Building materials of the future - back to nature
Sorry to disappoint the sci-fi junkies out there, but futuristic movies that portrayed glistening silver cities filled with metallic buildings might have missed the mark. The world is slowly but surely becoming a more environmentally responsible place filled with natural and recyclable materials. So, rather than cities of silver, our future will more likely consist of earthy metropolises filled with nappy roofing and cork flooring.
"Globally, there have been some impressive developments in the sphere of eco-building. South Africa itself has seen a growing demand for environmentally responsible properties, particularly in the more upmarket sector, which has resulted in multiple eco-estates popping up around the country," explains Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/ MAX of Southern Africa.
For those who are planning to build in the immediate or even distant future, RE/MAX of Southern Africa has researched some of the top global trends in eco-building that future home builders should know about:
Reversing the process of turning wood into paper, a Norwegian company has created a way to turn newspaper back into wood. This product is created through an upscaling process that layers a series of papers to appear like grains of wood. The end product can be used to create various products, from kitchen cupboards to shelving and other furniture. Though not intended as a large scale alternative to wood owing to its various limitations (strength and size being limited to the properties of newspaper), it does pose a part-solution for the amount of paper waste we create each year.
Goslett encourages all new developers not only to consider the environmental benefits, but also the financial rewards of eco-building. “Environmentally responsible building is the way of the future. The more aware society becomes, the higher the demand for these kinds of properties will be. If you are planning on building a home, then it will be a prudent investment decision to use eco-friendly materials.”