According to statistics, sustainability is an increasingly relevant concern for builders, decorators, interior designers and its clients. Although there are many cutting-edge technologies to make a building as green as possible, such as solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems, we should not lose sight of the fact that the selection of materials, coatings and finishes that respect nature represents a considerable part of “green” strategies for commercial or residential spaces.
For this reason, today at Mission Tiles we explain six criteria that will help you decide how sustainable a material is for your construction or interior design project.
6 tips to choose more about eco-friendly coverings, materials, and finishes
1.- Local and abundant raw materials
Opting for options manufactured with local raw materials is not only more economical, but it also reduces the carbon footprint because it is not necessary to spend so many fuels in their transfer from one point to another. If that were not enough, it strengthens the local economy.
The only thing you must take into account is that it is not enough that raw materials are available in your region, they must also be abundant, that is, there must be sufficient availability so that their extraction does not imply an imbalance in the natural environment.
2.- Decrease of carbon footprint
In addition to using sustainable raw materials, manufacturing must involve as few greenhouse gases and other toxic substances as possible. For example, if we compare two very popular coatings for similar uses, in this case, cement mosaic and ceramic tile, we can see that the difference between the manufacture of one and the other in environmental terms is significant since ceramic tile must set in ovens that operate with combustion, and cement mosaic is made by hydraulic pressure, without the need to release CO2.
3.- Thermal balance
Choosing coverings that promote the right thermal balance in each room is also very important because heating and air conditioning systems use a lot of energy, so the less you have to use them, the better. For example, cement mosaic tile is a coating that helps a space stay cool, while fiberglass is a great thermal insulator.
4.- Acoustic insulation
Excess noise in urban areas is already considered a type of pollution, so part of the sustainability of a building also has to do with its ability to protect users from harmful decibels coming from outside. Cork, mineral wool and polyurethane foam are coatings characterized by their acoustic insulation.
The fact that a material is very ecological or economic is not relevant if it does not have great durability. Sometimes, we can use biodegradable materials for the most superficial decoration, but when it is a question of structural elements or coatings thought to be more or less permanent, to all the above mentioned it is necessary to conjugate a great resistance and a minimal need for maintenance.
For example, at first glance, recycled wood might seem a good option for covering walls or floors, but the reality is that it lasts much less than mineral options. Cement mosaic, on the other hand, is one of the most resistant coverings, requires very little maintenance, lasts a lifetime, and is still environmentally friendly.
Finally, let’s not forget what will happen to these materials once their useful life is over. Many are biodegradable, but many others are not, and in these cases, we must always look for ways to recycle them. Cement mosaic, for example, can be crushed and used without issue as mortar for other constructions.
In Mission Tiles Diseño we are very proud to offer you a material for construction and decoration that meets all the requirements of a sustainable coating, besides having an excellent cost-benefit balance and being very versatile and customizable. What are you waiting for? visit our catalog and fall in love with our models.