Discussing Future Goals for Sustainable Engineering

In the 21st century that are many global challenges faced by engineers. We are living on a planet of limited resources and are facing an environmental and economic crisis. Never before has the issue of sustainable engineering been more prominent. The process of reaching a point where sustainable engineering is a constant and the default is still a long way off. However, there are things that can be put in place by businesses today to help secure the businesses of tomorrow.

Improve Life Cycle Performance

In most cases structures are designed in order to minimise the start-up costs. It is a rare that a structure aims to keep the overall lifetime costs down. If the entire lifespan of a structure was taken into account at the inception, then it would be far more sustainable. Although the initial cost will definitely be raised the cost of years of maintenance and eventual demolition will be reduced by a considerable amount, which will increase the overall environmental performance of the structure.

Specify Salvaged or Recycled Materials

Mining useful natural resources and turning them into products is a system that has been used for a long time, however it is also a system that doesn’t work for the world we now life in. Natural resources are continuing to deplete fast and engineers need to look for alternatives. One way to get the materials needed to create new structures is to use materials from old structures. For example, the general consensus is that there is more copper in existing structures than there is in the natural environment. If these materials can be salvaged and recycled from the built environment then this will go a long way to creating a sustainable future.

Use Alternative Materials

The materials that are required for structural engineering purposes are steel and concrete. Both of these materials take a huge amount of energy to produce, and they are not to kind of the environment. The advantages of these materials in terms of the structural integrity is seen as enough to keep using these materials. However, it is possible for engineers to begin branching out into alternative materials. It may be too early to consider alternative materials for large permanent structures, however when it comes down to temporary structures and smaller buildings that don’t hold a lot of responsibility it is definitely an option that deserves to be considered.


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