Sustainable Building Products: How to Choose the Right Ones?

The demand for sustainable building materials and products is ever growing as more and more people are trying to do their part to build a sustainable future. However, they are many companies that claim their products to be green when in reality they aren’t. First of all, you have to make sure that you use products that are renewable or come from renewable sources. Bamboo is a prime example of a renewable building material. Anything made out of non-recycled plastic, on the other hand, is not renewable since it is made from petroleum. Since bamboo and aspen are fast growing trees, they're a great choice if you're trying to build a sustainable home. So if you're going to use wood, make sure that you go for a fast growing and locally available variety of timber. Sustainable building materials should be made out of recycled materials when possible. Not only should you go for products that use recycled materials, they should also be recyclable as well. Plastic, wood and aluminum are all examples of widely available recycled and sustainable building materials. Recycled plastic and paper is being used in the fabrication of cellulose insulation and are a great alternative to fiberglass.

Sustainable Building Products: Energy Consumption

Another factor to consider when shopping for sustainable building materials is the amount of energy consumed in their fabrication and transportation. There is no point in using green materials if tons of carbon were released in the atmosphere to manufacture them. So make sure that you know exactly where your materials come from and how they were manufactured before you make a decision.

When you are specifying products and materials in your schedule of works and tender documents, the distance for delivery as well as the actual ‘greenness’ of the items must be taken into consideration.

Now here are some personal sustainable product recommendations:

- The Separett Villa, manufactured by Separett, is a composting toilet that re-uses waste for fertilizing and composting. It keeps solids and liquids separate, which reduces odor, and can be installed with no plumbing required.

- Rain Tube, manufactured by GLI system, is a gutter system that uses 100% recycled materials. It is also Cradle to Cradle certified, which means that GLI had to provide a post usage recuperation plan with every unit sold.

- InSpire Wall, manufactured by ATAS International, is a clever heating system that uses the sun to heat outside air before sending it indoors. This system will not only reduce your carbon footprint, but can help you save tons of money on energy as well.

Sustainable building products and materials are a great way to preserve the environment and make some savings in the long run. So make sure that you check out the latest green products on the market and keep the advice given in mind so you can make a sound decision.


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