Sustainable Building Materials: For Your Health and The Environment

January 17th, 2011 | General

Just like performing a good deed for someone else has the added benefit of making you feel good about yourself, so it goes with purchasing a green home that is constructed with sustainable building materials. You’ll feel positive about not contributing to the serious and growing problem of the depletion of our world’s natural resources, and you’ll also be introducing your family to a home that is safer, healthier and more energy efficient than traditional homes.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of using sustainable materials, and the criteria used to determine the sustainability of pieces.

What Makes A Material Sustainable?

The very essence of the green movement begs the question: How can we be more responsible in our relationship with the environment? Using sustainable or recycled content materials is one answer, as it promotes conservation of our rapidly depleting resources and can help reduce the environmental impacts associated with the extraction, transport, processing, installation, reuse and disposal of materials. Materials that are found locally are the best sustainable materials, because as outlined above, not much energy has to be expended to transport them to a building site. Green homes are constructed with recycled content and sustainable building materials, and all wood used is naturally harvested.

Building materials are also considered sustainable if there are plenty of them, and they grow in number continuously. Sustainable materials should also produce minimal to zero waste, because at every juncture of a building project, these materials can either be incorporated into an entirely different project or mixed with other scraps to produce floors, cabinets, etc. Sustainable materials also are longer lasting as compared to conventional products.

Personal and Global Benefits

In addition to feeling good about doing your part to maximize our depleting resources, by buying a green home you will also feel confident that you are taking marked steps to protect your family’s health. Green building materials contain no toxic substances, meaning the materials emit few or no carcinogens, reproductive toxicants or irritants. Toxic building materials can contribute to a whole host of health issues, from breathing problems such as asthma and allergies to serious diseases such as cancer. The health of your family is something you can’t put a price upon.

But using sustainable building materials also makes good financial sense. Materials should be chosen to be longer lasting, which means less money has to be spent on maintenance, replacement and home repairs.