In our mission to build the world’s first sustainable email marketing platform EcoSend, we’ve been on the hunt for equally green ideas in other industries.
Construction and renovation are no exception since most of us will experience building, renovating or designing our homes at some point.
Within almost all building features, there are methods of doing things sustainability, so that your finished project is as good as it truly looks in terms of being kind to the planet.
But as they say, knowledge is power! So we’re here to spread the word on the latest sustainable design trends to help you make more eco-friendly choices.
For anyone building from scratch or wanting to refresh their interiors in 2023, here are 11 green construction methods to inspire you.
✉️ 🌳 P.S: If you’d like a free trial of EcoSend while you’re here, click this link!
Airex Smart Air Bricks
When it comes to ways of improving the energy efficiency of our homes, we naturally turn our thoughts to bigger measures such as installing new windows, roof insulation or even rendering.
But a hidden cause of loss of heat most people don’t even think about is air bricks, which are thought to account for up to 15% of all heat loss in our homes.
Air bricks are necessary to allow ventilation under the suspended floors of a property, to help prevent issues such as damp, mould and condensation. However, smart technology from Airex has created a new type of air brick, which can sensor the weather conditions and adjust itself accordingly to avoid unnecessary heat loss.
In short, Airex air bricks help to reduce heat loss in the winter and improve home comfort all while lowering energy bills. With many of the UK’s older homes being thermally inefficient, Airex is a simple measure which can have huge benefits.
Known as the ‘green window’, aluminium is infinitely recyclable, all while being super strong yet lightweight. This makes aluminium perfect to use in architectural projects, including the replacement of windows.
For any construction or renovation project, windows are likely to feature somewhere within the plans. Compared with uPVC or timber, aluminium offers a longer lifespan, with powder coating further protecting the aluminium from corrosion or damage.
New windows also reduce heat loss in the winter and can keep homes cooler during the summer months too.
The greenest aluminium to date is produced in Québec, Canada, with 97% of all energy used in the region powered by hydropower.
Elsewhere in the world, opting for recycled aluminium will offer up the best green benefits compared with using raw materials.
With a life expectancy of 45 years, aluminium windows can then be melted down and repurposed at the end of their use.
Bamboo is increasingly being used within the construction industries around the world. Reducing the need for fossil fuel use and deforestation, bamboo is not only a source of renewable biomass energy, but it can also be used as a building material.
Strong, lightweight and highly malleable, bamboo can be used to create floors, walls and roofs. However, in the UK, bamboo decking is increasingly sought after as an environmentally friendly option to composite or wooden decking.
With a typical 25-year lifespan, bamboo decking gives the look of a typical wood deck but has far better strength and sustainability credentials.
Some bamboo decking is even made with recycled plastic bottles mixed in for enhanced longevity, all without having to use raw plastic to do so.
CityBreeze Moss Air Purification
The air we breathe isn’t as clean as we may think - especially if you’re located in a busy city.
Air purifiers help clean our air by trapping VOCs, airborne viruses, dust and other allergens within a filter. The clean filtered air is then released back into the environment.
It’s possible to purchase air purifiers for our homes, but Green City Solutions have developed a structure capable of purifying the air in our public spaces.
The solution is called CityBreeze and its technology is powered by a vitalising moss wall.
Boasting a natural cooling effect, CityBreeze filters up to 1,500 cubic metres of air per hour and can reduce the nearby temperature by as much as 4°C. The installations are also capable of displaying advertising, making for a much greener alternative than traditional digital screens.
After 1 year of testing in Berlin, a CityBreeze installation removed pollution equivalent to 93,000 km of miles driven in a car and 33,000 smoked cigarettes.
With concrete thought to be responsible for 8% of all carbon emissions and 30 billion tonnes of concrete used every year, an environmentally friendly solution was needed.
Hempcrete is a new construction material made from the woody core fibres of the hemp plant, and is held together by a lime-based binder. The eco-friendly material also needs little water, nor any herbicides or pesticides to grow.
Alongside sustainability, the advantages of hempcrete include being fast-growing, lightweight, insulating, breathable, fire-resistant and mould-resistant.
In short, hempcrete can be used to create walls, floors and roofs. Hempcrete has started to gain huge popularity within new build projects, especially within Europe and North America.
At present, hempcrete is available a a spray form of insulation. Plus building blocks to make walls as demonstrated in the above video.
Green Roof (Living Roof)
Green roofs (also known as living roofs) are a sustainable roof material.
Covered in vegetation, green roofs support the growth of plants while providing insulation benefits for the building inside. In addition, living roofs can also absorb rainwater and improve local air quality.
A huge benefit of a green roof is that what would otherwise be wasted space in a building is being put to the best use. In instances where the roof is accessible to residents, living roofs can also improve well-being due to improved access to nature.
As well as plants, bees and other insects can also thrive when a green roof is installed.
In general green roofs are ideal for residential roofs, commercial roofs and also outbuilding roofs including sheds or workshops.
Modulous Standardised Eco-Friendly Homebuilding
You’ve probably seen on the news that there is a housing shortage in the UK, with targets constantly being missed to keep up with demand.
Another problem with new homes, in particular, is the need for sustainability. Modulous is one company looking to make new buildings more environmentally friendly, due to standardising how new designs are built with their specialist software.
The goal of Modulous is to reduce the housing deficit while ensuring wasteful practices within the homebuilding process can be eliminated.
With a goal to be net zero by 2030, Modulous is currently achieving a 70% reduction in waste compared with traditional house building construction techniques.
If housebuilding could be standardised across the board, the potential for reduced carbon emissions is huge.
The idea of collecting rainwater (i.e. through water butts in the garden) might be nothing new.
However, rainwater harvesting was cited as one of the biggest sustainability trends for 2023 within the home and garden industries.
Country Living Magazine states that online searches for ‘rainwater harvesting architecture’ are up by 155%. With rainwater harvesting systems capable of reducing domestic water mains usage by up to 50%, it’s clear to see why.
While you might be reading this post from any part of the world, here in the UK, we definitely get our fair share of rain!
If excess rainwater can be collected and repurposed (even just to water plants during the parched summer months), it’s an easy step we can all take to be more sustainable.
When building from scratch or renovating an existing space, there’s always the option to include reclaimed materials at various points within the project.
Not only are reclaimed materials more eco-friendly, but they can also inject plenty of character into your project too.
Examples of reclaimed materials include
Also, consider adding reclaimed fixtures within the interiors of your home or commercial project. This can include the likes of light fittings, fireplaces or upcycled furniture.
Given things made in the olden days were ‘built to last’, reclaimed materials can also provide ongoing sustainability benefits, particularly when that material or fixture is otherwise in good working order.
Solar Roof Tiles
You might know that Tesla makes electric cars, but did you know they make solar roof tiles too?
Right now Tesla roof tiles are limited to the American and Australian markets. However, there are various companies across the world who have since adopted solar roof tile technology also, including here in the UK.
While solar roof panels have existed for some time now, the ability to make the whole roof solar powered makes logical sense. This is especially the case given roofs directly absorb lots of light and therefore, energy from the sun. Solar roof tiles capture this energy and power homes with it.
In the coming years, we hope solar roof tiles become the norm over traditional slate tiles. If the technology continues to improve at the current rate, it may even replace the need for gas or electricity supplies altogether.
Q-Bot Robotic Underfloor Insulation
Did you know the UK has the least energy-efficient housing stock in Europe?
Underfloor heating looks to improve the energy efficiency of homes by insulating the floors to prevent heat loss. Though, installing underfloor insulation isn’t as easy as it sounds, as it usually involves ripping up all of the floorboards - this is both costly and messy for homeowners.
With the ability to fit through a small gap in the floor, Q-Bot is a robot capable of spraying insulation underneath floors. It prevents the need for large scale renovation work, making it easier than ever to prevent heat loss through floors.
Q-Bot estimates that if the 8 million homes which have suspended timber floors were to be insulated, this would create the CO2 savings equivalent to planting 30 million trees.
EcoSend - Sustainable Email Marketing Is Here, And You're Invited To Try It! ✉️ 👀
We hope the above green construction and home renovation trends for 2023 have inspired your next home or commercial project.
As the world’s first sustainable email marketing platform, we want to keep the good (and green!) vibes going, by inviting you to join EcoSend.
Few businesses realise that emails have a carbon footprint. But with every email we send emitting up to 50g of carbon, and around 300 billion emails sent per day, that soon adds up.
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