Measuring sustainability

The materials that we use in building are diverse, but can be assessed in a number of ways. These include looking at their:-

U values

U-values are a measure of how insulating a material is. The lower the figure the more insulating the material or product.

Embodied energy

Embodied energy looks at the energy required to manufacture, maintain and dispose of materials and products.

Recyclability

Recyclability sees how easy it is to use the materials again.

Lifespan

Lifespan looks at the length of time before replacement is required.

Breathability

Breathable materials allow water vapour (not liquids) to move in and out of the structure. They absorb moisture when in excess and release it back when drier. This process is very healthy as it maintains humidity at steady levels

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