Our planet has been through a lot in the last couple of hundred years, and many are starting to take notice. Not only do customers care, but investors and building companies are all becoming aware of a need to do better for Earth. 

Whether you’re trying to reach a market that’s hard to get into or you’ve realized that energy efficiency is a big budget saver, it’s important to look into sustainability. These are the top materials and ideas to consider.

Why Sustainable Building Is a Hot Topic

Sustainability is important for more than just keeping the energy bill down! A good sustainable building will cut down on pollution, remove itself from being a threat to the local environment, and is a better look for customers and clients. 

Sustainability shows an effort to reduce the amount of new and hazardous materials and practices you use when building. This can be as small as using wool in place of classic insulation or as large as reconsidering the material you create the entire building out of. 

1. Insulation Beyond Exterior Walls

Insulation is something every property needs, yet it is often underutilized. Of course, you want to insulate exterior walls and work to create more useful barriers between the weather and internal temperature, but this isn’t enough. Details like interior walls and commercial pipe insulation are both great at helping a property be more sustainable while also helping you save money on heating and repairs in the long run.

Take the time to go over what areas of your property are insulated and whether additions like spray foam insulation for metal building changes would help.

2. Balancing Between Sustainable and Ethical

Although it’s important to work to give back to the environment and ensure your materials will last for as long as possible, it’s also important that you think of the people involved. Some materials, like many kinds of fabric and wallpaper, are produced cheaply by underpaid people in sometimes unsafe working conditions.

It only takes a couple extra minutes to look at the labor background when considering which options to buy or use. This will help cut down on mass production pollution and send a clear sign that you care about the ethics of what you work with.

3. Cutting Out Noise Pollution

One of the forms of pollution most people think least about is noise pollution. Nobody wants to work or live in an incredibly noisy area, and yet many construction projects put this as one of the smaller concerns. Sound proof panels are a great place to start, but you can take it further by using noise-absorbing insulation, and so much more. Even ensuring windows and doors are sealed well is enough to cut down on some amount of noise. 

4. Wood Can Still Be Sustainable

Whether you’re putting in flooring or you’re creating art with materials, some have started to think that all wood is bad to use. In fact, in the last ten years, there’s been a large myth spread that materials like cork are endangered or far less sustainable than public opinion lets on.

Before you give up on your dreams of cork flooring, it’s a good idea to do research! Just like any company would look into commercial pipe insulation options before settling on just one, it’s important to consider all of the choices for materials. 

5. Building Process Changes

Some of the best methods for sustainable building will be obvious once you give them a couple of minutes of thought. This could mean ensuring that unused or partially used wood is sold or provided to a reclaimed wood organization or managing CO2 transmissions that are created in the process of building.

Your main goal should be keeping waste as low as possible and being careful with how things are disposed of. What needs to be recycled, should be, and what could be used or repurposed should also be looked into. Building creates a lot of garbage, so take the time to stop it from going to landfills.

6. Investing in Making Things Last

One of the best ways to build sustainably is to ensure that the building is going to last. Invest in doing things right the first time so there’s a lower risk of having to correct mistakes and putting money into something that could have been avoided. 

Remember to make things easy to maintain! The more complicated maintenance is, the more likely it’ll be trashed or replaced before it would have been necessary.

Sustainability is King

Regardless of whether this is your first sustainable building project or your eightieth, there are always new innovations and changes to consider. Look into some of these ideas and work with great companies like Sumer Innovations to create a more sustainable future. 

Todd Gillman is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on residential and commercial real estate. He lives in Land O’ Lakes, Florida where he enjoys spending time with his wife and researching real estate trends in his free time. Todd’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a construction industry resource site.