With more emphasis put on sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint to save the planet, there are ways in which we can make our homes and workplaces greener – by using concrete.
We all know plastic is out of the question when it comes to creating sustainable products – especially single-use plastics. What many of us don’t realise is that concrete is one of the most sustainable building materials out there because of its strength, durability, and indestructible nature. Not only that, but concrete also has thermal properties and is extremely flexible when it comes to design.
What makes concrete sustainable?
Concrete is a collection of the environment in all stages of its lifespan – from raw material to demolition, making it a natural choice when looking to make your home greener. Take a look at some of the reasons below for choosing concrete for sustainability.
Concrete can create durable and long-lasting structures, such as concrete worktops and concrete sinks. Ones that will not rust, rot or burn. Concrete designs can double and even triple the lifespan of other common building materials making it a great choice to use around the home.
Concrete uses predominantly raw materials such as limestone, which is the most abundant mineral on earth. Concrete can also be made with fly ash, cement, silica fume which is all waste products from power plants, steel mills, and other manufacturing facilities – turning what was once waste into another product entirely.
Homes that are built with concrete walls and floors are much more efficient too as concrete has the ability to absorb and retain heat. This means you can cut your heating and cooling bills significantly and stay sustainable!
Light coloured external concrete areas absorb less heat and reflect more solar radiation than darker materials and can significantly cool down urban areas in the summertime. Great for using on patio areas or outdoor furniture.
Concrete is produced on a project by project basis. This means that wastage is reduced by only producing the quantities needed for any given project. Not only that but concrete can be recycled. Once a concrete structure or surface has served its original purpose it can be crushed and recycled into aggregate that can be used in new concrete pavements or as backfill.
Why do green homes matter?
Green building and eco-friendly designs weren’t commonplace some 10 years or more ago. However, concerns are mounting more and more about rising energy costs and depletion of resources.
More homebuyers are making environmental issues their top priority in their homes and focusing on sustainability – reduce, reuse and recycle. The benefits of green living go beyond the environmental impacts though as many sustainable homes offer practical, personal, and economic advantages too including:
Healthier, comfortable living environment
Using non-toxic materials such as those in concrete, homes have better indoor air quality. Concrete is also resistant to moisture and rot so it also eliminates concerns of mould and mildew too.
More durability, less maintenance
Highly durable, low-maintenance materials such as concrete extends the life cycle of items throughout the home and reduces replacement and maintenance costs.