More and more homeowners these days are remodeling their homes with eco-friendly designs in mind. Using sustainable materials in the building process for kitchens and bathrooms play a considerable role in the overall remodeling project. Selecting green building materials works in conjunction with designing for eco-friendly systems like water conservation or energy-efficiency. By implementing sustainable design principles in your home remodel, you can reduce your environmental impact without sacrificing having a trendy kitchen or bathroom design.
What Makes a Material Sustainable?
There are various answers to what are sustainable materials exactly. Some definitions look at where the materials are sourced. Other assessments of a material’s sustainability examine the energy it took to produce and transport the building material. For example, the energy input it took to manufacture and deliver heavy granite slabs for countertops could have a higher environmental impact than using recycled wood. Most sustainable building materials are highly-durable, but may vary in frequency of needing replacing — also a factor to consider in a material’s sustainability.
Reclaimed and Recycled Wood and Metals
Producing and refining metals and wood initially has a high environmental impact from its extraction. Therefore, each time metal and wood is recycled and repurposed, it lowers the burden it has on the environment. Reclaimed and recycled metals are long-lasting and durable. Pieces can be reused in its existing form or manufactured into a new metal product. Recycling wood from your house’s current structure is a viable eco-friendly option. Wood can have reduced strength, but carefully assessing each piece can let you appropriate reclaimed wood for things like floorboards or cabinets. Add texture to your kitchen or bath design by using a mix of recycled wood and metals.
Plant-based materials are sustainable materials; they are renewable and surprisingly durable. Bamboo has an impressive strength-to-weight ratio. Homes are likely to use bamboo for flooring, walls, and cabinetry. Cork is another plant-based material that does more than just top your bottles of wine. Cork is a fast-growing tree bark. Highly resilient, cork is able to sustain pressure and return to its shape, making it an ideal substance for subflooring and insulations sheets. Cork is porous but actually quite water-resistant, so mold and mildew buildup is not a concern.
Precast Concrete Slabs
Concrete is a natural and reusable material. Although it is heavy, it needs very little processing before being able to use. Precast slabs made by a manufacturer allows them to make hollow blocks or form air pockets to reduce the weight compared to pouring concrete onsite. Slabs are brought to the construction or remodeling site and used there for floors or flat roofs. Due to its low energy needs to make and assemble, precast concrete is a fine sustainable material.
Design Your Dream Kitchen With Design Solutions, Inc.
Design Solutions Inc, located in Annapolis MD, is here to help homeowners throughout the Maryland areas redesign their bathrooms, kitchens, and homes. Want to create a greener home? Ask us about sustainable design for your Maryland home.
Founder, president, and artistic director Joni Zimmerman continues to create and maintain a service and team that meets the needs and exceeds the expectations of the community it serves. Get in touch with us today to begin your redesign journey. Call us today at 410-757-6100 or visit our contact us page to speak with one of our team members.