When choosing materials to build with, there are many factors to consider. Durability, price, style, and availability are just a few of the more common assessments, of course. Nowadays, however, sustainability may be among the things a buyer thinks about when making custom home design decisions.
How to Select Green Building Materials
In general, it’s best to seek locally-sourced products, as the less distance a material has to be transported, the less waste is produced in emissions and shipping supplies. Also, products that boast longevity or lasting quality eliminate wasted cost and materials by reducing the need to replace.
More often than not, manufacturers of products – from countertops to cabinetry to flooring – have an option that has these sorts of green-buyers in mind. Here are some names to look out for and strategies to pursue when considering a more ecological alternative as you build or reconstruct your space.
Sustainable Countertop Materials
- Recycled Glass
- Engineered Quartz
- Recycled Paper/Plastic
Green Cabinet Materials
Other than the material itself having green benefits, organizations like the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) have taken steps like introducing the Environment Stewardship Program (ESP) seal that helps manufacturers, consumers, and designers find environmentally friendly products.
Environmentally-Conscious Flooring Materials
Compared to other hard stone flooring options, concrete wins in the environmental race. Not only is it made from all naturally occurring materials, it is also extremely easy to source locally, which minimizes the carbon footprint of transportation. Moreover, it is easily recyclable and super durable, so you won’t need to replace it anytime soon!
Cork as a building material takes the cake over almost every alternative. Aside from the health benefits gained by owning cork flooring – including allergy alleviation and protection for achy joints – cork flooring is one of the most all-around sustainable products you could dream of. For starters, no trees are harmed in the process of harvesting cork; the material comes strictly from the bark of cork trees, allowing it to be harvested from the same plant for up to 250 years! Even more, cork flooring is most commonly created with the waste produced from making wine corks, so it’s just repurposing what would otherwise be trash.
For obvious reasons, reusing materials is hugely ecological as it eliminates the negatives of all processes of harvesting, manufacturing, and disposing the product. The story behind reclaimed wood and the unique variations of the planks you may find add character to any space!
When you are choosing to replace any of these things in your space, it is becoming increasingly easier to make conscious choices that impact the environment positively. If you’re looking for advice on building a custom home in a environmentally responsible way, J&J Custom Home’s expert design team will help you plan and build the green home you’re dreaming of.