One of the biggest challenges in civil engineering today is how to “go green.” This includes individual projects and creating plans for entire communities. ASCE Civil Engineering magazine takes an in-depth look at the various ways American cities are incorporating environmentally friendly projects into municipal planning.
As communities address issues concerning climate change, there is greater demand for a reduction of the use of materials and practices that negatively impact the environment. These changes apply to infrastructure, transportation, and utility sources. As the infrastructure of a community ages and needs repair, upgrade, or replacement more attention is being paid to alternate materials. The challenge for engineers and city planners is to make decisions that solve infrastructure needs but also follow environmentally friendly requirements.
Green vs. Sustainable
Green and sustainable are words we often hear when we think of discussing solutions that are more environmentally friendly. What is the difference?
Green focuses on what products are being used now. These are environmentally friendly products. In civil engineering, a green choice might involve using renewable energy sources such as water, wind, or solar power as an alternative to fossil fuels.
Sustainability refers to future impact. Using sustainable resources means the materials are easily replaceable or will not be depleted for future generations. An example is using responsibly sourced materials that are recycled, renewable, or locally sourced.
OEI Green Practices
OEI’s civil and environmental engineering teams provide analysis and system upgrade designs for various clients ranging from private citizens to regional organizations and federal partnerships. To maintain our status as a leading civil and environmental engineering firm we maintain knowledge of the most current materials and practices that can be used to meet each client’s requirements. This knowledge includes sustainable and green materials and practices. OEI considers green and sustainable materials that reduce pollution and minimize risk without sacrificing quality or project viability. Contact us today for analysis and upgrade recommendations and plans to create a more environmentally friendly community.