Material Efficiency

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‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ has been a catchphrase for environmental responsibility for years.  These are critical elements to using materials efficiently.  However, ‘Rebuy’ is the fourth ‘R’ that completes the cycle of resource conservation.  Using these fundamental methods in your home’s construction will create beauty and durability as well as reducing the depletion of valuable resources and additional waste in landfills.

 

 

Rapidly Renewable Resources


  • Bamboo: Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant.  Some species of the plant are capable of growing 24 inches or more in one day.  Such rapid growth allows harvesting every 3-5 years.  Bamboo is incredibly versatile, so it can be used as flooring, cabinetry, and furniture. 
  • Cork: Cork can be harvested every ten years because only the outer bark of the cork oak tree is removed leaving the tree to regenerate itself.  Cork has great thermal and acoustical insulating properties and is incredibly durable so it is an obvious choice for flooring.  Cork is also naturally hypoallergenic and fire resistant.

 

 

Recycled/Recyclable Materials

Carpet

  • Recycled Carpet:  Every year there are approximately five billion pounds of carpet replaced in the United States. A large portion of the old carpet, along with plastic soda bottles and other textiles, can be woven into new carpet fibers.
  • Modular Carpet: Carpet tiles are a smart solution to the excessive amount of carpet going to the landfill.  Tiles come in many colors, patterns, and textures and can be used as a rug or a wall-to-wall floor covering.  The flexibility that carpet tiles bring to floor coverings is what makes them so appealing.   If one area becomes stained or damaged, those tiles can be replaced instead of the whole room. 

Glass

  • Recycled Glass Tiles: These tiles are made from 100% post consumer, post industrial recycled glass.  The tiles are impermeable which makes the ideal choice for countertops, backsplashes, and showers.
  • Bioglass: Bioglass is made from 100% recycled glass, pressed together and cut into slabs. Each color represents a different material stream from green wine bottles to clear drinking glasses. 
  • Recycled Glass Countertops: These countertops are made from 85-90% post-consumer recycled glass in a concrete aggregate. Due to its’ strength and beauty, terrazzo can be used in floors and walls in addition to use as countertops and tables.

Metal

  • Metal Tiles: The tiles are made from 100% recycled brass and aluminum and come in a variety of finishes from glossy to sandblasted.  Recycled metal tiles are well suited for countertops, kitchen and bath surfaces, and backsplashes but can be used almost anywhere . These tiles do not fingerprint like stainless steel, are lighter than stone, are very durable, and heat resistant.

 

 

Reusable Materials

 

  • Stone: Stone is a naturally green material due to its’ durability and timelessness. Stone tiles are very receptive to passive solar heating because they will radiate heat long after sundown.  Stone is also moisture resistant and does not emit harmful toxins into the air.  Stone can also serve as landscaping long after its life in your home.
  • Linoleum: Linoleum is a mixture of all natural ingredients: linseed oil, cork powder, resins, and ground limestone.  It is biodegradable and does not emit harmful toxins in the air.   
  • Reclaimed Wood: Old wood can be given a new life when it is recycled into "new" wood flooring.  Recycled wood flooring is made from beams and timbers that have been salvaged from barns and other industrial buildings that are then remilled into a product suitable for residential use. Often, this wood is more desirable because it has come from old growth forests that cause it to be stronger, denser, and more attractive.