As the trend for sustainability grows we’re all looking for more ways to ‘go green’. When you’re designing a ‘green’ home, or just looking for ways to increase your property’s eco-friendly status, knowing what materials to use is the first step to building a truly sustainable house.
What to look for… wood
Wood takes less energy to gather and transport, with lower environmental impact, compared to materials like metal. Always look for wood that is responsibly sourced and use local suppliers certified by the FSC where possible. Using sustainable timber in construction can reduce your carbon footprint.
Use: beech, oak, pine and fir.
What to look for… metals
The mining and the refining of metals has a major detrimental effect on the environment. However, these impacts can be minimised by using recycled metals, especially steel. Modern steel tends to last the lifetime of the building, so minimises wastage.
Use: recycled steel.
What to look for… glass
Brand new glass uses a lot of natural resources, e.g. sand and limestone which have to be mined and then refined before the glass making process can begin. Using recycled glass reduces the total amount of energy needed and reduces the impact on the environment, and keeps waste out of landfills. New technologies mean that large glazed areas are also brilliant for energy efficiency, allowing maximum natural light flow as well as providing excellent insulation. This is not only good for the environment, it’s good for people too!
Use: double-glazed, recycled glass.
What to look for… stone
Like steel, stone of all varieties has a great life span, making it an ideal ‘green’ building material. Using local stone is a brilliant way to increase sustainability and it can produce some stunning unique results too. High thermal mass means that stone is a great insulator, and it’s an incredibly versatile material that can be used for all parts of a building. Using local stone, found on site or reclaimed where possible, is a great way to make your home blend seamlessly with its surroundings, so it’s brilliant for helping to preserve the aesthetic of the natural environment too.
Use: sandstone, limestone and ironstone.
If you have a big idea, or would like some help creating a sustainable home, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team to discuss how we can help you!