5 Ideas for a Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Interior Remodel

5 Ideas for a Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Interior Remodel

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    2019/01/31

Description

As people become increasingly aware of environmentally responsible building and design, and solar makes sense more than ever before, more and more clients are looking to include sustainable practices and materials in their interiors. Interior designers, on the other hand have an increasing impact on environment, as they get to decide which materials and products will be used, and how that choice interacts with the surroundings. Let’s look at several ways of reducing negative environmental impact of interior designs.

Explore low-impact designs

When it comes to sustainability, it’s important to choose materials and products with the lowest environmental footprint. Wood, wool, natural stone, and other organic materials are usually the first choice, but we mustn’t forget that natural resources need time to recover. Always choose materials that are renewed quickly and are harvested in an environmentally friendly way, like fast-growing bamboo, for example. Eco-friendly products often have labels that identify them as such; for example, sustainably-harvested wood has an FSC label. It’s important to note, however, that environmental impact of materials and products is evaluated through their entire life cycle – harvesting, production, transportation and processing. A perfect example of a low-impact material is ECONYL nylon yarn, used in carpets. It’s made from waste materials such as salvaged fishing nets, discarded plastic, but also recycled carpets.

Choose brighter colours

If you reconsider your approach to your main colour scheme, you’ll be able to save money and energy spent on lighting. Unlike darker walls and décor that needs more artificial lighting, paler hues of your favourite colours will reflect more light. In addition, you can avoid toxic fumes and chemical associated with most paints by choosing a paint company that boasts its low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) products. There is one more sustainable practice that designers often use – incorporating reflective surfaces in a way which increases the amount of light bouncing from room to room, which lowers the need for artificial lighting.

Install window treatments

Heating and lighting are two of the easiest categories that interior designers play with in order to contribute to sustainable design. In most buildings, the greatest portion of heat escapes through windows, so it’s essential that double or triple-glazed panes of topmost quality are used. On the other hand, if new windows don’t fit into the current remodelling budget, talk to your designer about window treatments that would best suit your interior. Window treatments are easy to manage and install, they keep cold and the sun heat outside, while you can control your home’s temperature by opening and shutting them as needed.

Consider energy efficiency

Since buildings are responsible for a big share of greenhouse gas emissions through energy consumption, architects and interior designers are constantly facing challenges in improving energy efficiency, primarily through reducing the amount of energy needed for heating, lighting, powering appliances, etc. In Australia, for example, the interest in energy-efficient interior solutions has grown especially since it was revealed that Australian households pay twice as much for electricity than Americans. In order to install more energy-efficient LED lighting, people are in need of a professional electrician in Sydney that offer LED lighting installation among many other services. Although expensive in the beginning, the widespread use of LEDs has brought down their prices considerably. Most designers are now recommending switching from energy-saving compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) to even more economical LEDs.

Adopt waste reduction strategies

Not only are the planet’s sources limited, but we’re growing dangerously short of disposal sites. When translated to interior design and remodelling, it means that the mind-set of discarding products as soon as they get out of style and replacing them with those that are currently trending is no longer justified. Instead of discarding ‘old fashioned’ objects, more and more designers are finding ways to upcycle or repurpose them, finding creative ways to give them a new life. In addition, many designers opt for synthetic materials that are made from recycled waste, and can be recycled again at the end of their life. This cradle-to-cradle approach ensures that refuse becomes raw material, forming a circular loop that diverts waste from landfills.

It won’t be long before the ideas and principles described here become widely adopted, as more and more homeowners become aware of environmental impact of residential building. In the same time, architects and designers will continue to develop new sustainable approaches and biophilic designs that aren’t just beneficial to the environment, but to ourselves, as well.

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