Environmentally Friendly Building Materials
Building or renovating your home is one of the most important things that some of us will do in our lives. Our homes are built to stand the test of time and when built right, will last for generations. As these buildings will be part of the landscape around it, it’s important that we consider the impact of our homes on the planet - this has lead to more and more people choosing to build with materials that are more eco-friendly.
Check out our list of environmentally friendly building materials that you should consider for your next build!
What makes precast concrete so environmentally friendly is that it is durable and long-lasting. This means that precast concrete is a “set and forget” option for construction. When structures are made with wood or stone they may require more maintenance or repairs over time, meaning that more trees are cut down, or stone is mined.
The supply chain of precast concrete means that the product is made off-site and shipped as a final product. This process is much more efficient than pouring concrete on-site and as a result, creates much fewer byproducts.
Steel is a wonderful building material. It’s strong, durable and suitable for lots of different uses. But unfortunately, the process of making steel is damaging to the environment. The raw materials must be removed from the earth which requires the use of heavy machinery and invasive processes.
However, once steel has been created it can be recycled and repurposed making it a green building material. Old cars can be recycled to make steel for the structural elements of the home. In some cases, this process has only 25% of the emissions that creating steel the original has.
Reclaimed wood has been popular for a number of years now but is now gaining popularity because of its green credentials. Reclaimed wood has been used a lot because of its appearance. The aged textured and colour can add an extra touch of class to your build or renovation. But builders and homeowners are now seeing its environmental benefits too. Deforestation is plaguing parts of the world like
The Amazon which is the largest forest in the world and acts as a home for rare species and absorbs a massive amount of carbon from the atmosphere. By choosing reclaimed wood we help prevent deforestation like this and can also help reduce the amount of carbon made in the production of new wood products.
Plant-Based Polyurethane Rigid Foam
One of the more modern inventions on our list is plant-based polyurethane rigid foam. This practical product is made from natural materials like kelp, bamboo and sometimes even hemp! Some people use it to make furniture, but it’s mainly used as an insulating material.
The process used to create plant-based polyurethane rigid foam has a lower impact on the environment as it is made from renewable materials. But its in the application of the material where it really shines. Plant-based polyurethane rigid foam is a better insulator than fibreglass as well as having very impressive heat resistance, making buildings much more efficient.
Timbercrete is based on concrete but makes lots of improvements on the popular building material. Firstly, Timbercrete is lighter than concrete. Light sawmill waste is mixed with concrete which means that it requires less energy to transport. By using sawmill waste to create Timbercrete waste products are being reused, which helps reduce the carbon footprint of the build as well. This leads us to Timbercrete’s most impressive property - carbon sequestration. Over the lifetime of the building, the Timbercrete can absorb carbon from the atmosphere around it.
As the world is becoming more environmentally aware it’s great to see that there are lots of great products coming onto the market that can help reduce our impact on the planet.
Get in touch with the team here at RDC Fine Homes to discuss your next project and how we can use environmentally friendly materials to make your dream a reality!
Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2020