The construction industry today is a far cry from 50 years ago. Methods, compliance, regulations, building techniques and materials have evolved over the decades.

“In the past building regulations fell in line with the lowest common denominator which set a fairly low bar but this has changed dramatically and construction operations and standards have cranked up exponentially in recent years,” said Buxton chairman Andrew Briggs.

Buxton Construction has prided itself on keeping pace with the latest industry practices and innovations over the decades, and assisting clients and consultants achieve the optimum outcomes.

Ben de Waard director of Sustainable Development Consultants agrees that change is in the air and says builders can no longer hide behind window dressing to make them and their projects look good.

“Changing community attitudes and the voluntary observance of social and corporate responsibilities are driving change in the industry. More detailed council implementation reporting, ESD policies, greenhouse gas emission guidelines and carbon targets together with more stringent checks and balances have also had a positive impact on the industry.”

Energy storage to reduce dependence on the grid and minimise costs – as well as drive down emissions – is attracting increasing attention while the capture of water for toilet flushing, laundry use and irrigation and some other applications is becoming more widespread.”

“Solar systems can be installed on the roof of buildings and in various other situations such as on pergolas or on the ground. Cost savings – not to mention the reduction in fossil fuel consumption – are meaningful.”

“Solar systems start paying for themselves from the day they become operational and deliver ongoing cost efficiencies and energy savings,” Ben added.

Construction materials in use today improve livability and ambience while some products such as adhesives, floor coverings and paints are designed to meet emissions standards that reduce risks to the health of workers and building occupants.

A significant innovation that Ben expects to be seen on building sites in the near future is a reduced dependence on fossil fuels as the electrification of many mechanical applications becomes more widespread.

Sustainable Development Consultants have collaborated with Buxton Construction on numerous projects over the years, the most recent of which was Fairway Aged Care involving the expansion of existing facilities from 65 to 84 beds with basement car parking.

In this instance providing ESD consulting services relating to water capture for irrigation and laundry use, solar electricity and daytime lighting to rooms and common areas.