In the world of eco-friendly construction, there’s an endless choice of sustainable building materials. From bamboo flooring to LED lighting, there are virtually a myriad of selections these days. The field of green building solutions has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. Innovative ideas come along each year that move the industry forward. One of these is known as reclaimed timber.
This idea of reclaimed lumber is actually not new at all, but in the past, it just wasn’t profitable so many builders stayed away from it. With the global push to reduce our carbon footprint, there’s now more demand than ever. This has opened the door for large companies to move into this space. Whole factories now exist that take in used lumber, then remove the nails and clean it up. By the time they’re done, this reclaimed lumber is just like new. But it has the charm and personality of older buildings.
All about bamboo
Two of the more promising sustainable products are bamboo and hemp. Both of these sectors have grown prolifically. Bamboo is actually a genus of grass. It has been known to grow 24 inches in one day. There are several varieties that display quite different characteristics. Its underground system of distributing water and nutrients is highly efficient and uses rhizomes. Bamboo is being used now for flooring, siding and wall treatments among other things.
Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa species. It has been widely used for thousands of years to make rope. Many eons ago, bridges were constructed of wood planks strung together with hemp rope. These simply designed bridges would often last for a hundred years. Hemp rope is also used on board ships. It is durable enough to withstand the wind, salt, seas, and weather.
Hemp has gotten a bit of a bad reputation in the last 50 years due to its relationship to Cannabis or marijuana. But hemp has been used for many years. It can be spun into fiber and refined into textiles and clothing. It can also be used as animal feed, insulation, biofuel and others. This is a very fast-growing plant that has existed since prehistoric times. Many cultures have used the plant to make medicines and today’s researchers are learning much about its healing properties.
Green building technologies are searching each year for new sustainable energy ideas. The idea is to reduce the overall effect of mankind on our environment. With the increase of natural disasters, scientists have warned us about Climate Change. Most nations have responded in a positive way by creating more energy efficient products. From cars to building materials, each time we reduce waste and toxins, we help to sustain the life of our planet.
Green architecture is not only beautiful but it seeks to blend in naturally with Mother Nature. Hemp, bamboo and reclaimed timber are just a few of the ways to do this.
As more and more construction companies adopt green building technologies, it transforms the industry. Many new jobs are created. Construction jobs have increased in their complexity as well. Some workers now specialize in areas such as solar and wind power. Others are pros at creating green roofs and rooftop gardens.