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So far SustainableBuild has created 436 blog entries.

Recycled Ceramic Tiles

By |2022-01-25T16:08:07+00:00March 14, 2008|Hard Flooring|

For those looking for sustainable, environmentally-friendly flooring, recycled is definitely the way to go. Reclaimed wood and recycled glass tiles are some more common options but recycled ceramic tiles are also worth considering. They are incredibly durable, with a very hard, scratch-resistant surface, and often more stain- and moisture-resistant than [...]

Sustainable Building Around the World

By |2022-01-25T16:08:08+00:00February 28, 2008|Sustainable Locations|

Sustainable building has taken off round the world, with developments happening in one country being copied and improved upon in another. This is in part due to increased media coverage and social awareness of the issues affecting the environment through climate change, and an understanding of the need to use [...]

Heating And Cooling The Office

By |2022-01-25T16:08:10+00:00February 22, 2008|Carbon Count - The Workplace|

Have you ever driven around at night and seen offices and factories with lights blazing through the windows, even though no is will be working there until the next day (or even the next week)? You might have wondered why they did it, then forgotten about it when the traffic [...]

The Top 5 Eco-Friendly Flooring Options

By |2022-01-25T16:08:13+00:00February 7, 2008|Sustainable Floors|

So you’ve made up your mind that you’re going for an eco-friendly flooring – something made from renewable materials that have been sustainably harvested, with minimal damage to the environment and which will biodegrade when disposed of, so that it does not clog up landfills. Also, something which has been [...]

Sustainable Flooring: Good for the Environment?

By |2022-01-25T16:08:11+00:00February 7, 2008|Sustainable Floors|

As we all become increasingly aware of the importance of being environmentally responsible and caring for our planet so that we preserve our natural resources, we are also becoming increasingly aware that being “green” has many advantages for our own health too! A great example of this is flooring – [...]

Eco-Friendly Stain Removers

By |2022-01-25T16:08:15+00:00February 6, 2008|Sustainable Floors|

For those who care about being environmentally-responsible and have made the effort to install sustainable flooring, the final step is eco-friendly floor cleaning. This involves using cleaning products which are plant-based and do not release harmful chemicals into the atmosphere, waterways or general environment, as well as choosing cleaning methods [...]

Manufacture & Transport: Impact on the Environment

By |2022-01-25T16:08:14+00:00February 6, 2008|Sustainable Floors|

Aside from the actual materials that flooring is made of, the manufacture and transport of flooring can also have a negative impact on the environment. Both processes use large amounts of energy and resources, as well as producing significant amounts of waste and pollution – all leading to damage to [...]

Sustainable Flooring Comparison

By |2022-01-25T16:08:16+00:00February 5, 2008|Sustainable Floors|

So you know that you want to invest in eco-friendly flooring and now you just need to decide on the option that offers you the best combination of durability, practicality, aesthetics and price. So here is a comparison of popular options to help you with your choice: Sustainable Hardwood (FSC-certified) [...]

The Forest Stewardship Council Certification

By |2022-01-25T16:08:17+00:00February 4, 2008|Wood Floors|

If you’re considering hardwood as an eco-friendly flooring option, then one thing you should be doing is familiarising yourself with the 3 letters “FSC” and what they mean. They stand for the “Forest Stewardship Council” which – although it is not the only sustainability accreditation scheme in the world – [...]

Natural Vs. Synthetic

By |2022-01-25T16:08:21+00:00January 31, 2008|Sustainable Carpets|

While we all know that we should make the environmentally-responsible choice, sometimes this can be difficult due to practical and financial constraints. There are also some who may wonder if choosing natural, sustainable products really IS a better option in real, practical terms – as opposed to just to joining [...]

The Environment and Climate Change

By |2022-01-25T16:08:20+00:00January 31, 2008|Sustainable Floors|

Climate change has far greater repercussions than the mere inconvenience of an unbearably hot summer or even the worry of unpredictable winter floods. Climate change has a significant impact on the environment which can lead to severe changes in how we live – for example, climate change on a global [...]

Sustainable Floors and Certification to Look for

By |2022-01-25T16:08:23+00:00January 30, 2008|Sustainable Floors|

For those of us wanting to make the sustainable choice, it’s important to know what certification to look for, to ensure that we are not paying for a product or service that does not really live up to its environmentally-friendly reputation. Unfortunately, flooring can be one of the most eco-damaging [...]

The Worst and Best Woods for Sustainability

By |2022-01-25T16:08:24+00:00January 30, 2008|Wood Floors|

While many of us love the look of wood flooring, we are equally keen to make sure that the wood is from sustainable sources. With the wealth of timber species and wood types on offer, it is sometimes hard to know exactly what to choose. So here is a quick [...]

Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Carpets

By |2022-01-25T16:08:26+00:00January 25, 2008|Sustainable Carpets|

While synthetic carpet is one of the most popular choices for floor coverings, it is also one of the unhealthiest types of flooring, both for you and for the environment. What’s Wrong with Synthetic Carpet? The first thing is its composition, which is primarily made up of petroleum products, such [...]

Carbon Neutral Supermarkets

By |2022-01-25T16:08:29+00:00January 24, 2008|Carbon Count - Shopping|

As we all try to lower our carbon footprint, business has a role to play, too. That’s especially true of the retailers where we buy things. At supermarkets we’ve become used to purchasing virtually any kind of fruit or vegetable at any time of the year, often without giving a [...]

Eco-Friendly Cleaners for Hard Floors

By |2022-01-25T16:08:28+00:00January 24, 2008|Sustainable Floors|

As we become more “eco-conscious” and aware of the damage we are causing our planet, we have become keen to explore more ways to be more environmentally responsible, such as through recycling and re-using materials and reducing waste. Now there is a new focus on how we clean and what [...]

Eco-Friendly Carpet Cleaning

By |2022-01-25T16:08:27+00:00January 24, 2008|Sustainable Floors|

For many of us, carpet is still the top choice of flooring, whether it is for its superior insulation, its softness or even just it’s “look”. But choosing carpet need not mean irresponsibility towards the environment. Many of us are taking care to choose carpets made of natural fibres or [...]

Recycled or Renewable Resources?

By |2022-01-25T16:08:31+00:00January 23, 2008|Sustainable Floors|

In our quest for environmental-responsibility, we often come across terms like “renewable” and “recycled” which are used to describe products and influence our purchasing decisions. But what exactly do these terms mean? Recycled The process of recycling takes existing products and re-processes them into new products. In this way, it [...]

Wind Turbines Can Lower Your Carbon Footprint

By |2022-01-25T16:08:32+00:00January 23, 2008|Carbon Count - The Big Picture|

More and more, people are looking to using the wind to generate power. Wind farms are sprouting up everywhere, both on the land and offshore, and individuals are installing them on their land, and even on their houses – Conservative leader David Cameron has one. They work well alongside solar [...]

What is Sustainable Flooring?

By |2022-01-25T16:08:30+00:00January 23, 2008|Sustainable Floors|

As people become more aware of the damage caused to our planet through the misuse and waste of resources, they are starting to look for factors beyond price and style in their search for flooring – for many people keen to be environmentally-responsible, choosing sustainable flooring has become a priority. [...]

The Impact of De-Forestation on the Environment

By |2022-01-25T16:08:33+00:00January 21, 2008|Sustainable Floors|

Deforestation leads to many negative effects on the environment, from physical degradation to reduced biodiversity, global warming to disturbance of the water cycle. It is important to be aware of and understand these effects, so that steps can be taken to minimize their impact. Why is it a Problem? Deforestation [...]

Making your Carpets More Eco-Friendly

By |2022-01-25T16:08:39+00:00January 17, 2008|Sustainable Carpets|

While we would all love to always choose the eco-friendly options when it comes to flooring, sometimes – due to finances, availability of suppliers, practicality, climate or other restrictions – we are unable to go for a completely natural fibre flooring or sustainable timber flooring. Sometimes, it just has to [...]

The Impact of Quarrying

By |2022-01-25T16:08:37+00:00January 17, 2008|Hard Flooring|

Quarrying is necessary to provide much of the materials used in traditional hard flooring, such as granite, limestone, marble, sandstone, slate and even just clay to make ceramic tiles. However, like many other man-made activities, quarrying causes a significant impact on the environment. In particular, it is often necessary to [...]

Wood Burning Stoves and Heat Pumps

By |2022-01-25T16:08:45+00:00January 12, 2008|Carbon Count - Home|

It might seem like a true backwards step to think of wood-burning stoves as a way to reduce carbon emissions. After all, didn't we abandon them long ago to move to coal and finally central heating? Can burning wood even reduce a carbon footprint? The simple answer is that although [...]

What is Deforestation?

By |2022-01-25T16:08:47+00:00January 10, 2008|Sustainable Floors|

Deforestation occurs when trees are permanently destroyed and removed from a naturally forested area and the land is converted for use as either arable land or pasture for grazing animals, for urban development or simply into wasteland, as the trees are consumed by the logging industry. Unfortunately, deforestation inevitably leads [...]

Video: Eco Build at Norton Priory

By |2022-01-25T16:08:48+00:00November 26, 2007|VIDEOS|

Hi I'm John Budworth, head gardender at Norton Priory Museum and gardens. On behalf of Sustainable Build.co.uk, I' going to talk about the eco build at Norton Priory museum and gardens. We were looking for indoor space at Norton Priory, we looked at three options, converting the existing buildings, introduction [...]

VIDEO – Tools Used for Lime Pointing

By |2022-01-25T16:08:50+00:00October 11, 2007|VIDEOS|

Hello I'm Colin Braithwaite from Braithe Heritage supplies. We're working with Sustainable Build.co.uk and we're just going to show you some of the tools that we use for Lime Pointing. We'll start at the beginning with safety goggles which are cheap and cheerful and well worth the expense. Lime water [...]

Consume Less And Lower Your Footprint

By |2022-01-25T16:08:54+00:00October 9, 2007|Carbon Count - Shopping|

We’re a consumer society. These days it often seems, we live to buy things. But the more new things we buy, the more energy is used in making and transporting them. That all goes into our carbon footprint and adds to the country’s CO2 emissions. But it’s as if we’re [...]

Farm Shops and Farmer’s Markets

By |2022-01-25T16:08:53+00:00October 9, 2007|Carbon Count - Shopping|

The revolution in farm shops and farmers’ markets began about a decade ago. Revolution might seem like a strong term but in many ways, that’s exactly what it was. It was a revolt against the way food had become so homogenous and mass-produced. The supermarkets had taken over, and many [...]

Buying Local and Lowering Food Miles

By |2022-01-25T16:08:55+00:00October 5, 2007|Carbon Count - Shopping|

There’s a price to pay for everything item of food you buy at the supermarket. That price is not just how much it costs in money but also the food miles involved. What are food miles? In a nutshell, it’s how far the food has to travel from where it’s [...]

Does Public Transportation Make A Difference?

By |2022-01-25T16:08:57+00:00October 4, 2007|Carbon Count - Travelling|

Let’s take this idea as a starting point: cars pollute the atmosphere. They emit CO2 at a tremendous rate and heavily contribute to greenhouse gases. Add to that the fact that our roads were never designed to cope with the amount of traffic now on them which means slower travel [...]

Aviation & Generating Carbon

By |2022-01-25T16:08:58+00:00October 4, 2007|Carbon Count - Travelling|

Over the last few years aviation has been in the news a lot. It’s become so cheap and commonplace that now it’s a huge polluter. Between 1990 and 2000 UK aviation emissions from CO2 doubled, while carbon from other sources dropped by 9%. To make matters worse, the impact of [...]

Making Your Car More Carbon Friendly

By |2022-01-25T16:09:01+00:00October 3, 2007|Carbon Count - Travelling|

The vehicles we drive be they cars, vans, or even the big lorries that move things all over Europe, they are bad for the planet. We know that. We know they dump far too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and add to the total of greenhouse gases around the [...]

Is Buying Organic More Carbon-Friendly?

By |2022-01-25T16:09:02+00:00October 2, 2007|Carbon Count - Shopping|

There’s no doubt that the popularity of organic food is increasing – you simply have to look at the produce and meat sections of your local supermarket to realise that. People believe it’s healthier and better for us to eat food that hasn’t been touched by chemicals. But can eating [...]

Bicycles and Your Carbon Footprint

By |2022-01-25T16:09:09+00:00October 1, 2007|Carbon Count - Travelling|

Cycling is a wonderful carbon-neutral method of transportation, although of course, carbon is generated in making the bicycle. Ignore that issue, though, and they can be ideal for many people. Apart from zero CO2 emissions, cycling provides great exercise, which is good for your weight and your heart, although, of [...]

Walking and Your Carbon Footprint

By |2022-01-25T16:09:10+00:00October 1, 2007|Carbon Count - Travelling|

Walking. It’s the most carbon-friendly form of transportation pushing absolutely no CO2 into the atmosphere. True, it’s not as fast as a car, or even a bicycle, but for most of the time man has been on the planet, it’s been our main way of moving from A to B. [...]

Going Solar To Save Carbon

By |2022-01-25T16:09:04+00:00October 1, 2007|Carbon Count - Home|

Solar power is a viable, sustainable alternative way to generate energy. You might not be able to meet all your needs this way, but even providing part of them means you’re significantly lowering your carbon footprint. Solar Water Heating If you’re going to attempt any one thing with solar power, [...]

Alternative Fuels and Carbon Footprints

By |2022-01-25T16:09:08+00:00October 1, 2007|Carbon Count - Travelling|

For the most part we use petrol to fuel our cars. The move to unleaded petrol has certainly helped reduce the CO2 emissions of vehicles but we still put a lot of carbon into the atmosphere from driving – you only have to consider how clogged our roads are to [...]

Your Carbon Footprint In The Garden

By |2022-01-25T16:09:06+00:00October 1, 2007|Carbon Count - Home|

You might consider your garden the greenest part of your home and in many ways you’d be right. Apart from being a thing of beauty, your garden itself doesn’t put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But have you considered making your garden more useful? Instead of being ornamental, it could [...]

Carbon Footprint Friendly Appliances

By |2022-01-25T16:09:05+00:00October 1, 2007|Carbon Count - Home|

When you use your appliances do you ever think about the carbon footprint they’re leaving? Probably not – why would you? You use them, and that’s that. But your fridge is contributing to climate change 24 hours a day, and so is your stove, hob, TV…everything you switch on. But [...]

What Will Proper Insulation Save You?

By |2022-01-25T16:09:12+00:00September 27, 2007|Carbon Count - Home|

Let’s face it it’s difficult to get excited about insulation. It’s just one of those topics that most people believe has to be addressed. But in the fight to reduce your carbon footprint, insulation can be an important weapon (and the fact that over time it far more than pays [...]

Measuring How Much Your Household Recycles

By |2022-01-25T16:09:13+00:00September 26, 2007|Sustainable Design|

Recycling the objects and materials we use on a daily basis is now such an urgent task that Governments, Local Councils and concerned individuals are all searching for ways to both inspire people to recycle, and to enforce recycling laws. Recycling is so urgent because we as a human community [...]

Green Energy and Carbon Footprints

By |2022-01-25T16:09:24+00:00September 26, 2007|Carbon Count - Home|

Every time we switch on the light or the television we’re pushing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It’s a fact of life. Most of the time, we don’t even feel guilty about it, or even think of it that way. Instead, we use appliances and feel warm, and each of [...]

About Global Warming

By |2022-01-25T16:09:16+00:00September 26, 2007|Carbon Count - The Big Picture|

By now, although a few might argue to the contrary, we generally accept that global warming, otherwise known as climate change, is one of the biggest problem – if not the biggest problem – facing humanity today. Politicians and scientists talk about it, and there have been a number of [...]

Carbon Offsetting

By |2022-01-25T16:09:20+00:00September 26, 2007|Carbon Count - The Big Picture|

There are many different government plans from around the world that might cut carbon. But there are also plans for individuals to help compensate for the carbon they’ve pumped into the atmosphere which is where carbon offsetting comes in. It started to become popular a few years ago, when people [...]

Is Carbon Neutral Possible?

By |2022-01-25T16:09:21+00:00September 26, 2007|Carbon Count - The Big Picture|

Carbon Neutrality – the state where we’re not pushing out any carbon dioxide into the atmosphere or at least offsetting what we do pump – is an ideal. It would mean we’re not adding to climate change. It’s something you hear about often, as one company or another puts out [...]

How Carbon Emissions Affect You

By |2022-01-25T16:09:18+00:00September 26, 2007|Carbon Count - The Big Picture|

Global warming, climate change, greenhouse gases…we read about them all the time. By now we know that it’s one of our biggest problems. But all too often it seems like the province of governments, discussing possible agreements to lower carbon emissions, or talking about ideas like carbon trading. That’s all [...]

What a Carbon Footprint Means

By |2022-01-25T16:09:14+00:00September 26, 2007|Carbon Count - The Big Picture|

You’ve almost certainly heard the term “carbon footprint” – in fact it’s been impossible to ignore it over the last few years. We all have one, as individuals, businesses, homes, and countries. In essence, it’s the amount of carbon we – or our houses, business, cars, and so on – [...]

Measure Your Carbon Footprint

By |2022-01-25T16:09:15+00:00September 26, 2007|Carbon Count - The Big Picture|

You don’t have to measure your carbon footprint in order to start reducing it but go on, admit it – you’re curious, aren’t you? You want to know just how much (or hopefully how little) an impact you’re having on the planet. It’s a case where smaller really is more [...]

Building Design and the Natural Environment

By |2022-01-25T16:09:25+00:00September 25, 2007|Sustainable Design|

Humans live in a very anthropocentric world; that is most of us, unless we are farmers, or live deep within the countryside, spend our time dealing with other people, and not thinking about the wider world. Human dis-connection with the natural world is one of the great themes of the [...]

Renovating and Refitting

By |2022-01-25T16:09:28+00:00September 21, 2007|Sustainable Design|

Renovating an old house or simply refitting is perhaps the most sustainable means of construction. If the outer shell is kept, and the project needs no major building effort, then the potential environmental damage of sourcing and bringing in new materials and machinery is reduced or is none at all. [...]

What Are Photovoltaics?

By |2022-01-25T16:09:30+00:00September 21, 2007|Energy Sources|

Photovoltaics are cells made from glass and steel that convert light into electricity. Inside the core of the cell are components known as photodiodes, which feed the incoming solar rays into semiconductors, which react with the sunlight, thus converting to electricity. This is an extremely effective way of harnessing power [...]

Sustainable Buildings Using Bamboo Construction

By |2022-01-25T16:09:27+00:00September 21, 2007|Sustainable Design|

Bamboo is a woody evergreen plant traditionally grown in South-East Asia, and now grown across India and the Himalayas, North-East Australia, and South-West America. It grows in diverse climate zones, and can spread rapidly, unless prevented or deliberately cultivated. It has traditionally been regarded by Chinese society as a symbol [...]

Grants and Loans for Green Development

By |2022-01-25T16:09:33+00:00May 3, 2007|Financing Your Build|

Most of us are by now, well aware that as consumers, we are all responsible for doing our bit to reduce carbon emissions and to help save the planet. And, although sustainable build projects are largely still in their infancy, the government, with the help of other organisations who have [...]

Financing Your Sustainable Development Project

By |2022-01-25T16:09:32+00:00May 3, 2007|Financing Your Build|

Financing your sustainable development project is an issue which, over recent times, has been addressed by certain lenders. Wherever you live you’ll have noticed that the amount of green space surrounding the area in which you live seems to recede with each passing year as more and more housing developments [...]

Environmental Benefits of Going Green

By |2022-01-25T16:09:34+00:00May 3, 2007|Green Buildings|

There are several different reasons why people are ‘going green’ when it comes to looking at a buying or building a home which is friendlier to the environment. For many, their overall environmental awareness and belief that they have a moral responsibility to uphold their environmental values in every aspect [...]

Budgeting a Sustainable Development Project

By |2022-01-25T16:09:35+00:00May 2, 2007|Financing Your Build|

Sustainable development is concerned with creating a sustainable build that should be exactly that i.e. “sustainable” and lasting. It should really be about ‘less is more’. Therefore, in order to create your ideal living space without going over budget, it’s important to bear these thoughts in mind when you get [...]

Making Your Home Carbon Neutral

By |2022-01-25T16:09:40+00:00April 12, 2007|Carbon Neutral Homes|

If you have calculated your personal total carbon footprint and also that of your house, as detailed on our page ' Calculating your home's carbon output', and are shocked to see the size of your carbon footprint, then here are some practical ways to reduce the carbon output from your [...]

Carbon Neutral Plans for the UK

By |2022-01-25T16:09:39+00:00April 12, 2007|Carbon Neutral Homes|

In his 2006 pre-Budget speech the Chancellor at the time, Gordon Brown mentioned his wish to see Carbon Neutral homes being built throughout the UK, and this year, Communities Minister Ruth Kelly fleshed this wish out with solid Governmental plans. These include tightening local planning and building regulations, to emphasize [...]

Calculating Your Home’s Carbon Output

By |2022-01-25T16:09:38+00:00April 12, 2007|Carbon Neutral Homes|

Media attention has shifted over the past year from encouraging us to calculate our personal carbon footprint that is how much carbon we individually use to live the lifestyle that we do annually, to now calculating the carbon footprint of our house as well, and then doing all we can [...]

Low Carbon Building Initiatives

By |2022-01-25T16:09:44+00:00December 4, 2006|Green Buildings|

The UK Government, through a website of its Department for Trade and Industry (DTI), has recently launched a scheme called the Low Carbon Building's Programme. This is an initiative by the Government in order to meet national and International targets to reduce pollution, with the intention to reduce the effects [...]

Reducing Air Pollution

By |2022-01-25T16:09:43+00:00December 4, 2006|Green Buildings|

Climate change, smog, acid rain and ozone depletion are all created by air pollution, and pose a serious threat to the environment and our health. In the UK, air pollution is responsible for around 32,000 deaths every year, with thousands more requiring hospital treatment. Direct causes of death include asthma, [...]

Eco Friendly Construction Methods and Materials

By |2022-01-25T16:09:42+00:00December 4, 2006|Construction Methods|

There is an urgent need to address the great challenges of our times: climate change, resource depletion, pollution, and peak oil. These issues are all accelerating rapidly, and all have strong links with the building industry. There is a growing consensus from scientists and the oil industry that we are [...]

Minimising The Use of Resources and Packaging

By |2022-01-25T16:09:45+00:00December 1, 2006|Green Buildings|

To construct a building, lay the foundations, build walls, or even doing the weekly shopping, we use resources, be they brick, stone, wood, cardboard or plastic wrapping. Recently a UK Government minister angered the food industry by suggesting that supermarket shoppers could protest the amount of plastic used in food [...]

Using Lime in Building Techniques

By |2022-01-25T16:09:47+00:00November 23, 2006|Construction Methods|

Lime has been used in building techniques for over 5,000 years. Archaeological evidence shows it to have been in existence for this time frame due to its resilience, durability, and water resistant qualities. The Romans used lime extensively in their building programme in Britain, and refined its application into mortars [...]

Alternative Types Of Energy Sources

By |2022-01-25T16:09:48+00:00November 21, 2006|Energy Sources|

The need to find new types of renewable energy is urgent - oil reserves are running out, and quickly. The lifestyles that we in the Western world have developed as a result of seemingly plentiful energy resources either have to dramatically change or we need alternative sources to produce the [...]

The Problem With Fossil Fuels

By |2022-01-25T16:09:50+00:00November 16, 2006|Energy Sources|

The debate about the use of fossil fuels has reached a heightened pitch, with environmental campaigners, scientists, politicians, representatives of the fossil-fuel companies, such as Bp, Shell, and Esso, all pitching in with their arguments. The general public often gets lost in the midst of all this frenzied, passionate debate, [...]

Straw Bale Construction

By |2022-01-25T16:09:51+00:00November 15, 2006|Types of Construction|

People have built homes using straw, grass, or reed throughout history. During the late 1800s on the American plains however, straw bales houses were a matter of necessity; there was no lumber for construction. Now, with the rise in interest in sustainable housing, there's been a revival in straw bale [...]

Reducing and Managing Waste

By |2022-01-25T16:09:54+00:00November 13, 2006|Green Buildings|

The UK construction industry is responsible for producing over 36 million tonnes of landfill waste every year. This is approximately 35% of total waste generated, with domestic residential waste accounting for an additional 10%. It has been estimated that UK landfill sites will be filled in as little as 6 [...]

What is a Green Building?

By |2022-01-25T16:09:56+00:00November 8, 2006|Green Buildings|

The concept of a green building was developed in the 1970s in response to the energy crisis and people's growing concerns about the environment. The need to save energy and mitigate environmental problems fostered a wave of green building innovation that has continued to this day. Green buildings are not [...]

Sustainable Sewage Design

By |2022-01-25T16:09:58+00:00November 3, 2006|Sustainable Design|

Sewage, also called blackwater, is a complex mixture of contaminants containing pathogens, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, debris, nutrients, nitrates and phosphates. It is wastewater from both domestic and industrial sources, from faeces and urine, to bleach and cleaning products, paint, solvent and oils - everything that is flushed down a [...]

Mongolian Gers & Yurts: Nomads Tents

By |2022-01-25T16:09:59+00:00October 25, 2006|Types of Construction|

Once you have stepped into a ger or yurt, and experienced the freedom of life within its circular space, or enjoyed a night's sleep within one, then you will know what it is like to get a sense of nomadic life, in a portable, highly individual and protective, and ultimately [...]

Windows in Sustainable Design

By |2022-01-25T16:10:03+00:00October 23, 2006|Sustainable Design|

Windows are a critical component in sustainable building design. Most energy flows in and out of a building through its windows, but with intelligent design and technological innovation they can be used to provide heating, cooling and lighting for a better indoor environment. To optimise the energy performance of windows [...]

Water and Sustainable Design

By |2022-01-25T16:10:01+00:00October 23, 2006|Sustainable Design|

Water is an increasingly scarce and precious resource. Rising demand, water pollution and climate change are a huge threat to fresh water supplies. The construction industry has acknowledged the urgent need to conserve and manage water and has taken measures to implement sustainable water design throughout the build process. Water [...]

Natural Materials and Biomass Roofing

By |2022-01-25T16:10:05+00:00October 20, 2006|Construction Methods|

Biomass roofing is the use of plant materials to build roofs. People from around the world have always used whatever vegetation was locally available and abundant to build their roofs. This cultural and environmental diversity has led to a wide range of roofing materials and styles, from the simple and [...]

Eco-Housing in the UK

By |2022-01-25T16:10:07+00:00October 19, 2006|Green Buildings|

Eco-housing, or houses built in accordance with the principles of sustainable development, which use resources and technologies that capitalise on renewability, are a fast-developing industry in the UK. These projects range from individual projects to whole estates, designed to accommodate and create a new community. Individual or one-off projects, such [...]

Earth and Construction

By |2022-01-25T16:10:10+00:00October 18, 2006|Types of Construction|

Earth construction is the practice of building with unfired, untreated, raw earth. It has been successfully used around the world for over 11,000 years, and it is estimated that around half the world's population today live and work in earth buildings. Types of Earth Building The techniques and methods for [...]

Compost Toilets

By |2022-01-25T16:10:08+00:00October 18, 2006|Sustainable Design|

Composting toilets (also called biological, dry or waterless toilets) are systems that treat human excrement through biological processes, turning it into organic compost material that can be used to fertilise the soil. They are small-scale, complete sewage processing systems not connected to the mains sewage system. The Chinese have been [...]

Urban Reclamation: Using Existing Buildings

By |2022-01-25T16:10:14+00:00October 12, 2006|Sustainable Locations|

Urban reclamation is essentially reclaiming space in the city for a community's use again, either for housing, leisure, or business. The space is likely to have been used before, and may consist of derelict or abandoned buildings, waste ground, or part-used space. The land and/or buildings may have contamination issues, [...]

Principles of Sustainable Development

By |2022-01-25T16:10:25+00:00October 9, 2006|Sustainable Locations|

The concept of Sustainable Development essentially means keeping current development within sustainable levels, thus protecting the needs and resources of both the environment and human population, in the longer term. This term, the principles of Sustainable Development, originally came from the Bruntland Report in 1987, written up in the book [...]

Underground Construction

By |2022-01-25T16:10:23+00:00October 9, 2006|Types of Construction|

Underground construction has been around for thousands of years, mostly developed through mining and more recently through transport, housing and commercial industries. The Channel Tunnel, London Underground, British Library, and various shopping centres are all examples of underground construction. Underground housing (sometimes called earth sheltered housing) refers specifically to homes [...]

Pollution From Construction

By |2022-01-25T16:10:32+00:00September 27, 2006|Construction Methods|

The construction industry is a major source of pollution, responsible for around 4% of particulate emissions, more water pollution incidents than any other industry, and thousands of noise complaints every year. Although construction activities also pollute the soil, the main areas of concern are: air, water and noise pollution. Air [...]

Reclaimed Materials

By |2022-01-25T16:10:34+00:00September 26, 2006|Construction Methods|

The construction industry is under increasing pressure to become sustainable. One way to address this is through the use of reclaimed materials. Reclaimed materials are those that have been previously used in a building or project, and which are then re-used in another project. The materials might be altered, re-sized, [...]

Space Usage in Sustainable Design

By |2022-01-25T16:10:36+00:00September 22, 2006|Sustainable Design|

Within the field of sustainable design, space, or the use thereof, is paramount. Sustainability in building design means can the building be wholly constructed from renewable resources, and can it support a system within itself that aims to use renewable resources, such as bio-fuel or solar power? If the initial [...]

Environmentally Friendly, Non Toxic Paint

By |2022-01-25T16:10:38+00:00September 20, 2006|Construction Methods|

All paints contain three main components: pigment (colour), a binder (holds the paint together) and a carrier (disperses the binder). With many modern paints these ingredients are made using toxic chemicals that are harmful to both the environment and human health. Cadmium, lead and chromium are frequently used in pigments; [...]

Where to Site a Sustainable Development

By |2022-01-25T16:10:41+00:00September 19, 2006|Sustainable Locations|

To site your building sustainably, several considerations must be made. Firstly, it is crucial to take a long-term view of constructing a building on this piece of land. The nature of developing sustainably means that due consideration must be given to the future conditions (environmental, geographical, urban or rural, etc) [...]

Low Allergen Design

By |2022-01-25T16:10:40+00:00September 19, 2006|Sustainable Design|

Allergens are substances that cause an allergic reaction in the immune system. Symptoms include: headaches, shortness of breath, eczema, sneezing, watery eyes, depression, fatigue, diarrhoea, palpitations, coughing, sleeping difficulties, sore throat, dizziness and asthma. In the last fifty years there has been a global pandemic of allergies such as asthma, [...]

Greenfield Sites

By |2022-01-25T16:10:43+00:00September 15, 2006|Sustainable Locations|

Greenfield sites are areas of land, usually agricultural or amenity land, which are being considered for urban development. This is a highly contentious issue, particularly in the UK, where the development of land is split between Greenfield and brownfield sites. It becomes contentious, and political, due to a limited amount [...]

Green Specifications

By |2022-01-25T16:10:45+00:00September 14, 2006|Green Buildings|

Green specifications are a set of agreements that are recommended for the sustainable building industry. They identify and qualify the specific conditions that property developers, designers and builders must meet to demonstrate sustainable development in practice. Increasing concerns over environmental issues such as climate change and fossil fuel depletion, have [...]

Heating and Sustainability

By |2022-01-25T16:10:49+00:00September 12, 2006|Sustainable Design|

The biggest issue facing house designers and builders in the modern age is how to ensure the construction accords with the worldwide need to exist within limits of sustainability. This involves ensuring that all resources used are made from renewable resources, instead of eating away at the eventually limited worldwide [...]

Brick Manufacture and Use in Construction

By |2022-01-25T16:10:54+00:00September 8, 2006|Types of Construction|

Bricks are blocks of clay that have been hardened through being fired in a kiln or dried in the sun. Over time, kiln-fired bricks have grown more popular than sun-dried bricks, although both are still found worldwide. Bricks have been in continual use for around 5000 years, and brickwork from [...]

Eco Friendly Ventilation

By |2022-01-25T16:10:53+00:00September 8, 2006|Sustainable Design|

We all know what its like to be in an office environment or home without air conditioning, particularly if there's an untypical heat wave across the UK, but how can we ensure when designing and constructing an ecologically sound building, that the ventilation system is eco-friendly ? The simplest solution [...]

What is Eco Friendly Construction?

By |2022-01-25T16:10:55+00:00August 30, 2006|Construction Methods|

Eco-friendly, or ecological, construction is building a structure that is beneficial or non-harmful to the environment, and resource efficient. Otherwise known as green building, this type of construction is efficient in its use of local and renewable materials, and in the energy required to build it, and the energy generated [...]

Energy Efficient Appliances

By |2022-01-25T16:10:58+00:00August 21, 2006|Sustainable Design|

Electricity usage has a profound detrimental effect on the environment. Electricity is sourced from power stations, the majority of which burn harmful fossil fuels. One way of reducing electricity usage and, therefore, carbon emissions is to use energy efficient appliances. Energy Efficient Labelling Under EU regulations many electrical goods must [...]

Green Taxes on Excessive Energy Use

By |2022-01-25T16:10:57+00:00August 21, 2006|Green Buildings|

A 'Green Tax' is generally administered as a financial penalty on companies using excessive energy. It also acts as an incentive to reducing fuel emissions and promotes the importance of environmental sustainability by linking profit directly to fuel output. Climate Change Levy Following the signing of the Kyoto Protocol, which [...]

Carbon Footprints and How to Reduce Them

By |2022-01-25T16:10:56+00:00August 21, 2006|Construction Methods|

A carbon footprint is used to calculate the amount of damage caused by an individual, household, institution or business to the environment through harmful carbon dioxide emissions. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions is seen as essential to sustaining the environment and can be achieved in two ways: Reduction of Carbon Dioxide [...]

Using Locally Sustainable Materials

By |2022-01-25T16:10:59+00:00August 16, 2006|Construction Methods|

Sustainable building is an essential aspect of widening efforts to conceive an ecologically responsible world. A building that is sustainable must, by nature, be constructed using locally sustainable materials: i.e. materials that can be used without any adverse effect on the environment, and which are produced locally, reducing the need [...]

Transport Links to New Build Developments

By |2022-01-25T16:11:00+00:00August 14, 2006|Sustainable Locations|

One of the primary considerations with any site is access and transportation. They are key factors in the success of any development; communities that aren't readily accessible both inside and outside their boundaries simply aren't sustainable. Access means safe, secure and healthy movement for all, whether old and young, rich [...]

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