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Environmentally Friendly Building Materials & Products

Instructor: David Gloag

David has over 40 years of industry experience in software development and information technology and a bachelor of computer science

Being environmentally friendly is a hot topic these days. We'll take a look at this with respect to building materials in this lesson. At the end, you should have a good understanding of this relevant topic.

Our Effect on the Environment

We live in an industrialized society. That means we create things to eat, use, and wear. As a result, we create, market, and consume, large quantities of manufactured products each year. With that goes packaging, and in some cases, a lot of it. So it goes without saying that there will be a fair amount of waste produced; waste in the production, waste in the packaging, and waste that's left over. This waste must be dealt with, usually by placing it in landfill sites, and can significantly affect our world.

This idea extends to our homes and offices. In some senses, this problem is much larger. Size certainly has an effect, but it's more than that. Buildings have a permanence that allows them to keep on ''giving'' for many, many years, so to speak. This is compounded because the materials are often chosen for durability or aesthetic reasons, rather than for their environmental impact. Fortunately, recent efforts are being made to reduce these effects, and stop the problem from getting any larger than it already is.

What Does Environmentally Friendly Mean?

Environmentally friendly, environment-friendly, eco-friendly, and nature-friendly, are all terms used to describe things that have low, or no, negative impact on nature, or our environment. It's a hot topic today for any number of reasons. Companies, like Dell, have implemented programs that reduce environmental impact. Things like collecting, and recycling, unwanted devices which keep them out of landfills, paperless offices to reduce the consumption of trees which produce oxygen, and bio-degradable packaging so that if it makes it to a landfill, it will be naturally absorbed by the environment. Dell is just one example, there are many more. And each is having a positive impact on our world.

What is an Environmentally Friendly Building Material?

This idea extends to our homes and buildings. An environmentally friendly building material is one that has little or no effect on the environment. This can take many forms. For starters, product manufacturers are turning their attention to building materials that can be made from existing waste material, that have little impact on the environment during manufacture and deployment, that do not affect the health of people and wildlife, or that bio-degrade over time so they completely disappear. It is this kind of thinking that will preserve our world for generations to come.

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