “As clients demand higher levels of ‘green,’ we’re able to respond to those demands.”

Innovation is driving sustainability into the future of the building industry. In response, PCL has partnered with technology companies to advance its service offerings.

Beckman’s team is currently completing their first GHG inventory, which will inform the development of a plan with specific targets on how to best reduce emissions. PCL is also taking smaller, practical steps to become more sustainable in its offices and on job sites by doing things like lighting and HVAC retrofits, and installing solar PV systems. 

There are many actionable steps construction companies can take to reduce their carbon footprint, including reducing waste and energy use on their job sites and in their corporate offices. PCL is poised to support its clients as interest and demand grows for low-impact, high-performance infrastructure. PCL’s experts work in partnership with their clients every step along the journey, whether it’s achieving a green building rating system certification, or pushing beyond the basics and targeting net zero energy or net zero carbon. 

Innovation is driving sustainability into the future of the building industry. In response, PCL has partnered with technology companies such as Microsoft and CopperTree Analytics to advance its service offerings. The Microsoft partnership resulted in the Job Site Insights™ platform, which allows for real-time monitoring of job site conditions, such as temperature and humidity. CopperTree Analytics offers an energy analysis and tracking software platform that identifies new opportunities for energy savings and tracks overall energy use on a detailed level. Combining these platforms allows PCL to offer smart building solutions that can be tailored for each project and that can extend from construction through the life of a building.

Lean construction is a methodology that focuses on maximizing value and minimizing waste from project conception through to the final product. PCL is a strong advocate for lean practices, and there are many ways in which lean and sustainability complement each other. By reducing process waste, time waste, and material waste on job sites, PCL is able to push further on sustainability goals while ensuring that projects stay in budget and that other project goals are being met. 

Developers, building owners, designers, engineers, and agencies who are looking to create sustainable infrastructure projects need to partner with a company that has the expertise to deliver actionable solutions. By integrating sustainability into your project design and delivery strategy, PCL will identify the most cost-effective opportunities for sustainable and high-performance construction while bringing your next project to life.

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