Going green throughout your lifetime involves both making green everyday decisions as well as long-term impact decisions such as when you are building, remodeling, or furnishing your home. Making green living choices at these major decision points in your life can greatly reduce your lifetime’s carbon footprint.
More and more people are using recycled building materials to build an attractive and eco-friendly house.
Today it is getting easier to make eco-friendly decisions when you are building, here are a few suggestions from our contributors at Morley Glass UK.
Factors to Consider in an Eco-Friendly Build
One of the most important things to consider when constructing an eco-friendly home is how energy efficient you can make it. The less energy it takes to run the home, the more eco-friendly it will be.
- Insulation – Make sure your home is well insulated.
- Windows – Use energy efficient glass.
- Energy sources – Consider the benefits of alternative energy sources such as wind turbines and photovoltaic panels.
Cut Building Costs One of the big advantages of using recycled materials in the construction of your home is that it will help to bring the cost of the project down. Many recycled materials are free, and when you are building a new home on a very tight budget, free looks great on a costing spreadsheet. Glass, metal, timber and plastic can all be used to great effect, both in the actual construction and as decorative features.
Recycled Glass Recycled glass can be used in a variety of different ways. Crushed glass is sometimes used as a construction aggregate in large-scale building projects, but there are also many opportunities to use recycled glass products in the home.
Glass blocks are made from recycled glass. These are a very attractive way of creating internal walls that allow natural light in, whilst maintaining privacy. Glass blocks are available in many different colours.
Recycled glass can also be used in the kitchen: instead of opting for traditional ceramic tiles, try a recycled glass splash-back for a modern, hygienic look instead.
Recycled Timber There are dozens of opportunities to make good use of recycled timber in a building project. Instead of using new timber, make use of reclaimed timber instead. This is a great way of helping the environment by saving the forests.
Reclaimed wood is often more aesthetically pleasing, especially if you opt to have exposed beams in your home. It is also stronger than newly sawn timber and many older woods have tighter grain because of its slower growth, making it really strong. Recycled timber can also be used to make furniture and for hard landscaping in the garden—old railway sleepers make excellent supports for raised flowerbeds.
Recycled Metal Millions of tonnes of steel are recycled every year and since steel is an excellent construction material, if you design your new home around a steel framework, the building will be more environmentally friendly than a traditional structure made from bricks and mortar. Modern steel framed homes with large expanses of energy saving glass are actually more eco-friendly than you might initially imagine. This type of building is also very recyclable when it is no longer needed. When it comes to recycled materials, its getting easier to be as innovative. The more recycled materials you can incorporate into the final design, the more eco-friendly your home.
About the author:
Ian Shaw from Morley Glass (UK) provided this article. Ian is an expert on all aspects of glazing in residential and commercial properties. He also takes a keen interest in advising people on eco-friendly construction methods via informative articles for various websites.
Be sure to visit the Green Blizzard home page for an assortment of articles about sustainable living. Our editor’s picks on a few other Green Blizzard go green articles that may be of interest:
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