Sourcing sustainable and environmentally friendly products has become more prominent over the recent years in the construction industry.
Initially sustainable products were rather few and far between and difficult to source, with cost being a major issue. This is no longer the case with certain materials. For instance, most suppliers of timber will offer FSC and PEFC chain of custody timber as standard, which is proven to be from a sustainable source and in theory be tracked back to the exact forest location where it was grown.
In addition, recycled materials are beginning to be used across the board. For example: recycled glass is being used as sand for paving areas, sheep wool in insulation products, composite decking boards are being used in lieu of standard timber decking boards.
Although the initial financial outlay may be more expensive with regards to products such as composite decking boards, the actual `true` cost is considerably lower as it is maintenance free i.e. no re-application of a protective stain is required.
The future of concrete as we know it:
Finally, take a moment to consider a different aspect to using recycled materials. One of the main ingredients in a major product associated with the construction, the concrete block, is a recycled material, PFA (Pulverised Fuel Ash). This is a by-product of coal fired power generation.
It is interesting to note most manufacturers have become dependent on this product and the fact the government, and world, are phasing out coal powered generation due to pollution means these manufacturers now face having to adapt their concrete production process in order to future proof their products. The future of concrete as we know it, is changing…