Using Natural Materials In Sustainable Home Design

Mike Page's picture
Authored by Mike Page
Posted Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - 9:21am

A new network of linked villages with Garden Communities status is being proposed in East Devon. The bid would form part of the Liveable Exeter vision to build 12,000 new homes in Exeter over the next 20 years, and has already been approved by the council. Garden communities are housing developments consisting of well-designed homes built to create sustainable and vibrant communities. With the use of renewable materials, the sustainable housing addresses the problems of climate change and encourages green living, a current trend in housing that is inspiring both builders and designers. The same principles of eco-friendly building can also be applied to existing homes, and with the use of sustainable materials and construction methods, renovations and improvements can add value to your property without taking away from the environment.

High Quality Internal Fixtures

The desire to remove artificial and unsustainable materials from the home has extended to all aspects of interior design, and is seen as particularly advantageous in the kitchen. To make less of an impact on the environment, homeowners are choosing counter tops in natural materials, from renewable wood to luxurious marble. This move away from synthetic materials is also reflected in other design choices. The durability of kitchen floor tiles made from high quality, natural materials such as slate and stone make them a good choice for sustainability. Atlas Ceramics produce bespoke tiles from ceramics and similar materials. They're both low maintenance and hard-wearing, and can withstand heavy traffic in a kitchen while still retaining their impressive appearance.

Renewable Building Materials

As well as choosing sustainable materials for fixtures and fittings within the home, they can also be employed in the construction of new builds, renovations and extensions. The construction industry accounts for almost 50% of carbon emissions in the UK, and, in attempting to reduce this figure, renewable materials such as bamboo and straw are increasingly popular choices for greener buildings. In a more conventional build, renewable timber from fast growing pine trees, or oak from sustainably managed forests are suitable choices. For a refurbishment project, you could take inspiration from Exeter University’s redevelopment of a study and social area for students, which has recently passed a rigorous environmental assessment rating system. The build recycled many of the materials used on site, and you could do the same with reclaimed bricks or timber.

Whether building a new house from scratch or making improvements to your home, the inclusion of natural and durable materials in the design not only enhances its appearance, but also reduces its impact on the environment.