I recently learned that many universities now offer advanced degrees in Environmental Decision Making. I’m not surprised. Even after decades of practicing sustainable design, I find that sussing out the best green products could be challenging. There are many environmental aspects to consider, plus there is a constant barrage of new, better, greener goods. So, save for enrolling in a postdoctorate app, what is a guy or gal to do?
Sorting through the countless choices of any construction material could be made simpler with the assistance of industry-independent organizations who provide their endorsement, or certification, to goods that fulfill the business’s guidelines for sustainability. For countertops, you will find three significant certifications I search:
GreenGuard certifies construction products for low chemical emissions, which improves indoor air quality.Cradle to Cradle focuses on products which are safe for both people and the world, and are also made for a long life cycle.The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ensures that wood products come, in part, from intelligently chosen forests.Be they accredited, salvaged or recycled and wood, glass or resin, below are a few countertops which get the green light.
Buckminster Green LLC
You will feel great about your selection and add personality and richness from the timber’s history. I look for wood which has a narrative — maybe it is salvaged from a iconographic construction or even from the job’s remodel. Just remember, wood is more susceptible to damage by water and heat, so it is best located away from the sink, dishwasher and range. An island is a great alternative.
More about hardwood countertops for the kitchen and bath
Composed of smaller pieces of wood, butcher block can make great use of reclaimed or stained material. Sustainable butcher block can come from varied sources, including retrieved transport pallets or deconstructed buildings. Your knives will adore this surface and, once it shows any age, it’s possible to just sand the wood somewhat and refinish with a food-grade natural oil.
Cost:$30 to $85 per square foot for the material only
Gardner Architects LLC
Bamboo’s best green feature is it is a rapidly renewable resource, plus it is naturally stronger and harder than most other hardwoods. Teragren, one of the best-known producers, offers an FSC-certified product called FSC-Pure. Be aware, however, that nearly all commercial bamboo stems from China, therefore a lot of energy goes into transporting the product to the USA.
Cost: $26 to $36 per square foot for the material only
Brennan + Company Architects
Paperstone, one of many recycled paper counter materials, is FSC certified and made of 100 percent postconsumer recycled paper, petroleum-free pigment and resin. It has a handsome monolithic look, and its texture is often compared to some warm, soft rock, like soapstone. The material is just heat resistant to 350 degrees, so you need to exercise care with your hottest utensils.
Cost: $18 to $30 per square foot for the material only
Squak Mountain Stone – Hazel
Squak Mountain’s countertop reproduces the handsome and natural flaws of rock using a mixture of recycled paper and glass along with cement. This can be a stout and durable countertop; however, like stone or concrete, it’s susceptible to rust and etching, therefore either use additional care or embrace the patina.
Cost: $30 to $40 per square foot for the material only
Engineered glass countertops differ greatly in appearance. IceStone, which can be Cradle to Cradle certified, gives an opaque, refined character with its own fine glass particles put in pigmented concrete. Because the material is porous, recommendations involve sealing twice a year, so make sure you’re up for the upkeep.
Cost: $40 to $54 per square foot for the material only
Woodmeister Master Builders
Bio-Glass, yet another recycled glass countertop material with Cradle to Cradle certification, has an ethereal, translucent look, as it is made of 100 percent glass. Much like glass-based counters, it is not knife friendly, so maintain your cutting boards useful.
Cost: $85 to $115 per square foot for the material only
The recycled-content resin-based counter options from 3-Form never fail to spark creativity with their innumerable colours, designs and finishes. Their products are PVC free, and GreenGuard has accredited the Varia EcoResin, Chroma, 100 Percent and Alabaster lines. The business walks the green talk by working toward zero waste and being neutral.
Cost: $28 to $105 per square foot for the material only
Studio William Hefner
Stainless steel consists of 60 percent recycled material and, since it can be recycled over and over, has an extended useful life. This item offers top-notch durability that stands up to commercial kitchens and their strict criteria for cleanliness. Perfectionists take note: Keeping stainless steel absolutely free of smudges and watermarks can be a chore.
Cost: $45 to $65 per square foot for the material just
More about stainless steel counters
Ken Levenson Architect P.C.
Concrete counters might be terrific green choice if they are sourced locally or cast in place (transporting heavy slabs great spaces absorbs a lot of energy). Additionally, start looking for low-impact aggregates, such as raised coal fly ash, and recycled paper or glass.
Cost: $60 to $75 per square foot for the material just (precast slabs)
Inform us What’s your preferred eco friendly countertop?
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