Write a 1050 to 1400 word paper discussing the impact that building residential and commercial projects have on our environment. Be sure to include:
“In the next 25 years, two billion more people will move into cities and towns”, says the World Bank report. Even a simple reflection on the issue will bring many issues that have a greater impact on the lives of people and environment. The massive exodus to the towns and cities means huge construction activities that will fill the skyline of the towns and cities, replacing the green and fertile lands. The impact of massive construction activities on environment and other related issues need our immediate attention, thoughtful planning and careful execution.
The exodus of people from rural areas to urban areas results in many activities that need to be planned. The first and foremost thing that demands everyone’s attention is providing housing facility to the people. Building houses in colonies with all the facilities like schools, super markets, hospitals and recreation center reaches unprecedented magnitude. The major concern for all is the damage it causes to the atmosphere, the climatic conditions and to the environment. It starts with land acquisition, material procurement, labor planning, resource allocation, risk analysis and management and sustainable development.
Land acquisition and preparation for the construction of residential buildings and commercial complexes is a major challenge. It acquires greater importance when the volume is larger than before. Naturally, it requires more and more land in the sub-urban areas or the nearby rural areas. It involves felling of trees, converting cultivable land into construction site, preparing the land for constructing buildings. Land preparation requires testing the strength of the soil and sometimes it requires strengthening the ground for erecting high rise buildings and apartments. Replacing the loose soil with concrete leads to creating a lot of wastage and disposing the same. Disposal of wastage or unwanted material, results in filling the places with wastage and garbage in the surroundings at first and distant places later. Urban housing has its implications not only on the land and environment but also on general living conditions.
It is not just erecting the building that causes damages to the environment, its maintenance and use also affect it. Provision of drinking water, water for washing and disposing the dirty water have their own share in draining the land with motors and filling the drainages with the dirt and shit. Waste water disposal and recycling it requires careful planning without causing damage to the surroundings.
Providing shelter does not end with constructing residential and commercial complexes. It also requires creating conditions for healthy and comfortable living. It involves taking the services of the local government as well as the services of the community. Providing drinking water is the first and foremost duty of the local authorities. Huge conglomeration of buildings needs plenty of water supplies either from rivers or lakes or underground water. The huge requirement of water everyday has its impact in draining the ground waters.
Supply of food and other daily needs is another major challenge. Procurement of vegetables and milk is a gigantic task for the government as well as local communities. It depends on the availability of the same either in the surrounding rural areas or transporting them from distant places. Providing other amenities has its own impact on the environment.
Insurance of residential places is one of the inevitable aspects of construction activities. It creates a sense of security to the buyer to meet any unexpected future problems of fire or earth quake or any kind of damage to his house. The insurance costs are growing higher day by day. Speaking about the mounting insurance costs of buildings, Pat Curry, a specialist in construction insurance and finance says:
“Well, at least we’re not alone. Lest builders think this industry is the only one getting hammered in the liability insurance crisis (and it is officially a crisis now), premiums, retentions (or deductibles), and exclusions are up, and limits are down, regardless of the field.”
The liability for the damages lies with the builder when the construction project was going on and once it is finished it rests with the owner. To meet the liabilities for the damages, insuring the house is one the best options. “Homeowner may recover in strict liability for damages to house and property caused by defect in foundation” according to Howrey LLP, an expert in the field.
Providing power supply is another major concern for the builders as well as the planners of power supply. Especially in the scenario of power shortage it acquires greater significance in planning the houses and commercial complexes. The mounting prices of power supplies a major cause of worry for the house owners. The provision of power supply to large buildings and commercial establishments amounts to planning on a larger scale keeping in the safety and security aspects.
Provision for alternate power supply is an added comfort for the house owners. Creating facilities for uninterrupted power supply like setting up power generators will involve a lot of cost in construction of buildings. Power supply keeping in the mounting demand needs to be planned in advance. It may also lead to erecting a mini power plant in the nearby area, when there are no other sources of power supply.
The energy supply and its use are not without any damage to the environment. Power generation depends on the availability of natural energy resources. The scarce water resources will support for the generation of power from hydro power plants. The other alternative is getting power from thermal power plants. Whatever be the source for power supply, it can not be done without causing any damage to the surroundings and environment in the larger context.
Making the construction industry sustainable is imperative. Development without sustainability will lead to problems of unimaginable magnitude. If sustainable development is not taken seriously it will lead to severe ecological imbalance. The thrust should be on providing green houses. The houses that support ecological balance without causing much damage to the environment need to be built for a safer and better future.
Managing the growing construction of buildings and commercial places by the individuals and construction companies is of paramount importance especially in the face of serious ecological imbalances caused by unplanned activities and mindless exploitation of natural resources.
Hence, it is highly essential to consider the above factors and their influence on the environment. Securing a house at the cost of future generations reflects the hindsight of the humanity. Constructing the houses that help sustain the environment demands the attention of all those who are in the business of providing safe places of living.
World Bank Report