Jun 15, 2010

Sustainable Materials

When designing “Green Buildings” materials are key. The principle is to choose materials that are available locally, that are easily replenished and finished without much processing. For those passionate about going “Green” there are several sources to obtain reclaimed or easily replenishable construction materials. Some suggestions below: Walls: -Locally made country burnt bricks. -Fly ash bricks are another option as it is sourced from recycled industrial waste and available in Bangalore and other parts of India. Fly ash bricks are also stronger and come in many colors. Doors/Windows:

In terms of the environmental impact of material sourcing for construction materials, the use of timber rather than uPVC or aluminium frames has so far provided the largest environmental saving.

This fact has been independently assessed by BRE (Buildings Research Establishment).

-Locally sourced timber that replenishes easily like Bilwaram, Neem, Eucalyptus, Silver Oak, Bamboo, Strengthened Rubberwood. -Reclaimed wood frames from old, demolished buildings is another option. (*Available in Bamboo bazaar near Russell market in Bangalore.) Foundations: -Existing rocks used as footing anchors, rather than blasting the rock off the site destroying the natural geological structure of the surrounding terrain. -Excavated soil thrown back in & rammed to strengthen foundation earth. -Stone available locally for the foundation beds. Flooring: -Bamboo flooring is a great green option as bamboo trees are easily replenished and it is locally available. -Locally made Terracotta tiles painted (for more color options) and polished with lead free products is yet another option. -Terrazo tiles made from broken ceramic tiles, Tile factory wastage. -Rubber wood flooring is another great option as rubberwood trees are also easily replenishable. -Easily replenishable woods such as silver wood used for outdoor deck flooring. Left untreated weathers to a lovely grayish antique texture Wall Finishes: -Lead Free paints. -Discarded, reclaimed wood pieces refurbished for wall paneling and trimmings and ledges. -Naturally, locally available stone used for cladding designs. -Softwoods such as pine wood reclaimed from cargo crates for outdoor furniture, indoor/outdoor cladding. -Easily replenishable woods such as Silver Oak and Red Cedar used for external wall cladding. -Water based textures applied on external walls cause the walls to breathe easy as plastering/priming/painting can be avoided.

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