Did you know that commercial buildings account for an estimated 38% of carbon dioxide emissions and 39% of total energy across the United States? That’s a fact according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and it’s part of why our commercial architects are constantly considering new ways to decrease our carbon footprint. In fact, the industry as a whole is increasingly going greener to meet the global environmental challenges we face today, starting from the ground up. In that spirit, we’re sharing a snapshot of the latest sustainable building materials making a positing impact across the commercial design industry.
Timber is not only lighter than steel and concrete, it also happens to be more environmentally responsible. Unlike steel and concrete, which actually emit carbon, trees soak up carbon and lock it away. Today cross-laminated timber (created by gluing together 3-7 sections of wood at a right angle) is actually so strong that it can actually be used to construct skyscrapers. Not only that, cross-laminated timber can be prefabricated into any shape imaginable.
Architects are turning to bamboo as a viable material to use in sustainable building design for good reason. One, it’s viable. Bamboo can grow up to four feet in a single day. It also happens to be surprisingly stronger than steel. According to Architectural Digest, bamboo also releases 35% more oxygen when it is growing and absorbs approximately 35% more carbon dioxide than trees. To sum it up, bamboo is a sustainable, durable, and attractive choice for building material.
Recycled materials have the power to reduce our collective carbon footprint, from cardboard and plastic bottles to scrap metal. These materials can be used on both the exterior and interior of buildings. Carpeting made from recycled carpeting is particularly popular, along with chemical-free paper insulation because. Not only does recycled material produce less carbon, in many cases it can also be melted down and reused once more.
Studio Design Group Architects believes that doing better business begins with a better building. Sustainable commercial construction is important and our team is thrilled to design for the future.