10 Green Home Renovation Materials
Last modified: 2019/01/02 | Approximate reading time 6 mins
Green home renovation materials are slowly growing in popularity, as homeowners are becoming more and more environmentally conscious and looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Experts would argue that environmentally-friendly and efficient materials will lower heating and cooling costs, and homeowners will recover any money lost in the years following renovations.
Homeowners can think about the many ways they can incorporate green materials into their next renovation project, regardless of style or the size of their home. Environmentally-friendly building materials have come a long way and can now be incorporated into almost any environment. Read on to find our suggestions for green home renovation materials.
Here are 10 innovative green renovation materials!
1- Recycled Steel
If you’re a homeowner going for a full-blown renovation, or you’re reconstructing part of the frame of your house, consider recycled steel for your next project. Many homeowners are disregarding traditional materials such as wood beams and going for this environmentally-friendly solution. Recycled steel can be customized to fit any home design or layout, and the durability of steel is much greater than that of wood.
Steel is one of the most commonly recycled materials on the planet, and this recycling process greatly reduces the energy produced in actually making steel. Further, the average house frame built with wood beams is composed of between 40 to 50 trees whereas a frame from recycled steel requires much less material, on average approximately 6 scrapped cars. Not only is this material durable, versatile and green but using it frees up plenty of landfill space.
source: Pixabay, Pexels
Bamboo is a favourite of sustainable materials, as it grows quickly and matures in a four-year period. Not only does it hold up in a variety of environments, including moist environments like the bathroom and kitchen, bamboo has a beautiful texture and feel. Therefore, it is incredibly soft on the feet and knees if homeowners must stand for extended periods of time.
In the form of plywood, bamboo can be used as flooring or, in some cases, countertops. Bamboo can also be used as insulation, offering both moisture and heat resistance, soundproofing qualities as well as protecting against mould growth or bug infestations. Bamboo is a beautiful and sustainable option for the environmentally-conscious homeowner.
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3- Low-VOC paint
Low-VOC paints are environmentally friendly, odourless and splatter resistant. This type of paint releases low levels of toxic emissions into the air, as opposed to regular paints which release elevated levels of toxic emissions. Thus, low-VOC paint is particularly important in keeping both families as well as the environment healthy.
Especially significant for homeowners with allergies, the reduced toxins can help homeowners and loved ones to avoid chemical sensitivity. Further, low-VOC paints reduce harsh chemicals that contaminate landfills and groundwater. It is important to note that even low-VOC paints contain toxins, while in much lower degrees.
Straw is a plant-based material that works exceptionally well for thermal insulation, as straw can retain a fair amount of heat. Straw can be used in place of fibreglass insulation, which is not a sustainable material. As insulation, straw has the ability to bond well to stucco and plaster. Further, straw is an incredibly cheap material for homeowners who are looking to build on a budget.
Straw bales specifically provide a variety of construction benefits in place of materials that are harmful to the environment. If straw avoids getting wet, it can last for thousands of years. However, straw has a high susceptibility to rot if it happens to get wet, though the availability alongside the cost make this renewable resource an excellent option for the environmentally conscious homeowner.
Cork grows on trees, literally. This sustainable material hails from Mediterranean climates such as Spain, Portugal and Morocco. A cork tree is harvested by stripping the outer layer of its’ skin, and after a cork tree is harvested, it can remain alive for up to 170 years. Thus, harvesting the trees does not damage them. Further, when the cork is pulled from the tree almost none of it goes it waste, as a large majority of the products made from cork are created by the energy of burning cork dust.
Cork can be employed as flooring itself and flooring underlayment, as well as sustainable insulation. Used as a flooring material, cork employs a natural cushion, is incredibly durable and lightweight with an easy installation process to boot! Cork also has a beautiful texture, so regardless of home decor, this material can be incorporated into a variety of homes.
7- Natural Linoleum
Linoleum has long been used in retro and older kitchens and has been popular for many years because of its low price point. Natural linoleum is made from raw materials, which include linseed oil, resins and wood flooring. These ingredients are biodegradable, all-natural and renewable, and if well maintained, this material can last up to 40 years.
Further, linoleum is a colourfast material, and therefore the hue found on the surface does not fade even on the most well-loved of kitchen or bedroom floors. Not to mention that when recycled, linoleum can be turned into a clean source of energy, making its reincorporation back into the environment a closed-loop system.
8- Eco-friendly carpet tiles
Eco-friendly carpet tiles are made from 80% recycled, sustainable post-consumer poly fibres and manufactured with the lowest possible pollution emissions. These materials are stain-repellent and do not hold dirt like traditional carpeting. Since eco-friendly carpet tiles do not trap dirt, allergens in the air are reduced. Further, since this style of carpet comes in tiles, individual tiles can easily be replaced if they become damaged or stained.
9- Insulating Concrete
source: Pixabay, Der_Typ_von_Nebenan
Insulating concrete or IC can be thought of as real-life Lego blocks. These interlocking units work a permanent building insulation and are generally dry stacked, filled with concrete and used in wall, floor and roof structures. Often, reinforced steel is used in conjunction with them. Not only is IC structurally strong and durable, it is also cost-effective and easier to install than traditional wood framing.
This material is especially good for having no air leaks or infiltration, as well as working with radiant heat and solar panelling. With its natural insulating properties, IC is an excellent, environmentally-friendly option for those looking to reinforce the structure of their home.
10- Paper-based countertop
Paper-based countertop materials make a great alternative to non-sustainable materials such as stone or plastic. The paper itself comes from tree pulp from sustainable forests, or from post-consumer recycled paper. The material is then is heated and compressed to mimic stone, while being a softer and more forgiving material.
This material is an excellent, affordable and environmentally-friendly alternative while being easy to install and lighter than stone. Homeowners shouldn’t underestimate the power of paper, as this material is incredibly durable and impervious to water. Further, it can be used both inside and outside of the home, so if there is an outdoor counter you’re looking to cover, this could be the material for you!
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