Updated: Apr 20
What is sustainability? How to achieve sustainable living in everyday life? What are the steps you can take to contribute to a sustainable living environment?
So what is sustainability? It has a variety of explanations and descriptions. But the main point is to live in harmony with nature. Protect and continue healthy living on earth and pass it to our next generation. Humans have a major impact on Earth's destruction of biophysical resources. This raises the question of whether those resources are renewable. And what we can do to preserve and reduce the negative impact on our ecosystem.
As the global population is increasing so does the volume of products we use. The raw materials, minerals, manufactured products, food, living organisms, and waste. Every industry that produces products and materials harms the environment. Such as consumption of energy, extensive use of water. Destruction of natural resources and tonnes of waste.
These all created the idea of dematerialization. In other words, reuse the materials as much as possible. This will help reduce the usage of natural resources.
As an interior design company, we will emphasize this area of sustainable living.
The construction of buildings has a huge impact on the environment. To build comfortable living spaces we use a lot of materials and natural resources. That harms the atmosphere during its extraction and manufacturing process. Air pollution, extensive usage of water, and many chemical wastes afterward. Choosing the right materials and products helps to create an eco-friendly spaces. With the reduced impact on nature and harmonious impact on us.
So let's start with what materials and products we could use.
Sustainable construction materials
Rammed earth- This low carbon technique uses forms in which soil and binder places in layers and then pressure is applied to create a hard and durable surface.
Straw bale- Straw bale construction is a building method that uses wheat, rice, and oats straw. Straw bales are made of the waste of the agricultural industry.
Bamboo- Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. Certain species of bamboo can grow 910 mm (36 in) within 24 hours. Bamboo is a sustainable material as tiles, flooring, countertops, decking.
Reclaimed or recycled wood and metal- Reclaimed wood is a renewable resource. It has a low environmental effect on manufacturing process and waste.
Recycled metal is a long-lasting material that does not need frequent replacement. It tends not to burn or warp, making it a viable option for roofing, structural supports, and building façades. It's also water and pest resistant.
Precast concrete slabs-This concrete slab is formed at a manufacturer's site and shipped in whole sections to construction sites. The outer layers often envelop a lightweight filler, like foam insulation. We use precast concrete slabs for walls and building facades.
Eco friendly wall options
Block made of recycled materials-these plastic building blocks are made by tightly packing a plastic water bottle, garbage and shopping bags, food wrappers, straws and stirrers, and other plastic waste.
Non fired bricks-Sewer sludge, burned ash, coal ash, ceramics abolished soil, glass waste, and other unused resources.
Reused bricks-The reuse of old brick reduces the environmental costs. It prevents new brick manufacture and old brick disposal
Fiberglass- Fiberglass is an versatile material due to its lightweight. Weather-resistant finish, and variety of surface textures.
Eco friendly flooring options
Bamboo flooring- is durable, natural, least environmental harm during its manufacture.
Cork flooring-Cork is one of the very best eco-friendly choices – renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable! The cork raw material is harvested from cork oak trees.
Wool carpet -Wool has so many great eco-benefits. It is stain-resistant, fire-retardant. Non-toxic, soft, warm, renewable, biodegradable, insulating, allergen-filtering, sound-deadening, and durable.
Natural fibre carpet- Natural fibre rugs are woven from fibres extracted from plants. They're often durable, affordable, and neutral. 3 of the most popular natural fibre rugs are jute, seagrass, and sisal.
Roof options- The solar roof collects the energy during the day, stores it, and makes it available at any time. Glass solar tiles are very durable. Great deal to save electricity. More info can check here https://www.tesla.com/en_ae/solarroof
Lighting options- LED light bulbs are energy-efficient and long-lasting. These bulbs can cut energy consumption by over 80%. Compared to conventional light bulbs and can last up to 25% longer.
Painting options- eco-friendly paint- is a paint that has lower levels of volatile organic chemicals (VOC). It classifies as low or no-VOC or zero-VOC. Zero means less than 25g/L of VOCs. Low means less than 250g/L.
Eco friendly Kitchen and bathroom steps
Choose the products made of FSC certified wood or reclaimed wood.
Use sustainable cabinetry with non toxic glues and finishes
Use zero- VOC paints
Choose the eco friendly countertops. Such as granite recycled glass or alkemi-polyester.
Choose the cooper or stainless steel kitchen sink and faucets
Make sure to choose LEDs bulbs.
Low-flow faucets. Select energy and water saving fixtures.
Choose energy-efficient appliances. Check before buy for Energy star label.
Eco friendly bedroom
Choose non-toxic paint
Pick recycled furniture
Choose an organic mattress and bedding
Use LED light bulbs
Unplug standby appliances
Get more living plants
Great selection of organic bedding products offers many UAE companies. Among them Pottery barn and West Elm.
UAE sustainability projects
Many federal and local strategies are in place within the UAE. That set clear goals for the country to shape its future to be more sustainable.
These UAE sustainability initiatives include the UAE Vision 2021. The UAE Centennial 2071. The UAE Energy Strategy 2050, which sets a 50% target for clean energy in the country, among others. These have already established several sustainable development goals in the UAE. And serve as a guiding principle for most upcoming projects.
There are two major regulations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Abu Dhabi: Pearl building rating system or Estidama
Estidama, which means “sustainability” in Arabic, was introduced by Abu Dhabi in 2009. And became one of the first organic sustainability frameworks in the Middle East. It implemented a ‘pearl’ rating system for all new developments to ensure that the project is established in a sustainable manner.
New developments in Abu Dhabi are subjected to a Development Review Process where the applicant must present an Estidama vision for the project. Once planning permission is granted, the development must follow the standards of the ‘pearl’ rating system. These will vary based on the type of development, for example, a building, a villa or a whole community.
The Government of Abu Dhabi requires that all government buildings have a least two pearl rating. Whereas new buildings must meet a least one pearl rating.
Dubai sustainability plan: Green building regulation or Al Sa'fat
Dubai’s Sa’fat is the latest initiative driving sustainable developments in the UAE. Making it mandatory to keep “green” practices in mind when constructing new buildings.
The Dubai Municipality’s ‘Green Buildings Specifications’ became mandatory for new government buildings in 2011. In March 2014 these standards became mandatory for developers for all new buildings. These regulations focus on ensuring that the way buildings are constructed. And how they function after they are built. Economizes consumption of resources and encourages the welfare of its inhabitants. The practice of these standards has meant sustainability considerations. Such as the use of solar reflective materials and the inclusion of ‘green’ elements.
It's the responsibility of each one of us to become sustainability-conscious. Every step we do, we can ask ourselves how we can help and save our world. How to preserve natural resources and renew the balance in the Earth. Small steps can lead us to greater results. Such as saving energy, eat less meat, choose reusable alternatives, plant more greenery, and many more.