As building towards a more sustainable lifestyle has become a greater priority for some people, many are viewing other aspects of our lives through a new lens. Environmental impact is now a factor in the decisions we make about everything from the clothing we purchase to the materials used in home improvements. Outdoor living spaces can now be built using supplies and materials that are not only superior to more traditional alternatives but are also eco-friendly and sustainable.
Here are a few things to consider when constructing a more environmentally conscious outdoor space:
Durability – When you need to replace your deck every 10 or 15 years, you create more landfill waste, use more trees, cause yourself more work and spend more money. Longer-lasting decking materials will reduce your environmental impact while saving you time & trouble while generating less waste. Look into the new offerings available featuring recent innovations in the deck-construction industry. Manufacturers are creating some great new decking products, some of which will last a lifetime. By using rot-, insect- and fire-resistant steel joists and footings, and natural stone surface coverings, you’ll lessen your environmental impact and increase the time you have to enjoy your deck.
Chemicals – Pressure-treated lumber is usually treated with insecticides and other chemicals that can leach into the surrounding soil. Since 2004, pressure-treated wood in Canada has been coated with alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ), copper azole (CA-B) or micronized copper azole (MCA). Because burning these products will release these chemicals into the air, a traditional deck built with pressure-treated lumber creates a great deal of waste once it reaches the end of its lifespan. As well, even though composite wood decks are constructed from recycled materials, composite can emit formaldehyde.
Recyclability – It can be difficult to recycle traditional decking materials that have been treated with chemicals or contain plastic. Steel decking products are completely recyclable, and many are made with recycled steel. As well, decking surfaces constructed of natural stone are often made with recycled materials and can be further recycled or crushed into aggregate once you’re finished with them.
Reducing your environmental footprint while building a deck should also include the use of sustainable materials, materials that require less energy to produce, and materials that do not negatively impact the environment in their sourcing. Consider building your deck from natural, completely recyclable products that will not affect your soil or create disposal issues. Prioritize products that offer a long lifespan with minimal or no maintenance, require less energy to produce, and do not release toxic chemicals or off-gassing of toxic fumes.
If you’re looking to construct a more environmentally conscious deck, consider the following products:
Paverdeck Plank – Paverdeck structures are made from 95% recycled steel, which is the most recycled material in the world, more than all other materials combined. With no maintenance required, Paverdeck does not rely on chemicals or cleaners and has a zero-carbon footprint during its use.
BAILEY TRUEDECK™ – Steel is not required to be treated with chemicals and insecticides that may be harmful to the environment. BAILEY TRUEDECK™ is made of steel certified to Environment Canada’s Environmental Choice Program, offering complete assurance that you will be building an environmentally responsible deck.
Del Conca Porcelain Tiles – Delivering unparalleled durability and the benefits of zero-waste manufacturing, porcelain tile is the healthiest and most ecologically beneficial product on the market. All Del Conca USA products are covered by the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), recognizing that North American-made tile has the lowest environmental impact across all impact categories including the lowest global warming potential and the lowest fossil fuel resource depletion.
As manufacturers of decking materials develop new ways to use existing materials in new and innovative products, we are on our way to a brighter, cleaner future. Consider the benefits of decking products with lower environmental impact and learn more at http://www.StoneDeck.ca