The environmental impact of building materials
Reducing the negative environmental impact caused by building processes and materials is an important element of circular construction. Sustainable construction applies to both public spaces (as it pertains to civil and hydraulic engineering) and the built environment (the construction of residential and non-residential buildings). The Environmental Cost Indicator (ECI) is an instrument that expresses this environmental impact within a civil engineering framework; the Environmental Performance of Buildings (EPB) is a set of standards that calculates the overall environmental performance of buildings.
As a first step, any construction project for public spaces and the built environment must start with good design choices that significantly reduce environmental impact. The next step is to research and choose materials with the lowest possible environmental impact.
After reading this toolkit article by Metabolic, City of Amsterdam and Copper 8, you will
- understand how the ECI and EPB arose and what they measure
- gain tools to lower the ECI and EPB at project level, and
- understand the limitations and implications of both methods.