chapter  3.3
5 Pages

Construction Ecology

WithJanis Birkeland

The tenacity of inefficient, polluting and wasteful systems of development and construction owe in part to entrenched ways of thinking that co-evolved with these systems of production in the first place. This chapter suggests that many environmental managers and academics, as well as society at large, view the development process and construction industry through a linear, dualistic and hierarchical framework that obscures many of the sources of problems and prevents systems solution. Resources are extracted from nature and transported to factories to be converted to items of consumption for distribution to suppliers and construction sites. The construction industry is central to land, resource and energy consumption, as virtually all primary industries are tributaries of the construction industry. A more eco-effective construction industry and built environment would not reduce the consumption of materials and energy in itself, as industry would still push for the increased extraction, manufacture and provision of construction products.