How Civil Construction Can Cut Its Environmental Impact and Save Money


by | Apr 30, 2015

SkanskaSkanska’s civil construction team has realized a recycling/reuse rate of 99 percent for its Virginia Elizabeth River Tunnels project, which is moving 16,000-ton tunnel tubes under the Elizabeth River, according to a company blog.

The firm says this is one example of how civil construction, which often requires a large amount of materials and equipment, can use methods that reduce its environmental impact while upholding US infrastructure.

The ERT project team’s other achievements include:

  • Implementing onsite treatment of lead-contaminated soil: Through this environmental-safe method that allows the soil to be handled as treated waste — instead of hazardous waste — the project saved more than $100,000 in disposal costs.
  • Using oil in all marine equipment that reduces the risk to the river’s marine life.
  • Using waste concrete to make oyster habitats (pictured). The team worked with the nonprofit Elizabeth River Project and the Lafayette Wetlands Partnership to make use of waste concrete while enhancing the local ecosystem.
  • Generating Environmental Excellence Reports: Through these concise reports that provide a cost analysis and description of benefits from the project’s environmental activities, the company says it hopes to educate other construction companies on how to produce quality projects while still improving the environment and saving money.

A report co-sponsored by Skanska earlier this year found green infrastructure — natural and semi-natural features ranging from street trees and roof gardens, to parks and woodlands — offers several business opportunities including a potential increase in land and property values.

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