How To Know if Construction Materials Are Sustainable

In the wake of the global economic recession and rising effects of global warming around the world, many sectors of society are clamoring for cost-efficient, environment-friendly solutions that are not only easy on the pocket but carry out the job equally well. That is why the construction industry has responded with sustainable construction materials that are priced really low yet perform the same functions as their usual counterparts.

1. Kinds. There are many types of sustainable construction materials available in the market today. Most of these are masonry materials and brick materials, as well as cement extenders that are either recycled or don't cause too much damage to the environment. One example of a renewable construction supply is fly ash, which is derived from the emissions of coal power plants, which is probably one of the more significant contributors to pollution when released into the atmosphere. Research has shown that fly ash can be used as an extender for cement, adding to the durability of the resulting concrete. Its cost is relatively cheaper than cement, too, which could greatly benefit in buying other necessary green building materials. Other examples of sustainable materials exist in the market today, and they contribute to saving the environment because they are extracted from by-products of other man-made or natural processes. Some materials are even considered biodegradable, efficiently reducing the waste usually emitted during the construction process.

2. Considerations. In buying construction and remodeling materials, here are a few things you should consider to make sure that they are sustainable:

  • Check if the product has a certain amount of recycled content. Make sure the content is identifiable. It's better if the product was made wholly with contents that have already been used before.
  • Some brands pride themselves in manufacturing their products in a resource-efficient process. Check the back of the packaging for information about this, or research online about the processes involved in making the materials.
  • Inspect the product if it is recyclable as well. Most by-product construction materials are thrown off as waste after being used, so check to see if they can be used in another or the same form after.
  • If the product has minimal chemical emissions and is non-toxic, then chances are it has been manufactured using organic materials that are not harmful to the environment.

3. Relevance. Sustainable construction materials are not only cost-saving measures implemented by companies, but investments in the planet's future as well. Because these materials act as replacements for the usual cement, brick or metal, you are doing away with the possible wastes that your firm will contribute to the detriment of the environment. And as the global warming awareness level increases, more and more people and companies are becoming environmentally-aware of their practices. The best part?  The quality of these products is at the same level as the usual materials.

In the effort to address the sustainability of the earth's resources everyone, including the construction industry, must respond to the call to save and use recyclable materials that won't contribute to the earth's demise.


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