South London Carpenters are very conscious when it comes to eco-friendly designs and building materials, as we feel that renewable or recyclable material should be the focus for all homes. If we can build homes or properties which are not only structurally sound, but also eco-friendly, then we are willing to go that extra mile, even when it costs extra. However, usually the renewable materials are actually cheaper and the homeowners recoup that money within a space of several years. It ends up being cheaper for both the homeowner and the construction company. In this blog we will be looking at some of the materials that can be used instead of commonly used materials within the trade.
The first renewable material that is popular among eco-friendly construction companies are recycled steel. There are some incredibly strong and cheap recycled steel which can be used as a replacement for wooden beams which are popular. It also makes the process easier, since it involves ordering customized steel beams and panels that fit the designs of your current project. The materials are durable enough to be subject to high winds and even earthquakes. However, in London this is not the biggest weather concern you have to worry about. What is even more interesting is that it is said that for a 2-000 square foot house, it would need the amount of 40 – 50 trees to build. With recycled steel, it would only need the metal of six recycled cars. This makes the option very beneficial to all. Since there is so much recycled steel, this would be the best option for all.
Insulated concrete is another eco-friendly material, although many do not know this already. This is simply placing concrete within two insulated materials in the walls and other parts of the structure. It will remain in place as a permanent structure of the property, and will not need regular inspection. Incredibly, there have been studies which have proved that structures which have been made using insulated concrete have saved up to 20 percent of the energy used by wooden framed buildings.
Another option that many people are unaware of is cool roofing. The idea behind cool roofing is very smart, since it reflects heat from the sun and actually stays cooler, allowing less heat to transfer within the building. Although it doesn’t allow the building to be colder during the winter months either. Darker coloured materials can still be used to make this work as well. The drawback to using cool roofs instead of ordinary roofing materials is that it can cost up to £40 per square foot more, but for those who are eco-friendly may still see this as the better option in the long term.
A rather unpopular material that has been (in our opinion) underused it structural insulated panels. This would involve setting the structure with wood or cement, and covering both sides with insulated panels. Many are not fans because they feel as if the material is ugly. However, most are unaware that this material exists in general. There are many different forms of finish that you can use on the insulated panels however, and there are many ways to make the panels look aesthetically pleasing. It is said that they can save 50 percent in energy costs from using conventional materials though, which makes it one of the more eco-friendly options available in this list. This is definitely one material we would recommend.
Another material is recycled plastic or wood. The recycled plastic could come from plastic bags from supermarkets to children’s toys, but mainly from products or items that will not be used again. Using both the plastics and wood will mean that it is more durable, and that there would be added strength. It would also be more resistant to mould and rot also, although the composite lumber would also be more rigid in weather conditions such as the cold and heat. Sadly, this recycled wood would also be more expensive.
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South London Carpenters
140 Effra Road
020 8050 1401