Eco-Friendly Building Materials: What Informed Homeowners Want
Are you a homeowner that considers environmental impact an important feature of a modern home? Do you care about indoor air quality, the nature of chemicals used to process home furnishings and the ways in which the materials in your home are sourced? Is the long-term durability and lifespan of a structure something you look for in your home? If so, you are among the growing number of home buyers who use eco-friendliness as criteria in their home purchase process.
Let’s discuss three reasons eco-friendly materials are seeing increased use in modern luxury homes.
An Earth-Friendly Environmental Footprint
At the core of sustainability is leaving the world a better place for the next generation. Eco-friendly homeowners don’t unnecessarily deplete resources that are limited. They find ways to repurpose, reuse or recycle materials that have found an end to their intended purpose. They consider low environmental impact alternatives to commonly used materials.
Some of the more common materials and practices being used to reduce stresses on our environment in the modern eco-friendly home include:
• Bamboo flooring which has the durability of traditional hardwoods but can be grown at a far faster rate. Corks is another choice that can have much the same benefits to the environment as bamboo;
• Cedar used in decking and siding. Western Red Cedar, in particular, has been deemed by many to be the most eco-friendly exterior material because of its overall low environmental impact;
• Repurposed wood waste. Incorporating the waste from one forestry product to help in the production of another means fewer trees are needed overall;
• Wool carpeting and insulation. Wool is renowned for its durability and sustainability. It can be used to carpet a home or improve the temperature of the interior as an insulation;
• Recycled materials in countertops. Glass, quartz, and a variety of other hard and durable reused materials can make beautiful countertops that are very difficult to scratch and will outlast almost all finishes in a home; and
• Green paint and finish products. Most paint companies now produce low- and no-toxin paints that in many cases compare with traditional paints in performance and beauty but are sourced sustainably and don’t contain the toxins associated with traditional paint products (see health benefits below as well). But be careful not all paint lines are equal and the commitment to true sustainability practices varies by paint brand.
The Health Benefits of Eco-friendly Materials
One of the key features of eco-friendly materials is the limited use of artificial chemicals, especially volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are known to negatively impact the health of people exposed to them. Many VOCs are even linked to the development of cancer.
VOCs are common in the processing of many of today’s modern furnishings from carpets to hardwood floors from cabinet finishes to custom doors. Chemicals like acetone or ethyl acetate had become commonplace in the processing of home furnishings by the middle of last century. They have been used frequently since as they can simplify the preparation and manufacturing of many items found in a home. It is only recently, and by builders like Natale, that the recognition of potential long-term health hazards of these chemicals has led to simpler more natural processing methods and use of proven health-friendly coatings and furnishings in their place.
Most sustainable suppliers are committed to limiting and in many cases even eliminating VOCs and other questionable chemicals in the processing and finishing of their products.
As we source our building and finish materials we are thorough in ensuring that suppliers undertake best-practices in the use of VOCs and other chemicals so that Natale homeowners can avoid the potential harms they cause wherever possible.
Sustainable Living Means Quality Living
A final reason modern home buyers are pushing for eco-friendly building materials in the homes they buy is that sustainable materials are most often high-quality materials.
Manufacturers of sustainable products usually put more effort and care into their product development because they recognize the sustainable buyer is a highly informed buyer. Manufacturers know shoddy products won’t get buy the discerning eco-friendly buyer.
In most cases, sustainable products also represent the best of what nature has to offer: healthy, low-toxin materials; durability that comes from organic forms developing over time to resist the wear of the elements; and, a natural and earthy aesthetic that many sustainably sourced materials are known for.
Eco-Friendly Isn’t Just a Trend
A final consideration to make as you think about the structure, finishes, and materials that go into your home is that eco-friendly homes are more likely to hold their value. They are more durable. They are less toxic. They often have a natural beauty associated with them. All characteristics that will drive enduring home value and be an ongoing component of home building for the foreseeable future.
Contact us today to learn how Natale homes stay beautiful for generations.