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Materials Matter

26 Jun 2022

Through the standardisation of materials and products from mass production and convenience, the buildings we live and work in are built using damaging processes out of unsustainable materials that are rapidly destroying the delicate balance of the ecosystem. As members of this system, our lives rely on this balance being maintained.

The manufacturing of building materials and products in construction account for 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions according to World Green Building Council. We have an exciting opportunity to re-evaluate and look towards using more sustainable materials that are either recyclable, more naturally sourced, or less energy intensive to make and even reusing materials to reduce our harmful impacts on the environment.

A materials’ value extends beyond its initial use; what happens during the materials’ extraction and after it’s useful lifespan in a building has a huge impact on it’s carbon cost. Oil-based materials have a massive negative impact on the climate during their extraction, and will not naturally decompose when they are finished with and disposed of. Approximately 40% of our construction waste is still disposed of in landfill according to 2019 Global Status Report for Building and Construction. However, natural materials usually have a significantly lower impact and leave little to no lasting trace once they are finished with.

Moving towards a circular economy is a complex process, however, as displayed in our shop window, there are many alternative natural materials that exist and can be used in place of the ‘business as usual’ destructive materials and products. We can build our environment to better suit our natural environment.

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