With the completion of the November global climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, it fits to follow this up with a discussion about sustainability in construction. The Glasgow meeting, commonly referred to as COP26, is the latest in a long running conversation about climate change. The focus of this conversation is two-fold: What are the causes and consequences of climate change, and what can we do to address those causes or live with the consequences?
Construction of water infrastructure is germane to this conversation because the things we build and the processes we use to build them are contributors to climate change. Our ability to build our projects more sustainably can provide significant benefits to the global effort to reduce human caused climate change. The challenge is that building sustainably — “being green” — is not easy for a variety of reasons that are important to discuss and consider as we try to do our part.