Most experts agree the future of sustainable design depends on sourcing high-quality and environmentally-friendly building materials at every stage of the process. Sustainability matters not just for new developments, but also for the upgrades and renovations that go into transforming old buildings for commercial or living purposes. Fortunately, a number of initiatives are underway to improve the infrastructure for sourcing raw materials, which can help design firms develop a green ethos as they take on new projects in 2019.
When it comes to building appliances and metal installation in building, recycled metals is the option most readily available. In particular, the infrastructure for recycling and reproducing old steel exists all over the world: experts estimate that 500 million tons of steel are recycled annually from scrap metal. In interior decorating, recycled steel can be molded to create sleek paneling, countertops, lighting fixtures, and statement furniture pieces, and more. J Fisher Interiors recommends working with your design team on a building plan that incorporates staple metal pieces to create a sleek and polished finish to the property. The results are durable: steel has the highest strength to weight ratio of any regularly used building material and is also regularly used to support solar paneling, a key eco addition to any new building on the market.
Bamboo’s high level of regeneration makes it an ideal alternative to using cedar or pine in your home without sacrificing quality. Bamboo possesses the rare combination of wood that is both durable and malleable: it can be reshaped to fit a number of uses for interiors but is most popularly used to provide wall paneling or smooth, water-resistant flooring. Construction firms in Hong Kong commonly use bamboo as a scaffolding agent when building skyscrapers, which is cost-efficient and more beneficial to the environment than traditional metal structures.
Commercial Interior Decorating
The interior design for commercial properties is far less personalized than designing a home, which makes it easier to apply sustainable materials in broad strokes once a design has been approved. Sustainability firms often partner with commercial builders to supply recycled or unused building materials (such as scraps from a demolition site) so that they can be used in new developments. This system is sometimes called “trade waste” and relies on cutting down the carbon emissions of commercial property sites. The decision is a cost-efficient one: recycled materials often sell for a less expensive rate and in some cases, governments and municipalities use tax incentives to encourage sustainable design at the local level.
The world has a long way to go towards building a system where sustainable materials can be purchased and used efficiently, but recent measures indicate significant progress in many aspects of the design process. With encouragement from governments and consumers, design teams can play a major role in dreaming up new ways to build and furnish homes with a green mentality at the core.