Trends in sustainable and environmentally friendly construction continue to inch towards the mainstream, with new products being introduced almost daily that are more cost effective and efficient than ever. Here are some products and trends in environmental construction:
Use of alternative building materials, including reclaimed woods, recycled metals and non toxic materials are making homes more green from the inside out. Even insulation is becoming more green, with wider usage of a mixture of recycled cotton and denim materials instead of toxic and dangerous to install traditional insulation.
There’s a wide range of environmentally friendly flooring options. From concrete to stones, recycled metals, recycled tiles, recycled glass, reclaimed woods, sustainable woods, bamboo, cork and even more environmentally friendly linoleums.
Paints and Finishes
There is now a large amount of paints and stains available for your interiors, including walls, floors, bathrooms, staircases and all your surfaces. These new products are either non-toxic or use much less toxic chemicals, making the eco-friendly choice also the most healthy choice for environmentally sensitive people. In addition, these less toxic paints and finishes are much easier to dispose of.
Traditional new carpeting uses a lot of chemicals to produce. In addition, the installation of new carpeting will typically fill the indoor air in your home with what are called “VOC’s” or volatile organic compounds. These compounds include chemical carcinogens like benzenes and even formaldehyde. That new carpet smell is actually a cocktail of chemicals you are breathing. These chemicals can take several years to dissipate from your indoor air. By using eco-friendly carpeting, you are eliminating or severely decreasing the amount of chemicals you are bringing into your home. Also, the materials used in eco-friendly carpeting are typically recycled or sustainable. Most carpets need padding and these too can be loaded with chemicals. Instead, homeowners can choose new environmentally friendly carpet padding that is made from recycled cotton.
Cabinetry and Countertops
Even kitchen and bathroom cabinetry and countertops can be eco-friendly. New cabinet options include cabinets made from completely sustainable woods using non-toxic finishes. For countertops, new non-toxic composite materials including quartz and recycled glass chips are available. Even the glue used to adhere the cabinets to the countertop can be an eco-friendly water based glue product.
Whether you are building a new home, remodeling or simply performing some upgrades, you won’t want to ignore the many eco-friendly options.