Modern homeowners are more focused than ever on reducing their carbon footprints and protecting their families from toxic materials. Choosing green building materials not only reduces the amount of waste entering landfills, these choices can also help you create decks, porches, and patios that last longer and require less maintenance. To be considered green, building materials should not have detrimental effects on the health of people or the environment. They should also come from renewable or sustainable sources, be produced in an energy-efficient manner, and be durable enough to not need frequent replacement. You have several green material options for your project, below are a few of the most common.
Natural Wood: Avoid irresponsibly harvested, old growth wood species
Responsibly harvested, natural wood is a sustainable material. Durable, rot-resistant softwoods such as cedar, redwood, and bamboo are more resistant to warping and they mature at a much faster rate than hardwood trees, making them a renewable resource. Avoid irresponsibly harvested, old growth, and rainforest wood species such as Alaskan cedar, western red cedar, Douglas fir, and ipe unless they are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified.
Pressure-Treated Lumber: avoid CCA-treated wood
Before 2004, lumber was treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA), a toxic chemical which is considered a hazardous waste material by the EPA. New lumber treatments, including alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ), copper azole (CA), and borate are much safer and healthier. Borate is non-toxic, but also water-soluble, so material treated with borate cannot be in contact with any rainwater or debris. ACQ and CA are less toxic than CCA, but they still may pose some environmental and health risks.
Wood Composite: created from recycled plastics and wood
Wood composite is created by combining recycled plastics (like grocery bags) with wood fiber waste. This durable, low-maintenance, stain-resistant material prevents waste from entering landfills, doesn’t require new trees, and never needs to be sealed or treated—making it a green option. This flexible material can also create innovative deck designs that are not achievable with wood decking. However, composite wood is difficult to recycle at the end of its lifetime.
Contact Atlanta Porch & Patio Regarding Your Green Project Today
We can help you create your dream outdoor living space while keeping the environment in mind. Let us show you the features and benefits of each of these “green” wood options and help you decide which is right for your project. Call us at 678-398-7077 or contact us through our online form today.