Housing and urban development today is quite different from how it was only a few years ago. Homeowners still make purchasing decisions based on their emotions, but besides wanting spaces for pets or plenty of storage, they are also more likely to buy based on causes they support. For example, many custom builders have clients who want their homes to be eco-friendly or sustainable.
What Is Sustainable Interior Design?
Sustainability in interior design refers to materials and construction methods that minimize harm to the environment. Besides these, they also enhance air quality and increase energy efficiency inside the home.
Homes designed for sustainability use long-lasting and recyclable materials. Typically, these materials also come from eco-conscious processes. When you hire experts in sustainable homes, like Urban Sky, you’re sure that they will build your home from responsibly manufactured materials.
Usually, home construction uses dozens of toxic chemicals, most notably petroleum byproducts like polypropylene, PVC, urethane, nylon, and lead. Other toxic items used in home builds are synthetic latex, vinyl, stain repellents, artificial dyes, and fire retardants, among many others. As a result, more people develop immune disorders and chemical sensitivities today.
National organizations like the Canada Green Building Council have made significant steps toward reducing the harmful impact of construction activities on the environment. It is also the license holder for LEED certification in Canada. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and they aim to transform building standards to fight climate change.
What Materials Can You Use in Sustainable Interior Design?
One misgiving people have about eco-friendly homes is that their esthetics might not match traditional builds. However, houses can be luxurious, healthy, and eco-friendly, all at once. A modern semi-detached house can look chic and be safe for people and the environment—it all depends on the materials used and the designer you hire. Getting house builders like Urban Sky means top-notch form and function.
Constructing homes with a higher R-value is energy-efficient, and the paint used should be free from VOCs or volatile organic compounds. The furniture and fabric should not have off-gas formaldehyde, and the flooring and interior construction should have certifications from the Forest Stewardship Council or FSC.
There are plenty of innovative design products available today—consumers want their homes to reflect their beliefs, which influences industries manufacturing products. Beyond organizations and individuals, there is also change at the policy level. Today, politicians are talking about limiting people’s use of plastics.
For example, in October 2018, the United Nations initiated a pledge signed by 250 major global brands. This pledge aimed to eventually eliminate single-use plastics from supply chains, replacing these with recycled or natural alternatives.
How Else Can Builders Ensure Sustainability?
Products can still slip through screening processes for toxic substances. As such, the burden of ensuring complete safety from these chemicals still falls on the end-user. The homeowner still has to read Consumer Reports and Material Safety Data Sheets. They can also search online for information on the products and processes their builders use.
Ideally, the homeowner shouldn’t have to do this. There must be bylaws supporting green design and energy efficiency. In some communities, LEED compliance is mandatory. LEED homes can also qualify for rebates and home insurance credits. There are many ways to incentivize both homeowners and builders to be more enthusiastic about eco-friendly homes.
Also, the push for sustainability should go beyond the actual structure and extend to the other parts of a property. For example, communities can have lawns with fescue blends instead of grass varieties that require a lot of water to maintain.
Our choices have an impact on our lives. No one wants their family to live in toxic or dangerous environments. Beyond researching products and construction materials, homeowners would benefit from trusting designers well-versed in sustainable interior design to help them build a home that aligns with their vision.
Urban Sky Developments is a leader in urban redevelopment and smart home designs in Edmonton. Our team’s end-to-end approach combines tried and tested building techniques with modern processes, creating homes that respond to today’s changing needs. Check our current projects or contact us to learn more!