Engineering With Limited Environmental Impact

By: Dusty Arlia
Published on September 4, 2011
Last Updated on Wednesday, July 08, 2015 at 10:07 PM
Total Updates: 4

Every day we are building things like buildings, streets, bridges, refrigerators, TVs, and computers. All these things have a certain lifetime before they have to be replaced. The reasons behind replacing them can range from them being broken to the fact that they are not efficient enough or can't perform their job. Sustainable engineering is a concept of engineering with the plans of extending products' useable lives. Extending product lives has many financial benefits. When everyday products and everyday structures are built to last longer, it also has a positive effect on the environment.

When constructing these items, large amounts of natural resources are used in the construction process. There are also a lot of often overlooked resources. For instance, when you have to repave a street, there is more than just the raw materials that needs to be accounted for. Think about all the construction workers it will take to build this street. Think of all their gas to get to the job site and all the gas required to operate their equipment. This whole construction project could have been avoided if the original road was constructed in a way to make the road last longer. This is where sustainable engineering not only has its environmental benefits, but also its financial benefits.

A lot of people think that this might have a negative impact on available jobs. This makes sense in some perspective that less work to be done means fewer jobs, but from a different perspective this allows us to stop wasting our time and energy on rebuilding things and help us focus on things that are more important to us. Money previously spent on these rebuilding efforts can now be reallocated to other areas like research and development or to help hire police officers is just a few examples. Having these extra funds available would just lead to spending the money differently.

Currently, it is quite common to see cities not be able to afford a lot of the projects that are necessary to solve some of their problems. Sustainable engineering measures taken in the past might have helped save the city from their current situation they might find themselves in. Hopefully we can start a movement where our city governments can take these ideas seriously.

While planning these construction projects, we need to start thinking in the long-term. Sustainable Engineering solves multiple problems and we have to continue our efforts in this area to receive all the benefits that sustainable engineering has to offer.