Articles : Reduce, Reuse, Recycle . . . Repair, Restore
Repairing and restoring our built environment not only makes economic sense. It's ecologically sensible too.
When we think about the impact buildings have on the environment, our focus usually turns to new construction. Sustainable materials, energy efficient products and responsible use of land are important considerations, but they are only part of the sustainability equation.
Making sure we get the most out of our built environment has a direct impact on the earth’s environment. If we are to apply the waste-cutting adage, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" to buildings and structures, we might want to add "Repair and Restore". Preserving existing structures is just as important as choosing the materials that are used to build them initially.
According to the EPA’s, "Buildings and their Impact on the Environment", approximately 44,000 commercial buildings are demolished in the United States every year. Reducing demolition materials conserves landfill space. Maintaining and restoring existing structures diminishes the need for producing new materials for construction.
Restoration projects also have a positive impact on local economies. Most companies employ local labor and use materials purchased from local businesses. Such projects have a long-lasting beneficial economic impact as well. Property values increase when the condition of a building has been maintained or improved, so sustaining the built environment is a good step toward sustaining a local economy as well as the lease rates of a property.
There are relatively simple steps that building owners can take to extend the life of a structure. A good place to start would be to schedule periodic inspections of building facades and parking decks. Early detection of a problem is critical to minimizing overall repair costs and preventing further damage. Moisture intrusion mitigation, if performed early enough, can significantly reduce the process of structural deterioration.
Exterior Diagnostic Services (EDS) helps property owners overcome the waterproofing and exterior maintenance challenges they will all inevitably face. We work to protect and enhance property investments, including commercial, industrial and institutional buildings, sports and entertainment venues, transportation facilities, parking decks and elevated walkways.
If you would like to explore the possibility of having a property inspected for potential maintenance issues, please give us a call. We will be happy to schedule an experienced and highly qualified member of the EDS team to perform this service and help you take the first step toward sustainability.
For more on restoration as a responsible and sustainable practice, see "The Ultimate Act of Sustainability" by Christopher Perego, in The Applicator, Fall 2010 Edition.