Nov 042010
 

An increasing majority of people have acknowledged the fact that we all can cooperate to help alleviate the stress put on environment, and if we all do a little together, it will have a big impact. One of the easiest things to do is to use sustainable resources in our buildings. It sounds good, but what precisely are sustainable materials? Well, here’s a little assistance in understanding this part of the “green revolution.”

To understand and recognize what constitutes sustainable building materials, it helps to know the definition of sustainability. Essentially, it means that the use of resources by humans takes place in a manner that conserves the resources for the future. If that sounds a little too obscure, think of it as a system that uses resources that renew themselves. Focusing in a little more, two examples of sustainability would be the use of wood for building. Because forests can regenerate, the wood that is used for building is replenished as more trees grow and mature. A different direction would be the use of steel for construction. Here, the concept is not the regeneration of the supply but the ability to recycle the resource and use it over and over again.

It’s easy to recognize sustainable materials and integrate them into your building plans. If you can replenish it, then you can bet that it is sustainable. Aside from wood, great renewable supplies are plant materials such as bamboo and straw. Others illustrations include clay, coconut, seagrass and cork. Nature continually produces wonderful products for our homes that, if used sensibly, we will never run out of.

The other aspect to sustainability is recyclable materials. Many metals are recyclable. You can use these materials for things like floors, walls and countertops. You can also get recycled stone to use as a material as well

Part of achieving sustainability is to watch your energy consumption. When you are considering which materials to purchase for your building project, consider the quantity of energy required to transport such a material. If you truly want something like granite countertops, consider purchasing granite from a manufacturer that is located nearby, rather than from another country. Think about all of the wasted energy that goes into transporting a piece of granite from Malaysia. A local manufacturer will use a reduced amount of energy to get the material delivered.

Making sure that an environmentally friendly property is on target takes more than just using sustainable materials. Employing the ideology of sustainability is only one part of the process. The rest of it includes using the right materials with the right architecture and correct construction techniques to make a complete system. Manage your water consumption, the energy efficiency of the property, and integrate your building site with the rest of the surrounding property. Remember, that your goal is to make a home that takes as little as possible from nature.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t expect to make your home sustainable all at one time. It’s just an issue of considering different materials than you might have considered before. When you need new countertops, think about using cork instead of granite. Instead of tile for your floors, think about bamboo. Instead of paint, think about covering your walls with natural fibers, which will actually improve your air quality. In a matter of time you will have created an eco-friendly and sustainable home to call your own.

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Author: Anita Koppens
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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