Help is at hand for small and large construction companies. The government backed BRE Global group provides consultancy, testing, certification, research and training for construction businesses, offering expert advice on responsible and sustainable resourcing of building materials.
The BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is a voluntary scheme for the environmental labelling of newly constructed buildings. BRE offers certificate accreditation to encourage the use of sustainable materials.
BRE’s goals are to promote awareness of the following:
- Life Cycle Assessment – From extraction, transportation and manufacturing through to the finished product, materials can be traced back down the supply chain.
- Recycling materials to cut down on waste.
- Responsible sourcing – Encouraging companies to source locally, thereby reducing transportation costs and pollution.
To increase the usage of healthy materials instead of toxic materials in the construction industry.
Changing the way materials are sourced can greatly reduce the impact on the environment. For more detailed information click here.
Alternative Sustainable Materials
The search for ecological materials has taken construction companies back in time, using ‘old-method’ natural materials and waste as a sustainable alternative to conventional, modern, man-made materials.
Bricks are durable with a low energy impact. Modern methods of brick manufacture use recycled glass and waste materials, reducing firing times and toxic emissions.
Natural insulation materials can be used instead of more conventional chemical-laden insulation products:
- Sheep’s wool performs well as an insulation material.
- Flax and hemp contain borates that are anti-mould, fire retardant and effective insecticides.
- Cellulose is made from recycled newspapers. It works well as a loose fill insulator in cavity walls, floors and ceilings.
- Wood chips are a by-product from the forestry industry. They can be bonded with water and compressed into boards.
- Straw bales can be used as both a construction material and an insulating material. Straw is a surplus by-product from the farming industry. Surprisingly, straw bales, when used for construction purposes, are extremely fire-resistant and waterproof. Pressure compacted straw bale panels can be used for floor and roof insulation.
- Lime is returning as an increasingly popular alternative to cement. It is a renewable resource and is widely available, so it can be sourced locally. It doesn’t cause moisture build-up, and will allow your walls to breathe naturally, reducing the risk of damp and mould. It absorbs carbon dioxide and is tough, strong and durable. It can also be used as putty, mortar and as a lime wash paint.
Where possible, you should try to obtain your materials from domestic and local suppliers. Not only does this greatly reduce transport costs, transport pollution, carbon emissions and costly oil consumption, it will give employment to local people and promote local companies.
Domestic sourcing will reduce the need for costly importation. Examples of domestic sourcing materials include: clay, quarried stone, lime and compressed earth bricks.
With the need to go greener, consumers are demanding more eco-friendly alternative products, therefore suppliers are making a conscious effort to meet ecological requirements. UK Roller Shutters provide a range of insulating door and window shutters. Not only do our shutters provide you with a high level of home security, they also reduce heat loss, ensuring a more energy-efficient insulation solution.
By choosing our insulating shutters, you’ll have peace of mind for your home security with the added benefit of reducing your carbon footprint. For more information on our range of shutters, contact us on 01384 22 1743 or enquire online.