With climate change reaching the irreversible stage, many people are trying their best to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. A simple change like using more sustainable materials when constructing their outdoor living spaces can play an essential role in reducing one’s s carbon footprint.
Environmentally conscious homeowners know this and are ready to adapt. They look for sustainable decking and construction materials that have less impact on the environment. Choosing more sustainable decking materials has become a new normal in the hardscaping industry.
Planning a new environmentally friendly deck requires strategic planning. From intended purpose to maintenance and disposal, each plays an important role in gauging the sustainability of decking materials.
The Impact Of Wood Decking On The Environment
No doubt, wood is a natural product, yet it is not an eco-friendly option for decking. Using any wood to build hardscapes leads to deforestation, directly impacting the environment. Wood structures also degrade over time, requiring them to be replaced every 10-15 years. This leads to waste and additional energy used to create the replacement parts. Things don’t stop here either. Wood decks are usually stained and or sealed every couple of years, typically with products containing toxic chemicals. Pressure-treated lumber can release insecticides into the surrounding soil; old wood structures made of pressure-treated wood cannot even be reused as firewood because the chemicals they contain will be released into the air if burned.
How to Create a More Environmentally Friendly Deck
With the growing demand for sustainability, a variety of environmentally conscious building materials are available for purchase, whether by homeowners or contractors.
But to construct an environment-friendly deck, you need to choose your materials carefully. Here are four sustainable decking ideas to help improve your outdoor living space while reducing its impact on the environment.
Metal decking systems are a great way to create a sustainable deck for your home. 100% recyclable, metal is long-lasting and durable, reducing your carbon footprint. Metal decking is chemical and insecticide-free and requires no resin adhesives, releasing nothing into the soil as some decking materials do.
Pro Tip: Bailey Truedeck is constructed of steel certified to Environment Canada’s Environmental Choice Program, offering an environmentally friendly alternative.
Pedestal systems allow you to create hardscapes with minimal waste. Pedestals are 100% recyclable and often constructed with post-recycled materials.
Pro Tip: Eterno Ivica Pedestals: Eterno Ivica’s products are designed to comply with LEED and other major building standards. The company believes in a sustainable production cycle and strives to provide customers with a solution that has the minimum possible impact on non-renewable resources and the environment.
Porcelain tiles are a long-term investment that requires no eventual replacement. Often porcelain tiles are produced with recycled materials too. They require no adhesives and their dry installation also significantly reduces the creation of dust and pollutants in the environment.
Pro Tip: Kronos Porcelain Pavers & Tiles consist of 60% to 70% recycled material. Kronos’s philosophy is to minimize the environmental impact in remodeling and new construction projects by reducing or entirely eliminating the use of adhesives and setting materials, reducing or fully eliminating the use of water, and reducing or fully eliminating any waste resulting from the production cycle.
Soil grids can eliminate most of the excavation process when building a patio or deck. This results in not only less labour and expense but also excavation and hauling and their associated environmental impact. Typically made of recycled materials, soil grids do not degrade in the soil, meaning replacements are unnecessary.
Pro Tip: Manufactured using recycled polymers, Silca Soil Grids are a great eco-friendly building material to use when constructing a sustainable deck or patio.
Today’s decks are an extension of our living space, and implementing greener materials into their design will help align with your sustainability goals. If you’d like to learn more about eco-friendly building materials for your hardscapes, reach out to us at Stonedeck.ca for expert advice and the latest innovative products.