Many architects, builders and designers know that using salvaged materials for a new home project is one of the most sustainable building practices available. Whether it's old brick, old slate and tile roofing, wood structures and siding, or windows and doors, saving these materials from our landfills lets us all live a little more lightly on the land. From the intense heat required to bake the bricks to the power needed to drive the saws that cut the wood, home-building materials take vast amounts of energy to manufacture. While it's good to be green, it's a plus when we craft something beautiful at the same time. The depth of color and richness of salvaged materials are also design factors that can add another layer of interest to our homes. Here are a couple tips: 1. From the brick walls to a slate roof, salvaged materials can give a home much of its "always been there" quality while coupling the old materials with new, energy-efficient glass windows and doors.
2. One of the nice aspects of reusing a salvaged material like Chicago brick is how each piece takes on its own personality. It's as if each individual brick were carefully hand made by an artisan.
3. Salvaged materials aren't just for the exterior. Bringing brick and stone inside can express their solidity and massiveness not found in other materials. Reclaimed boards are beginning to show up in kitchens, too.
4. Exposed salvaged lumber can add warmth to more modern designs. By leaving these materials exposed, you can save on the expense of paint and drywall.
5. Using salvaged doors, sinks, tubs and light fixtures is a great way to add character and style to your project while being greener, too. Buffalo Reuse can be a great resource for these materials locally.