Now that climate change is reaching an irreversible stage, many people are making adjustments to their lifestyles. They are adopting habits and behaviours that are more sustainable, with environmental impact playing a key role in many decisions.
Using more sustainable materials when constructing outdoor living spaces is a simple change that can be made, playing a key role in lowering the carbon footprint of your project. Environmentally conscious homeowners are seeking out these more sustainable materials and embracing them.
Opting for more sustainable decking materials is much more than a trend – it has become a new normal in modern landscapes. Builders, contractors and homeowners are seeking sustainable decking and construction materials that impact the environment less than more traditional materials like lumber, concrete or composite.
Designing a new deck, one that is environmentally friendly, requires strategic planning. Each stage, from the project’s intended purpose to maintenance and materials disposal, plays a pivotal role in assessing the sustainability of your decking materials.
Wood Decking’s Impact on the Environment
Sure, wood is considered a natural product, but it is not an eco-friendly decking material. All wood hardscapes contribute to deforestation, which directly impacts the environment. Structures constructed of wood, like a backyard deck, degrade over time, requiring replacement every 10-15 years. This replacement means waste and additional energy used to create the replacement materials. A wood deck needs to be sanded and stained or sealed every couple of years, using products containing toxic chemicals, which get re-released into the air with every sanding. Insecticides can be released into the soil from pressure-treated lumber, and old pressure-treated wood cannot be re-used as firewood due to the dangerous chemicals it will release into the air if burned.
How to Build a More Environmentally Friendly Deck
Thanks to the high demand for sustainable building products, a wide range of environmentally conscious materials are available on the market to help you build a more environmentally friendly deck.
If your goal is an environmentally friendly deck, you’ll need to choose your building materials wisely. Let’s look at a few sustainable decking materials to help you upgrade your outdoor living space while minimizing environmental impact.
A great way to create a more sustainable deck in your yard, metal decking systems offer a variety of benefits. Metal is long-lasting & durable and 100% recyclable. Minimizing your carbon footprint, metal decking is insecticide and chemical-free, requiring no adhesives or resin that can get into the air and soil.
Pro Tip: Bailey Truedeck is manufactured with steel certified by Environment Canada’s Environmental Choice Program, providing an environmentally friendly alternative to wood.
100% recyclable and often made with post-recycled materials, pedestals make it easy to create hardscapes with minimal waste.
Pro Tip: Eterno Ivica Pedestals: Eterno Ivica’s products are designed to meet LEED and other major eco-conscious building standards. The manufacturer believes in a sustainable production cycle, striving to provide customers with a building solution with the minimum possible impact on non-renewable resources and the environment.
Porcelain tiles are a long-term investment that requires no eventual replacement. Often manufactured using recycled materials, they require no adhesives, and their dry installation also reduces the creation of dust and pollutants.
Pro Tip: Kronos Porcelain Pavers & Tiles comprise 60% to 70% recycled material. Kronos’s philosophy is to minimize the environmental impact caused by remodelling and new construction projects. The company’s mission is to reduce or eliminate adhesives and setting materials, reduce or eliminate water
use, and reduce or fully eliminate any waste resulting from the production cycle.
Eliminating most of the excavation process when building a patio or deck, using soil grids results in less labour and expense, excavation and hauling, and the environmental impact associated with these tasks.
Typically constructed with recycled materials, soil grids do not degrade in the soil, eliminating the need for replacements.
Pro Tip: Manufactured using recycled polymers, Silca Soil Grids are a great environmentally friendly building material for constructing a sustainable deck or patio.
Today’s decks are an extension of our home’s living space, and implementing greener materials into their construction will help align with your sustainability goals. If you’d like to learn more about environmentally friendly decking materials for your hardscapes, contact us at Stonedeck.ca for expert
advice and the latest innovative products.