Using sustainable materials is something which people are becoming more aware of, especially lately after discovering the harm some materials we use in our walls or floors can do to us and the environment.
Observing some of the industry pioneers, I have noticed that the majority of them are incorporating more sustainability principles than ever as a result of the local and international organizations efforts to introduce sustainability as a beneficial aspect in projects to the largest amount of people including designers and clients.
Minimalism and sustainability are linked to the point that it’s impossible to talk about one without mentioning the other. Minimalist design will decrease the project waste later on. Less materials means less production and greener environment for the next generations.
As a result, it’s becoming a rising trend between designers to reduce and reuse materials especially in the interior design projects, this tendency is growing and will continue to grow as people pay more attention to our planet and small projects are a good start to promote such salutary act in addition to the creative possibilities of it.
For example, polished concrete is an unlikely sustainable material that is popular and trendy. Concrete is typically slab on grade and used as a sub flooring in some residential settings. If it is polished and tinted to the owner’s desire it would be stylish and appealing.
Copy right, www.Linder-Group.com
From creating a frame tiles effect with different colors and shapes to integrating other materials such as glass the creative design possibilities are endless. Concrete is extremely durable, easy to clean and never needs to be replaced.
That being said, Reusing materials is very beneficial and adds another dimension to the projects, such as reclaimed wood or steel were we can see many cafes, restaurants and other commercial projects using such methods aiming to show that they are interested in the sustainable approach and show their customers that they care about being ecofriendly but we need to face the facts and find scalable solutions, rather than token gestures that make very little impact.
However, committing 100% to sustainability can be very challenging most of the time due to few reason such as facing the lack of understating sustainability principles, Moreover some clients might think that it will not look appealing or doesn’t give them the desired results due to false perceptions established in their minds.
Sustainable design does not necessarily look different, it just tries to aim at those twists in order to meet the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) guidelines and requirements, running costs, flexibility and innovation solutions to clients’ needs over the lifespan of the project with a minimal effect to the environment.
On the other side, manufacturers are continuingly innovating and creating more sustainable materials and new ways of manufacturing and dealing with them,
Copy right, QO Hotels – Amsterdam
especially in walls and floors to make this methodology more adaptable and desirable by designers and clients and replace the old regular materials with more sustainable ones.
An important aspect of sustainable materials is that it minimizes the impact on the planet the way the materials are being utilized in its overall lifecycle. The idea is that the construction process is being considered, not just the materials. That means these materials aren’t necessarily newly manufactured but take what already exists and repurposes it, old components are often recycled when they could be re-used directly instead.
A promising sign is that many internationals demands are calling on manufactures to extend the materials life-cycle and care less about the commercial aspect a little bit to limit the replacement and maintenance requirements which leads towards more sustainable industry.
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