As many of us work towards building a more sustainable lifestyle, other aspects of our lives are viewed in a new light. Decisions about everything from the clothing we wear to our home improvements are now made with environmental elements considered. Even outdoor living spaces can now be constructed with sustainable, eco-friendly building materials that are superior to more traditional alternatives. Here are a few things to consider when building an eco-friendlier outdoor space.
Chemicals – That pressure-treated deck you love to spend your summers on has probably been treated with insecticides. Sure, nobody wants their deck boards to become a rotted wasp hotel, but those chemicals leach into the surrounding soil. Since 2004, pressure-treated wood in Canada has been coated with alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ), copper azole (CA-B), or micronized copper azole (MCA). Once your pressure-treated deck has reached the end of its lifespan, the wood cannot be burned, lest you release these chemicals into the air and rotted wood is seldom useful. For those with composite wood decks, while these materials are often constructed from recycled materials, composite can emit formaldehyde.
Longevity – Long-lasting decking materials of any kind reduce environmental impact. Replacing your deck every 10-15 years means more landfill waste, more trees, more work, and more money. By choosing a longer-lasting solution, you’ll save yourself time, trouble and generate less waste in the process. Recent innovations in the deck-building industry are providing great decking products, many of which will last a lifetime. From natural stone surface coverings to rot-, insect- and fire-resistant steel joists and footings, your deck will not only be more environmentally friendly, but you’ll spend more time enjoying it.
Recyclability – Because most traditional decking materials have been treated with toxic chemicals or contain plastic, their recyclability is limited. Metal decking products are 100% recyclable, and many are made using recycled steel. Stone deck surfaces are often made with recycled materials and can be further recycled or crushed into aggregate once you’re finished with them.
Eco-friendly deck building should also factor in the use of sustainable materials, including those which require less energy to produce and those which do not negatively impact the environment in their sourcing. Look for products that have a long lifespan with minimal or no maintenance, require less energy to produce, and do not release toxic chemicals or off-gassing of toxic fumes.
If you’re looking to build a more eco-friendly deck, consider the following products:
BAILEY TRUEDECK™ is made of steel certified to Environment Canada’s Environmental Choice Program. Steel is not required to be treated with chemicals and insecticides that may be harmful to the environment. Be assured, you will be building an environmentally responsible deck.
Del Conca Porcelain Tiles – From unparalleled durability to zero-waste manufacturing, porcelain tile is the healthiest and most ecologically beneficial product on the market. All Del Conca USA products are covered by the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). The EPD recognizes that North American-made tile has the lowest environmental impact across all impact categories. This includes the lowest Global Warming Potential and the lowest Fossil Fuel Resource Depletion.
Paverdeck Plank – Paverdeck is sustainable and will not compromise future generations. Steel is the most recycled material in the world, more than all other materials combined. Paverdeck structures are made from 95% recycled steel. With no required maintenance, the Paverdeck structure does not rely on chemicals or cleaners and has a zero-carbon footprint during its use.
As environmentally responsible decking material companies develop new ways to use existing materials in new and innovative products, we are on our way to a brighter, cleaner future. Consider the benefits of eco-friendly decking products and learn more at StoneDeck.ca