Eco-friendly, or ecological, construction is building a structure that is beneficial or non-harmful to the environment, and resource efficient.
Otherwise known as green building, this type of construction is efficient in its use of local and renewable materials, and in the energy required to build it, and the energy generated while being within it.
Eco-friendly construction has developed in response to the knowledge that buildings have an often negative impact upon our environment and our natural resources. This includes transporting materials hundreds or thousands of miles, which has a negative impact in the energy required to transport them, and also in emissions of hazardous chemicals from a poorly designed building that creates, and traps them.
Since the Second World War, it’s become a tradition to build homes quickly and cheaply. Quality and natural materials were rejected and materials designed for more profitable short-term returns were used. Cheaper UPVC is still favoured over wooden windows, despite its shorter life span and the pollution caused by its production and disposal.
Cement is now favoured over lime because it sets quicker, although it traps water and exaggerates the decay of stone and brick. Gypsum plasters and plasterboards are also used in the renovation of old houses with solid walls because they are a cheaper alternative to traditional lime or clay plasters but often fail if damp penetrates old walls.
Everyday people are using cheap paints, MDF and carpet adhesives in their homes, all of which emit gas and dangerous chemicals, which affect our health.
Below are just a few alternatives that will help the environment as well as improving your energy rating.
Using alternative natural wool insulation such as Warmcell or Thermafleece instead of man made products Recommending and purchasing Timber from sustainable source Using solvent-free paints and varnishes (Natural paints) Advising, designing and installing rainwater harvesting systems to recycle your rain or grey water waste.
Affordability is key to the environmental challenge as well as knowing how best to save energy within your own home. There’s a wide range of products giving you the choice if you wish to cut your CO2 emissions and save money as well as be providing a healthier environment for you and your children to enjoy, but before you run out and cover your roof with wind turbines and solar panels to generate own electricity make sure you get the basics right first and insulate your home before you generate. You can start saving money right now just by following these simple money saving ideas (Page link energy counter).