With the world’s population growing and our ecosystems changing year-over-year, it’s important for both companies and consumers to make smart decisions about the dwellings that they reside in. If we look at a sped-up timeline of the last tens of thousands of years, we’ve seen a marvellous and impressive evolution of the materials that we’ve used and the energy that our homes have elicited. From the mud huts of our ancestors’ ancestors with holes through the roof for smoke, to the mega-mansions that we see around the world today with monthly energy bills in the thousands, we’ve noticed a growing trend in the importance to monitor opportunities to limit our carbon footprint. We’re not the only ones, and it’s a timely observation that we need to make now. Global warming (depending on who you ask) is getting worse and worse, but we can do our part to limit it.
How does this pertain to how we build our houses, you may ask? We believe that every industry has a responsibility based on their business models, but for us, we know the one piece of it is the materials that we use. Here’s a look at a few that could change the game for homes of future generations:
Recycled and Reclaimed Wood or Metal
Let’s kick things off with sustainable versions of our most frequently leveraged materials. Yes, the energy to produce building elements like steel or aluminium is higher and transporting them may be a pain, but once the aforementioned process steps are complete, these materials will be around for a while. Recycled metal doesn’t burn or warp, and it is water and pest resistant. This means that it’s ideal for building facades, roofing and structural supports for your home. Reclaimed wood has numerous purposes. We’re talking cabinetry, flooring, siding and framing. This sort of wood can stand up better over time.
Bamboo is widely known as one of the eco-friendliest building materials, regardless of where you live in the world. One of the reasons why this is the case is that it is self-generating. Fun fact? There are specific species of bamboo that can even grow up to three-feet in just a span of 24-hours. It doesn’t need to be replanted every harvest. Instead, it can grow and spread on its own. The only continents where it won’t be found are Europe and Antarctica. Homes can successfully use bamboo for both flooring and cabinetry.
There are a lot of similarities between bamboo and cork, especially the speed at which they grow. Cork comes from a living tree, so it will only continue to reproduce. Cork is a flexible material and it’s a resilient material. No matter how much pressure is put on cork, it will always bounce back. It’s also noise-absorbing, AND if you leave it uncoated it’s fire resistant naturally, so it won’t release any toxic gases. That’s why it’s a great idea for insulation sheets, sub-flooring, thermal insulators and floor tiles.