The sustainability focus is growing not only in relation to buildings, but also in terms of the temporary accommodation the people constructing them occupy on site, according to the Responsible Construction Industry Leadership Group.
The NSW Department of Public Works, for example, included a sustainable site shed requirement within the Sydney Light Rail tender. Brookfield has also piloted a sustainable approach to site sheds at its Wetherill Park project.
The RCLG expects demand will continue to grow. It recently joined with the Australian Constructors Association’s Sustainability Working Group, as well as key construction players, site shed manufacturers and the NSW Government to discuss adopting industry-wide sustainability standards for temporary site accommodation.
The workshop was hosted by John Holland and facilitated by Kevin Nuttall. Attendees included representatives from the NSW Department of Public Works, Downer, Coates Hire, Ausco Modular, ATCO, Royal Wolf, Built, Mirvac and Lendlease.
The RCLG goal is for any minimum standards to be commercially viable for head contractors, and also that manufacturers are able to comply with them.
Joe Karten, Sustainable Site Facilities project lead and Built senior project engineer – sustainability and quality, said site accommodation not only had an environmental impact, but could also positively impact occupant wellbeing.
“There is a real desire within the industry to set best-practice sustainability standards for temporary site facilities.”
Mr Karten said contractors and subcontractors often spent their entire careers working from temporary site facilities, but that these buildings were currently not afforded the same quality as that of the buildings being constructed.
“RCLG was excited to kick-start the discussion by bringing to the table a recommended scope of works that looks to improve areas including internal environment quality, energy use, water use and resource efficiency,” he said.
Draft specifications have been developed, and the RCLG is now seeking industry feedback by 30 August.
“We are looking forward to engaging further with industry and encourage all those along the construction supply chain to review the scope of works and provide their feedback as soon as possible,” Mr Karten said.