08 Jun 5 Eco Building Materials of the Future
Here at Tage London we always aim to stay ahead of the curve and reducing our carbon footprint is close to our heart so here is a round up of the some of the latest eco -friendly building materials that we’re excited about!
Produced by British company Econovate Limited, Econoblok’s are made from waste paper and cardboard that has been diverted from landfills. It is a lightweight, load-bearing block with excellent thermal and acoustic properties. Fibre cellulose is the main aggregate that is bound by a zero carbon cement. It is carbon negative and 80% of it’s materials are recycled. As a plus for builders, it can be used just as a concrete block would be so there is no need to specially train your workforce. It comes in a range of colours or you can render it with any material of your choosing.
Steel beams have been used in commercial building for many decades, however we are seeing more and more residential projects utilising this material. Traditional production of steel can be very harmful to environment but these days it doesn’t have to be.
According to the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) using recycled steel to make new steel enables an 86% reduction in air pollution, a 40% reduction in water use and a 76% reduction in water pollution. Recycling metals is a fast growing industry that means that scrap metal is valuable and therefore rarely sent to landfills.
So what are the benefits for the user? Well, steel beams help to achieve that wide open uninterrupted space that we are all after for modern living and now you can achieve it with a clear conscience too.
Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF’s)
ICF’s were born in Germany (of course!) in the early 1950’s but have had a recent upsurge in popularity due to the discovery of it’s energy saving properties. Lightweight blocks made from insulation materials lock together to form a framework system into which concrete is poured. Once the concrete wall is set, it becomes a high strength frame structure and the formwork remains in place as thermal insulation.
ICF’s offer superior energy performance that far exceeds current UK regulations as well as being durable enough to last for centuries. The running costs of an ICF built home are incredibly low. The dense concrete and high performance insulation mean that your home will be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. According to the Insulating Concrete Formwork Assosication (ICFA) you can turn your heating on later in the year and switch it off earlier plus you only need a small boiler in the first place due to the thermal mass benefits.
Plant Based Urethane Rigid Foam
Rigid Polyurethane Foams are found all around us. The insulation in our walls, kitchen appliances, cars, even hot tubs. The problem is, they are currently made from petroleum, a non-sustainable resource that is highly toxic not only to the environment, but to us as well. The solution? Plant Based Urethane Rigid Foam. Ned McMahon, founder of Malama Composites, is the trailblazer of this relatively new technology. Their bio-foams are made from sustainable resources such as bamboo, hemp and kelp. Malama states that their “award-winning products are not only cost competitive but offer superior performance characteristics and are far more easily recycles than petroleum based foams.” They can be used for everything that their toxic counterparts can and then some.
Low-E or Low Emissivity Windows have a clear coating of metallic oxide to keep the heat inside in winter and outside in summer. The technology comes in either soft coatings that go between the layers of glass or hard coatings that go on the outside.
Although the initial outlay can cost 10-15% more than traditional windows, Low-E windows can reduce heat loss by up to 50%, saving you a significant amount on your energy bills, a worthwhile investment we think!