The past year has been one of much change for people, especially when it comes to their home life. How we use our living spaces has transformed dramatically due to the pandemic. It has had a major effect on all parts of our lives and will continue to be a factor as restrictions continue to ease. Green building has been a growing trend for many years, but this last year in particular people have been paying more attention.
Top green building trends for 2021
The National Association of Home Builders did a survey of homebuyers in 2020 to determine what their favorite features were when shopping for or buying a house. Connection to the outdoors, eco-friendly components and designs, and durable materials were listed as preferable for going green and enjoying their homes.
How masonry can help you build green
With many homeowners looking to reduce their environmental footprint, we are here to tell you how masonry materials can help.
Connection to the outdoors
Biophilia, the science that says a connection to nature is good for our overall health and well-being, has gained momentum in the last few years. Comfortable living spaces, like outdoor kitchens, patios, and fire pits, can encourage families to spend time outdoors and connect with each other and the world around them.
Permeable patio pavers provide the structure required for a driveway or patio while protecting the ground underneath. Some pavers use permeable concrete while others have an open structure that allows plants to grow up through them. Both types of pavers freely allow rainwater to seep into the ground below, maintaining a healthy ecosystem. They also prevent ponding, reduce heavy rain runoff on hard surfaces by allowing water a way to escape, and help filter pollutants from stormwater.
Eco-friendly Components and Designs
New manufacturing processes are providing customers with more options to help lower the carbon footprint of masonry products. Two particular technologies are making great strides: the carbon clave and reduced cement recipes.
Carbon clave technology allows cement to be cured using carbon dioxide instead of steam or mist. The carbon dioxide expedites and enhances the curing process, resulting in a shorter cure time and a stronger product. Once the process is complete, the carbon dioxide is permanently encased in the concrete as calcium carbonate crystals.
Instead of creating a large batch of cement when producing masonry products, manufacturers are now looking at resizing recipes to use the least amount of cement to meet the strength needs of a product. Since cement production creates greenhouse gases, the less cement that is used, the better for the environment. Manufacturers are working to finely tune their material recipes to get the most from the cement that they use.
The future looks green and healthy
As families adjust to life in a pandemic, there will be a continuing need for green building technologies and features that will help improve the health and wellbeing of building occupants. Whether it’s at home or at work, people are looking for ways to stay safe and healthy while returning to their normal routines. Masonry and hardscape manufacturers like Mutual Materials continue to innovate to help their customers adjust and thrive in today’s environment. Technology advances like the carbon clave and smaller recipe optimization are steps in the right direction.