How does offsite construction contribute to meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

13 februari 2023 in
How does offsite construction contribute to meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

At BuildUp, we’re proud to be building a better future. Literally. You might look at a house, office or other building and see a very rigid, inanimate, and unnatural structure. What we see is so much more. Because the process by which they are created, houses so many opportunities. Not only to save energy, water, and carbon emissions but to educate, create jobs, strengthen communities, and improve health and wellbeing. Green building is a true catalyst for addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

In 2016 our world leaders gathered at the UN to agree upon and enforce The Sustainable Development Goals. These 17 goals are formulated to be the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice. 

While the 17 goals are wide-ranging, with detailed targets to achieve over the next 15 years, there are several goals to which green buildings can contribute in a significant way. This is why we are extremely dedicated to circular construction, offsite construction and energetic renovation at BuildUp.

Goal 3: Good health and well-being
The way a building is designed can hugely affect the health and well-being of its occupants. According to the World Health Organization, lung and respiratory diseases associated with poor indoor environment quality are three of the top five leading causes of death. But green building features, such as improved lighting, better air quality and greenery, have been proven to positively impact health and wellbeing.

How do we contribute at BuildUp?
With our offsite construction method, we work towards providing decent housing facilities for everyone. High in acoustic comfort and energy standards, with excellent inside air quality and fire resistance. Whether it is a new build or an energetic renovation. Quality of life is key. Our method also provides the possibility to implement new sources of water and energy, like solar panels, and reduce emissions to a minimum. And of course, we also prioritize health and safety for all our colleagues. 

Goal 7 & 13: Affordable, clean energy & Climate action
Energy saving from efficient, green buildings, whether commercial offices or homes, are a major benefit. Because the cheapest energy is the energy we don’t use! Green buildings also use renewable energy, which can be cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives. And of course, much cleaner too, since they don’t produce carbon emissions, limiting the impact on the planet. 

How do we contribute at BuildUp?
With our offsite construction building method, we prefabricate building components in a controlled environment before assembling them on-site. This method contributes to the clean energy industry in several ways:

  • Energy efficiency: Offsite construction improves energy efficiency by reducing waste and improving the quality control of building components. The factory environment also allows an efficient manufacturing process with less energy use. 

  • Reduced emissions: We mitigate carbon emissions because offsite construction reduces the need to transport many building components and reduces the amount of on-site construction activity.

  • Improved building performance: We can improve building performance by allowing for more precise and efficient construction techniques, which can result in more energy-efficient buildings.

  • Energy loss prevention: With today’s advanced techniques, it's possible to follow up on the energy consumption and maintenance needs of any house we build. That way, we can prevent energy losses instead of curing them.

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
The 9th Sustainable Development Goal seeks to build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. Economies with a diversified industrial sector and strong infrastructure sustained less damage and are experiencing faster recovery. 
Higher-technology industries performed better and recovered faster from the COVID-19 crisis, providing a strong example of how important technological innovation is.

How do we contribute at BuildUp?
Offsite construction completely transforms the construction process as we have known it for centuries. In shipbuilding, aircraft and car manufacturing, players shifted from a project-based approach to a product-based approach years ago. And innovation in construction is next. Radically shifting the way we build.

  • Production of buildings will become an assembly line-like process in a safe, non-hostile environment with a large degree of repeatability.  

  • The modules and elements of a building will be shipped and assembled on-site.  

  • Industry-wide standards for elements and components may emerge.  

  • Each player will develop its own design library of elements and components that can be assembled and customized according to customer requirements. 

  • The creativity in designing bespoke products will remain. Developers and product manufacturers will collaborate to design products according to unique circumstances.

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
Almost 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2030. Europe is even more urbanized. Today, around 75% of Europe’s population lives in urban areas, a number that is predicted to rise to 80% in 2050. 
So ensuring that those urban areas are sustainable is paramount. Buildings are the foundations of cities, whether it’s homes, offices, schools, shops or green spaces. They all heavily contribute to the make-up of communities, which must be sustainable to ensure a high quality of life for all. In fact, many countries have moved beyond the certification of single green buildings and have developed tools that facilitate the formation of green neighbourhoods and districts. 

How do we contribute at BuildUp?
Sustainability is our core belief. The foundation we build on. It's why we produce in one place, reducing waste and transport. And why we work with materials that make a difference. Better for the planet, for you, your kids, and their kids' kids.
By incorporating offsite construction techniques, it is possible to create built environments that are both efficient and environmentally friendly, promoting sustainable development for the long term.

  • Improved urban planning: Offsite construction helps to improve urban planning by allowing for more efficient use of land and reducing the need for extensive site preparation.

  • Reduced waste: Offsite construction reduces waste by allowing for more controlled and efficient use of resources, such as materials and energy. 

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
By 2050, the equivalent of almost 3 planets could be required to maintain current lifestyles. Unsustainable patterns of consumption and production are the root causes of the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. Governments and all citizens should work together to improve resource efficiency, reduce waste and pollution, and shape a new circular economy.

In construction, the current linear economy follows a "take-make-waste" model, where we extract raw materials for construction. Once used, buildings are demolished, and materials are often discarded or down cycled. A circular economy is an alternative model where we keep resources in use for as long as possible. We extract the maximum value from them when in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life. 

Circular construction is essential in transforming the industry towards climate neutrality. It can deliver substantial material savings throughout value chains and production processes, generate extra value and unlock economic opportunities. Saving 80% of emissions. And reducing waste to absolute zero.

How do we contribute at BuildUp?
With our offsite construction practices and following the cradle-to-cradle principle, we help reduce waste and promote more responsible consumption and production practices in the construction industry. 

  • We use parametric design for precise estimations. That way, we can measure every resource to a tee, so nothing is wasted. 

  • We use certified systems to ensure improved quality and guarantee performance (fire, acoustic and thermal). 

  • We produce all buildings in a controlled environment with systematic quality control. Reducing construction overruns and extra costs. 

  • On-site installation is fast, fail proof and produces less waste than the traditional process. 

  • Buildings are designed to be easily disassembled at the end of their lifecycle. 

  • All materials are reused or recycled, serving more than one purpose in their lifetime. 
Goal 17: Partnerships
Partnerships between various stakeholders, including government agencies, private companies, and non-profit organizations, will play a crucial role in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In our industry of offsite construction as well. By working together, these various stakeholders can help drive the adoption of offsite construction practices on a large scale.

How do we contribute at BuildUp?
We are now part of the renovation revolution, supporting sustainability in the construction industry. We aim to work along with government entities as well as enterprises and entrepreneurs that have the same common goal as us, a better future. Together we can reconstruct construction for good!