The benefits of building with green materials

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 08:03

A lot of thought and effort goes into building a new house, especially when you want to try to make it sustainable. There are many things to consider during the process that have both short- and long-term effects on your finances and the environment around you. When you're furnishing your house, smart decisions on water-efficient toilets or radiant heaters to save on your bills go great lengths in reducing your carbon footprint. Besides installing the best heating system in your house, you can begin making green choices even earlier. Choosing the materials you use to build your home with can bring you one step closer to having an eco-friendly house.

The foundation of modern buildings

Cement is used in many buildings all over the world and is one of the main tools in mankind's arsenal of construction. However, the process of making cement is a contributing source in polluting the atmosphere, according to Inhabitat. There may be hope though, because an international team of researchers may be close to developing an environmentally safe alternative to concrete.

This new cement would be made up almost entirely of recycled ceramics. Anything from old toilets, sinks or even bathtubs is crunched into dust and mixed with water to form the basis for concrete. By using these materials, builders would be able to not only get their job done, but removes significant quantities of waste cluttering up the face of the planet. Not only will this new material be cleaner, but it may also be better too, reported Inhabitat.

As of now, researchers are trying to replace the solution used in binding the ceramic dust together with a natural option instead. They are currently experimenting with rice husks as an answer. This replacement would further remove one more chemical aspect from the process of making cement, making even safer for the environment. Studies done on another combination of red clay brick could possibly make these new mixtures structurally stronger than the present cement.

Conscious decisions inside the house

Not only do you have a say in how sustainable you want the materials your house is made up of to be, but you can also make green decisions when furnishing your home too. Using furniture made of recycled materials or reclaimed wood can aid in reducing the demand for more sacrificing of natural resources. With modern advancements in technology, more and more opportunities are arising where people can bring classic pieces of furniture back to the scene.

Fiberglass chairs were once a popular option of seating, but concerns over the production process of fiberglass made for its cessation. The already-existing chairs became highly sought after for many years, but it looks like the old chair is going to be making a comeback.

Inhabitat reported that designers Charles and Ray Eames have begun making a new fiberglass chair with a method that reduces environmental risks and reduces emissions. This has led to a revival of the vintage chairs with announcements of recyclable fiberglass options. Homeowners don't have to feel guilt for incorporating these chairs in their designs because they no longer have a one-time-only limit.

Whether you're embracing green initiatives during the construction phase of your home or during the time of decorating, making conscious decisions while keeping in mind that the materials, reusability, and effect on the environment will not only benefit you, but your neighbors too. As more people begin making these accumulative steps towards a clean and efficient way of living, everyone can enjoy a better world.