To help achieve our environmental targets, we have adopted
the 3R's principle: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Whilst
recycling is the element which receives the most exposure, it is
actually the last option available in the battle to reduce
waste. It is our duty as individuals and as a company to
initially attempt to Reduce usage. Then we should look to
'Reuse' wherever possible and finally, only after these two
processes have been exhausted, should we consider Recycling.
We are constantly striving to reduce energy consumption
throughout our sites and head office.
At our head office in Liversedge we have installed Dimplex night
storage heaters, which store heat in stone cells for gradual
release during the daytime. The lighting system has been
fully replaced using more efficient fittings, resulting in a
reduction in the amount of electricity consumed.
Wherever possible we strive to make our sites as green as
possible, not only does this help reduce our CO2 emissions but it
also reduces our internal waste and therefore reduces our end
- We encourage all our staff to adopt eco-friendly practices,
such as switching off unused lights and electrical equipment.
- Employees are encourage not to print out documents unless
absolutely necessary, then use both side of the paper if they do
but to use e-mail as a preferred option of
communication. All waste paper is collected in
designated recycling bins which are located in every office.
- Printer ink cartridges are collected from our sites and sent to
a company who re-fill cartridges for re-sale.
- We have a recycling bin for clothing and household items at our
head office which is collected by the Heart Foundation for re-sale
in their charity shops.
- On site, construction waste materials are sorted for recycling,
where there is no capacity for separate waste disposal skips, the
waste will be sorted for recycling by the Waste Disposal
company. We only use Waste companies who have recycling
At Triton we encourage the leasing of fuel efficient
vehicles; most of these are fitted with Euro 5 engines, which help
to reduce both CO2 and Nitrogen Oxide emissions. As an
added incentive to our staff there is an increase on their lease
allowance for the most fuel efficient vehicles.
We promote, wherever possible, the philosophy of car
sharing. This system is generally utilised by the office staff
when visiting sites. Each Manager is issued with a
company car user's manual which provides instruction on how to
achieve the best fuel efficiency.
Carbon (CO2) Footprint
To further reduce our impact on the environment, Triton
will source local suppliers and sub-contractors wherever
As a progressive and forward thinking business we realise
the importance of sustainability and are committed to the promotion
of best practice principles in this regard. Every scheme provides
its own challenges and should therefore be reviewed on its own
merits, however the same basic processes can be applied as a
starting point for driving change.
The process we would adopt at the design and construction stages
would be to look at the full scheme and its requirements with the
following in mind.
- Low-impact materials: choose non-toxic, sustainably-produced or
recycled materials which require little energy to process.
- Energy efficiency: use manufacturing processes and produce
products which require less energy.
- Quality and durability: longer-lasting and better-functioning
products will have to be replaced less frequently, reducing the
impacts of producing the replacements and future installation
- Design for reuse and recycling: products, processes, and
systems should be designed for performance in a commercial
- Design Impact Measures: for total earth footprint and
life-cycle assessment for the design and its products.
- Sustainable Design Standards: utilise all relevant and
forthcoming standards to ensure that the project is as future
proofed as possible. Project design guides are increasingly
available and are vigorously being developed by a wide array of
private organizations and individuals.
- Biomimicry: redesigning industrial systems on biological
lines. Thus enabling the constant reuse of materials in continuous
- Service substitution: shifting the mode of consumption from
personal ownership of products to provision of services which
provide similar functions, e.g. sustainable designs used as
- Renewability: materials should come from nearby (local or
bioregional), sustainably-managed renewable sources that can be
composted (or fed to livestock) when their usefulness has been
- Healthy Buildings: sustainable building design aims to create
buildings that are not harmful to their occupants or to the larger
environment. An important emphasis is on indoor environmental
quality, especially indoor air quality.Sustainability and
sustainable design involves juggling a number of issues in a
careful balancing act. The following have to be considered
- Materials - using less material (lightweighting), fewer
materials (making it easier to recycle) and if possible avoiding
toxic substances and choosing renewable or
- Dematerialisation - could include some of the above,
lightweighting for example, but also designing things to be
multifunctional, or finding a different way to deliver the same
benefit through a service or product-service combination.
- Design for disassembly - making things easy to take apart so
they can be repaired, serviced, upgraded, remanufactured, or
recycled, such as through modular design, or smart materials which
can self-disassemble when needed.
- Energy - both in production (which would mean looking at the
manufacturing process), and in use and disposal. This includes
minimizing energy use, moving to the use of renewable energy, and
extracting energy from waste in some cases.
- Life extension - keeping a product, or its parts or materials,
in productive use for their optimal lifespan, so slowing or
preventing the linear flow of materials from extraction and
processing to disposal.
- Transport - minimizing it, that is. Sourcing a renewable,
impeccably green material which you ship four times round the world
may not be as sustainable as something a little less clean from
down the road.
Like any good design, sustainable design
involves delivering the best performance or result for the least
cost over the long term. Sustainable design involves the strategic
use of design to meet current and future human needs without
compromising the environment. It includes (re)design of products,
processes, services or systems to tackle imbalances or trade-offs
between the demands of society, the environment and the economy
and, ultimately, restoration of damage already done.
Some additional examples are as
- Timber Frame: this style of design fits with the ethos of
sustainability and given that within Yorkshire there are
numerous timber Frame suppliers it also aids on the energy
efficiency of transportation.
- Insulation: utilising full recycled cavity insulation behind an
air tight membrane such as Knauf Perimeter Plus. This aids in the
energy and thermal qualities of the building.
- Non Plasticized Roof Membranes: thus limiting the damage to the
environment caused by the products used in the manufacture (e.g.
use recycled materials wherever possible, avoidance of plasticizers
which could migrate into the environment). These membranes offer
excellent waterproofing properties and can be covered with a choice
of guarantees up to 30 years. The membranes can usually be overlaid
and may not have to be disposed of at this stage.
- Roof Gardens: these styles of roofing will have to be designed
and utilised for specific locations. Roof Garden systems
include all the necessary protection/drainage/reservoir layers and
the appropriate growing medium substrate, drain gratings, rainwater
outlet inspection boxes/grey water collection outlets. All
materials used are from recycled materials.
- Photovoltaic Roof Coverings: single ply non plasticised
waterproofing membrane that incorporates flexible thin film
amorphous silicon photovoltaic cells. This gives the opportunity to
generate electricity for the building whilst at the same time
making the roof watertight. It is, therefore, classified as a
Building Integrated Product and as such is favoured by the
Department of Trade and Industry (D.T.I.) regarding the awarding of
and level of Grants available through the Energy Savings Trust
(E.S.T.) for Solar Installations. In addition to the savings on
Energy Costs, there are of course environmental benefits in the
resultant reduction of Carbon Emissions.
- Rainwater harvesting: is water collected from roofs
via traditional guttering, through down pipes to an underground
tank(s). Delivered direct to toilets, washing machines and outside
tap use. More than 50% of mains water can be substituted by
- Greywater recycling: is water from the bath, shower and
wash hand basin. The ideal situation for 'Greywater' is in
living accommodation where sufficient amounts are generated daily
for reuse in toilets, washing machine and outside tap.
- Biomass Boilers: these use renewable organic materials,
such as wood, agricultural crops or wastes, and municipal wastes,
as fuel or energy. At present these installations could only be
designed and installed in larger projects. On large scale
industrial installations, biomass boilers can be feed from the
waste created within the factory process on a scale that will
regenerate more power than is required by the factory, in these
cases the surplus power can be diverted into the national grid
- Bio Fuel Boilers: these boilers use fuel produced from
renewable resources, especially plant biomass, vegetable oils, and
treated municipal and industrial wastes. Bio fuels are considered
neutral with respect to the emission of carbon dioxide because the
carbon dioxide given off by burning them is balanced by the carbon
dioxide absorbed by the plants that are grown to produce them.
- Ground Source Heat Pumps: The ground offers an excellent
resource to incorporate heat pumps into systems for heating and
cooling of buildings. The ground temperature in
the UK can generally be defined into three distinct
regions. Firstly, there is a variable temperature region for the
first 4m of ground, which will vary depending on the season. The
next 100m or so is constant throughout the year due to the large
thermal mass of the ground and from around 100m and below the
ground temperature warms due to radioactive decay effects. Ground
Source Heat Pumps are usually designed to use the thermal resource
found in the first two regions. Ground Source Heat Pumps are
accredited under government backed grants. When there is plenty of
land available, horizontal closed ground loops are normally the
most cost effective method. Polyethylene pipe is laid in trenches
approximately 1m deep and a mixture of water and food grade
anti-freeze ('brine') is circulated to collect energy from the
ground. Where space is tight, vertical boreholes incorporating
vertical closed ground loops may be the answer. They can range from
25m - 150m deep but can be expensive when compared to horizontal
closed ground loops and depending on the location. A closed
polyethylene U-tube is placed in the borehole and a mixture of
water and anti-freeze is circulated to collect energy.
- Air Source Heat Pump: these take energy from the air and
raise it to a higher temperature, using a process which is similar
to a reverse refrigeration process. For commercial and large spaces
a row or bank of air source heat pumps (Air Handling Units) will be
required along with internal heat pump and pressured hot water tank
for ongoing water usage. This is a system which utilises no
external pipes and most of the working elements reside within the
building. The air handling unit draws air across the water-anti
freeze solution and transfers this energy into the refrigerant. The
refrigerant boils and the gases from this are compressed to produce
temperatures in excess of 100°C. This part of the process mirrors a
ground source heat pump. Air source heat pumps can be used in many
more applications including large commercial projects where land
space is restricted. Air sourced heat pumps can be used as a
complete solution for room heating using the same distribution
system as a ground source heat pump or a traditional system. Air
sourced heat pumps are ideal for very tight spaces and within an
eco architectural design or within the design of a building which
has large internal spaces such as audience halls and public
In the last 12 months Triton Construction Ltd has appointed Paul
Halloran as its Environment Champion. An environmental policy has
been produced and is now in the process of been utilised by all
With respect to our organisations' commitment to sustainability
during the construction phase we have adopted some new policies.
One such policy is that production of a database of all the
regional recycling centres that can be used, with details of the
type of recycling undertaken. These have been contacted and the way
in which the recycling is carried out has been noted and the skip
provider has been rated as such. This enables our site teams to
successfully plan the recycling of materials from their sites. The
information is also helpful in the production of our on site waste
management plans and is critical in avoiding unnecessary
We have recently introduced an Environmental section into our
construction manuals that are available in electronic format on all
site computers and on the company network system. The environmental
section covers the following:-
- Aspects & Impact register for sites and head office
- Advise & Tips including monthly publications
- Environment guidance as produced by the Environment Agency
- Environmental Carriers Register
- Schedule of environmental legislations affecting the
- Pollution prevention
- 28 nr environmental tool box talks
- Waste Management control & guidance
- Water; control of pollution; protection of water courses
- Environmental auditing
- Environmental emergency plan
We are currently working on the production of a sustainability
library which will provide electronic network access to various
sustainable design ideas and details of sustainable produces and
As a contractor working on traditional form of contracts it is
sometimes hard to alter the designed project with regard to
materials used, but we do on a regular basis make suggestions and
give informed options to the designers. These, if taken up, can
drastically increase the sustainability of the project. Some
examples that have been accepted on previous projects are as
follows, timber frame construction, air source heat pumps, recycled
plastic kerbs and rainwater harvesting.