When people consider what sorts of materials they would like to build a new structure with or use for commercial renovations, the most common points they evaluate are things like cost, aesthetic and function. However, it can be harder to understand the environmental impact of the building materials that you choose. The good news is that many environmentally friendly material options are available, and they are resilient and visually pleasing. If you want to make an environmentally friendly choice for your next construction project, consider how commercial masonry can fit the bill.
Commercial Masonry: The Environmentally Friendly Choice
Certain materials have more of an environmental impact on the environment than others throughout their life cycle. Vinyl siding, for example, creates emissions while being made and then can be difficult to recycle once its lifespan is complete. Conversely, masonry is the most environmentally friendly choice that you can make for your commercial construction project.
Energy Expenditure Reduction
When it comes to energy, nothing beats masonry for its thermal mass. Thermal mass refers to how well a material absorbs heat, keeps the same temperature over time and discharges that temperature into a room. Masonry has high thermal mass, which means that it’s quick to warm up, and then it stays warm for a long time, radiating that heat. This is extremely useful for your utility payments because masonry serves as a form of insulation. It keeps your heat in during the cold months and helps your building to stay the same temperature (even overnight) during the summer. Your energy bills will see the results.
Unlike other types of building materials, like siding, masonry is recyclable. If a brick breaks, for example, it can be crushed and used as concrete aggregate and even in roofing. Large stones that have worn down can be repurposed for other uses. As an additional benefit, most masonry materials are popular on the reuse market, and building codes widely allow for this practice (compared to the reuse of other substances, which is much more regulated or outright prohibited).
Regional Sourcing for Community Well-being
One of the biggest reasons that certain types of building materials are not environmentally friendly is because they are produced far away from their place of use. They then require transport, which increases carbon emissions and contributes to the use of non-renewable materials like gas.
However, locally sourced brick and stone is a popular choice-so popular, in fact, that masons who seek to be LEED certified are required to acquire a certain percentage of their materials from local harvesting. Not only does this reduce travel time and the associated environmental impact, but it also stimulates the local economy and boosts community businesses.
An additional benefit of masonry over other commercial construction materials is how long it lasts. When a material can last fifty or more years instead of just ten, it will require less emissions and recycling in general. Some buildings that spent careful attention on their original masonry installation and maintenance over the years have seen that same masonry continue to function upwards of 150 years later. Investing in commercial masonry is something that you do for the long term.
Indoor Air Quality
Masonry isn’t just a green choice because of how much less pollution it creates on its journey to becoming a functional brick, concrete block or stone slab. Once it’s installed, it continues to benefit your business in ways that you might not expect. Commercial masonry buildings tend to have better indoor air quality than those that rely heavily on plastics and high-VOC paints. Brick and stone do not off-gas chemicals or other harmful pollutants, so you can rest assured that your building is clean and safe, both inside and out. This works with the physical material as well. Where rain might wash microplastics off of newly installed siding and into the soil, masonry materials are safe for the dirt because they came from the dirt.
Trust the Pros to Help You Achieve Your Building Goals Using Masonry
You have a lot to think about when choosing the right materials with which to build your new construction or renovate your existing commercial building. However, it’s easy to have a positive environmental impact while simultaneously extending the life of your facility by choosing masonry as your material of choice. Whether it’s brick, stone or concrete that best suits your needs, you can rest assured that your choice will have a minimal impact on the environment and last for years to come. The experts at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration can help you make the choice that’s best for your situation and protect it against damage in the future. Reach out to learn more or to schedule an appointment to get started.