Sustainable building

Ecological building, a "Greener" society and encouraging our clients to do the same.

“Building green” to build up the environment

At OBC we have taken steps to build a greener society and we encourage our clients to do the same. We are implementing sustainable building techniques that will help lessen our impact on the environment and meet the needs of our present age without compromising the next generation’s future.

“Green Building” by reusing materials

To promote a lifestyle of “green building”, we make certain that all our products and services are monitored to reduce and possibly eliminate wastage and harm to the environment.

Sustainable Building Materials:

All of our timber is sourced from merchants who are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). FSC certified forests protect the environment and the habitats of forest-dependent indigenous peoples whilst carefully managing long-term timber supplies. This means that we use timber for our projects that won’t contribute to global deforestation, providing you with an authentic “environmentally friendly building”.

Sustainable building of Garden room with sedum roof in Chislehurst
Garden room in Chislehurst with a sedum roof, built by OBC.

At OBC we ensure that any leftover timber is removed from our sites and does not go to waste. Straight timber is de-nailed and reused wherever possible. Clean wood is chipped and either reused as horse bedding or as chipboard. Trees are used for compost or may be reused in the garden as bark chippings. We even find a use for our smaller offcuts of timber, which can be burned in solid fuel burners.

Sustainable building through the reuse of bricks.

Numerous other resources on the green building site can either be reused on your project or taken away and used elsewhere. One such item is the yellow stock brick which was mass-produced at Smead Dean Brickworks, Kent in the early 1900s and predominantly used in the London area. These, and other reclaimed bricks, are rescued from older buildings and cleaned up. Often their edges are worn and irregular with creases and variations in colour but these characteristics give the vintage materials a particular charm when they are reused. We always try to facilitate the reuse of good quality reclaimed bricks which only need two workable sides, one bond and one stretch. However, if your bricks are beyond rescue they are still put to good use as OBC arrange for them to be taken away and crushed for reuse as Type 1 hardcore.

Other recyclables

To ensure our developments have a low impact on the environment we have a policy of recycling materials such as glass and metal. Old Crittal metal windows are particularly high in ore content and the metal can be recycled and reused to create twice as much new product as ore content today is lower. Cardboard is sent to a recycling plant and concrete is crushed and used as Type 1 hardcore or bulk filling for foundations. OBC even finds a variety of uses for the topsoil and muck which is often reused on individual sites for a variety of landscaping purposes.

How to paint a “greener” picture

OBC realise that sustainable “green building” is not only about responsible disposal and reuse of waste products but also about the types of materials and the effects they have on the local, national and global environment. Paints can have a significant environmental impact, for example through the solvents used. The manufacture of titanium dioxide as a paint whitener is a significant source of industrial pollution and stimulates mining in important wildlife areas. OBC can provide eco-friendly building materials that leave you with an excellent finish and a clear conscience.

For more information on sustainable building and building a greener future visit UK GBC.

Contact Richard here for a free consultation on building your project with sustainability and conservation in mind.

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