Sustainable home construction: choose the most efficient fastening systems

We can no longer think about construction without taking sustainability into account. Environmental protection has become the cement that unites the design, the choice of materials and the development of any building.

And its no wonder. In the European Union, building construction consumes 40% of materials, generates 40% of waste and consumes 40% of primary energy. This data from the Trade Union Institute of Labour, Environment and Health (ISTAS) tells us about a sector that has a profound environmental impact.

In order to minimise this impact, it is necessary to choose products and solutions that contribute to a greener construction. Construction that saves resources through the use of materials with low environmental and social impact throughout its life cycle.

Fastening systems in the construction of sustainable houses

The choice of materials in the construction of sustainable homes is essential. We can’t just conform with the fact they fulfil their promised function, they must also guarantee their sustainability. This is what happens with the fastening systems used in construction. It is necessary that, in addition to being useful when attaching to surfaces or other elements, they are also beneficial for the environment.

They can be divided into mechanical, which are rivets, screws and profiles; and adhesive fastening systems, which include elastic adhesives, double-sided tape or foam. Adhesive fastening systems allow for designs and applications that are not possible with most mechanical fasteners. From filling gaps, sealing surfaces or installing doors and windows, adhesive fastening systems can be applied to any building material ensuring a durable fastening.

These insulation systems efficiently eliminate thermal bridges. Something which is important, for example, in the installation of windows. It helps maintain the desired indoor temperature and prevents extra energy from being wasted with the use of air conditioning systems.

The three-barrier insulation system is one of the most efficient methods to achieve thermal and acoustic insulation in the installation of windows and doors during construction. In addition, it helps prevent the appearance of damp and is resistant to even the heaviest rain.

But… aren’t these materials highly toxic and harmful to the atmosphere? So how can they be used in the building of sustainable homes? It is true that many of its components are chemical materials with highly polluting, non-renewable emissions. It is also true that many of them require a lot of energy for their production.

However, there are exceptions to every rule. And when we talk about building sustainable homes, these exceptions are linked to scientific advances. Some of these products have shown that the powerful performance of adhesives and sustainable production are not mutually exclusive.

Technology has allowed the development of adhesive fastening systems that are environmentally friendly from their manufacture to their application, ensuring a durability that helps make construction more sustainable. These types of products are related to ‘green chemistry’ or sustainable chemistry. This is a philosophy aimed at the design of chemical products and processes that involve the reduction or elimination of products harmful to people or the environment in these materials.

How can I make sure I am choosing sustainable materials? 

So, how do we know which fastening systems meet the criteria needed to build sustainable homes? For this it would be necessary to carry out an exhaustive analysis of each material, its life cycle, its toxicity, etc. Checking this data takes time and is not always easy to find. This is where the role of stamps and certifications comes into play. Only materials that meet the established requirements and environmental laws have them.

An important point in building sustainable homes is that the chosen materials do not emit harmful MDI fumes. This chemical compound can cause health and environmental problems. It is therefore necessary to check that adhesive fastening systems such as polyurethane foams include the 02 stamp. This is the case with Quilosa products that, thanks to their innovative technology, do not emit this type of fumes during application.

In addition, they have the M1 classification, which means that they are air-friendly and do not emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are substances that evaporate and are easily spread through the atmosphere, which harms the environment and adds to the greenhouse effect. On the other hand, Quilosa silicones have different certifications that guarantee the low emissions of any pollutant, among which is the A+ Certificate.

To build a better world we need to opt for the construction of sustainable houses and materials that help us take care of all the spaces in which we live, both man-made and the environment itself.

Sources: Instituto Sindical de Trabajo, Ambiente y Salud, Construmática

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