Guide to sustainable building materials
Green building is a topic you're going to hear more and more about in the years ahead as society moves towards a more sustainable future. The objectives of the green building movement include the use of environmentally friendly house materials to reduce the ecological impact of construction as well as optimal energy efficiency and the use of renewable resources.
Green Building Materials Checklist
Green and sustainable building materials are those which are made using renewable resources, are produced in a manner that has the least possible negative impact on the environment, and last a long time (thereby reducing waste). For example, fiberglass windows are favored in green house building ahead of products like alumnimum windows, since fiberglass production is less harmful to the environment, it lasts longer than aluminum, and is 100 percent recyclable.
There are green options within the realm of just about every standard building material currently available. Some woods, like bamboo, are more ecologically responsible than others; you can get absorptive cement that traps water rather than letting it run off and pollute waterways, and insulation materials like newspaper, soy, cotton, cork, recycled plastic and wood pulp all earn a thumbs-up.
In essence, you're trying to use materials that reduce your carbon footprint to the greatest degree you can manage. Saving energy, preventing pollution and choosing renewable, sustainable resources over thoughtless consumption are all good guidelines to follow.
Creating Environmentally Friendly Homes
Green home construction is poised to make major strides in the years and decades to come. Here are some tips you can use to guide your green house building strategy:
- Live close to where you work. Many people erroneously think they need to erect a log cabin in the woods and use rainwater in their toilets and showers to live green. This is a misconception; you're far better off living close to where you need to be, so you can walk, ride your bike and use public transportation as much as possible.
- Catch the sunshine. Solar power is the darling of eco-conscious homeowners, so you're going to want to position your green home so it catches as many rays of sun during the day as possible.
- Reduce, reuse and recycle. Your choice of building materials has a major impact on the environment. Less is more, and you should choose recycled and reusable materials wherever possible. Set up rain barrels to collect water for your garden rather than draining municipal resources, avoid excessive consumption of electricity, compost your food waste and recycle everything you can.