When we think about environmental hazards from green house emissions, we tend to picture huge factories with giant exhausts of smoke. But the bigger picture is that construction of everyday buildings like houses can significantly increase your increased carbon footprints. The transportation and manufacture of the building materials for your home, together with the extraction of raw materials can have a significant impact on the environment. In such a scenario, the option to use green building materials is a great way to reduce your carbon footprints while not compromising on the quality of construction. Here are some of the best options of green building materials for your home.
Recycled Steel for Green Design
Most houses use wood for structurally important structures like supporting beams and columns. The fact is that steel is much stronger and more durable when used for these structures. But both wood and steel come with a significant stress on the environment in the production process. Recycled steel is steel that is salvaged by recycling scrap metal. The production process for recycled steel consumes up to 75% lesser energy as compared to normal steel. This means that by using recycled steel, not only do you save trees by substituting for regular lumber, but also free up landfill space for scrap metal.
Straw Bale for Green Homes
At face value, it might seem strange and primitive to use straw bales as home building materials. But the truth is that compressed straw bales are one of the most effective eco-friendly building materials. Straw has better insulation than regular wood, is cost effective, and surprisingly durable against harsh weather. With a layer of plaster or stucco, straw bales provide a beautiful, rustic look as well. The only disadvantage is that straw tends to absorb moisture and is not suitable for very humid conditions.
Polypropylene Plumbing for Building Green
Most homes in America use PVC pipes for plumbing. Apart from being non bio-degradable and difficult to recycle, PVC pipes also release small amounts of carcinogens into the water over a long period of time. Polypropylene plumbing is an eco friendly alternative to PVC. It is a highly inert plastic that does not react with the water in the pipes and can be easily recycled or disposed safely after a long period of use.
Recycled Wood as Green Building Material
Recycled Wood or Plastic Composite Lumber is made up of recycled plastic and wood fibers. The combination of the two materials gives it the inertness of plastic and the durability of wood. While it is quite expensive, it is also more durable and less toxic as compared to regular treated lumber. The high cost can be compensated for by the fact that the material lasts longer and does not need to be updated or replaced like regular woodwork.
Soft Surface Floor Covering in Green Design
Instead of using vinyl composite tiles and other flooring options that are hard, switch on to soft surface floor covering (such as those from Kinetex). These semi-rigid tiles are suitable for places where there is medium to high traffic like offices and malls. What makes this material stand out from other green building materials is that it is pre- and post-consumer recycled! It is also low emitting and resists dust thus improving the lifespan.
Recycled plastic and glass, hemp, rammed earth are some of the better options for going green as early as designing and building your home. They are also economically cheap and give your home a pleasant feel of nature itself. and in that they add beauty and aesthetics to your home’s overall appearance.
Using eco friendly building materials like these is a great first step to take towards being environmentally conscious. Apart from using these materials, any steps that help you improve the insulation of heat in your home, reduce power and water consumption also contribute significantly to creating a greener, cleaner environment.