How to Make Environmentally Friendly Choices for Building Supplies

28 April 2016
 Categories: , Blog

When having a new home built or doing any renovation work on your home, you may be concerned with how your choices will impact the environment. This can be especially true as you choose your building supplies, as you may be worried about trees being cut down for the wood you need and the harvesting processes for stone and other such materials. To make the most eco-friendly choices for your new home or any renovation project, note a few tips and discuss these with a contractor or materials supplier to see if they would work for your job.

1. Timber

When choosing timber for your project, be sure you look for what are called certified managed forests. These are forests that are created and managed specifically for harvesting wood to use in building and construction, versus cutting down trees in the rainforest or elsewhere. Composites and what is called fiberboard both use a mixture of wood along with glue and other such materials to make pieces look like solid timber while using a smaller amount of timber itself. It's also good to choice timber species that are easy to grow again, such as bamboo; this wood grows very quickly and is easy to replace, and it makes for a good choice for flooring, countertops, and virtually any other surface.

2. Outdoor decking

Choose lumber pieces that have been treated with nontoxic materials; arsenic was once a common substance used to treat and seal decking, but concerns about it leaking into the environment have brought about the use of less harmful substances in sealants and coatings. You can also choose composite decking, which is made from wood fibers and resin. This too uses less wood than solid planks, and it won't chip, fade, or otherwise get damaged as easily as solid timber so it will need less repair over the years. It also won't need to be replaced as quickly as decking made from solid timber planks.

3. Manmade or engineered stone

Engineered stone is a mixture of quartz and certain fillers that are ground and then pressed and shaped to look like other types of natural stone. Using engineered stone for flooring, countertops, and other such surfaces can mean less harmful drilling, blasting, and such procedures for harvesting natural stone. Engineered stone may also be more durable than natural stone, so it will need to be replaced less often than solid quartz, granite, marble, and the like. 

For more information about eco-friendly options for building supplies, speak with your builders or a local supplies company.