Environmental and Sustainability Policy

The Environment

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.

Energy Management
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.

Green Sites
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 costs.

  • 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 facilities.

Transport Management
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 possible.

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 cost.
  • Design for reuse and recycling: products, processes, and systems should be designed for performance in a commercial 'afterlife'.
  • 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 closed cycles.
  • 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 educational tools.
  • 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 exhausted.
  • 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 carefully.
  • Materials - using less material (lightweighting), fewer materials (making it easier to recycle) and if possible avoiding toxic substances and choosing renewable or recycled/recyclable.
  • 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 follows:

  • 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 rainwater.
  • 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 system.
  • 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 places.

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 sites.

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 landfill.

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 construction industry
  • 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 their use.

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.

Created by Floyd.