Environmental Aspects

Situation:

Every year in the United States, 400,000 workers are seriously injured or killeddoing construction work. Construction work is dangerous and takes to high a toll on human life and human resources. Resulting litigation from work place injuries areincreasingly raising the overall costs of construction. Waste is also a major concern for conventional construction methods. Construction of atypical single family home generates a waste stream of 3 to 7 tons. Globally more than 40 percent of all raw materials are consumed in the construction process. Construction, inaddition to wasting valuable resources, contributes significantly to environmentally harmful emissions.

Target:

We must strive to reduce the negative environmental impacts of construction andto eliminate worker safety hazards.

Proposal:

Contour Crafting is a robotic technology with very accurate computer control. Due to the nature of this technology, materials are extruded with perfect precision andnear zero waste. Contour Crafting offers construction without waste, noise, dust or harmful emissions. As a result construction by Contour Crafting will be anenvironmentally friendly and sustainable process. And since Contour Crafting is an automated robotics technology, workers will not have to risk life or limb to dobackbreaking and repetitive tasks. The resulting reduction in labor injuries and the subsequent litigations will reduce both the human and financial costs of construction. Contour Crafting will prove to be much safer for the worker and for the environment.

We envision the following items as the potential environmental health and safety benefits of the proposed technology:

Environmental Impacts

  • less total material use
  • less total energy use for all construction activities
  • less material and energy waste during construction
  • less transportation of material, equipment, and people

Safety:

During the building process, we will have

  • less injuries in construction and transportation-related activities
  • less worker skin contact with hazardous substances
  • less exposure to airborne substances such as dust and chemicals
  • less noise exposure
  • easier to establish procedures for hazard and failure analysis during construction

During the use phase, we will have

  • more efficient buildings therefore less energy use in HVAC
  • efficient internal space use for occupants
  • increased structural strength and durability due to less aging material
  • increased seismic safety due to improved construction design and material

Click here for an Environmental Impact of the Contour Crafting Technology

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