There is a lot of hype and “green washing” in the construction market on what “green” products you should use in your building construction project. So, which products are truly the green choices and what are the pros and cons?
The truth is, there are many green product and process considerations that deserve proper attention such as: construction waste, virgin material depletion, renewable cycle, transportation, environmentally responsible practices, etc.
For example, construction and demolition waste constitutes about 40% of the total solid waste stream in the U.S. If planned for and implemented correctly, most projects will be able to divert upwards of 80 – 90% of the construction waste.
Also, it is important to understand materials’ origin and how they are produced. Are they made from virgin materials that are being depleted? Do they incorporate high amounts of recycled content? Are they rapidly renewable? How far will they have to travel before arriving at your building? Are products that have been extracted and manufactured locally available?
Furthermore, the way that materials are extracted and manufactured can have great impact on the local and global environment. Therefore, it is important to select materials that have been extracted in an environmentally responsible way.
The reality is that most contractors and design professionals do not have the experience to properly research and locate the right green materials, and even fewer have the technical knowledge to adequately analyze their many complexities, how they affect other systems and the environment.
Harmoni Designs specializes in green design and construction and we are uniquely positioned to help you select the right green materials for your building. Here’s a sampling of services we offer; and we provide a personal on-demand service whenever you need a quick answer:
- Research and locate green materials
- Advise on use of existing, salvaged, and refurbished materials
- Establish a construction waste management plan
- Assistance with hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead based paint
- Select green materials with recycled content
- Find, compare, and analyze local and regional materials
- Guidance on renewable materials such as bamboo, cotton, agrifiber, etc.
- Certified and sustainable wood choices
- Green roofing systems