Mention the word cork, and most will think of wine and dartboards before they think of sustainability. Not for long! Cork is quickly gaining popularity as an affordable, versatile, and eco-friendly material for everything from walls and floors to spacecrafts.
But what is cork, and what makes it the go-to, green choice for your home, office, or retail space? Keep reading to learn why cork is the future of sustainable building materials.
Cork comes from the bark of cork oak trees, whose forests form one of the world’s most diverse and essential ecosystems. Portugal is home to most of these forests, with Spain, Italy, and Northern Africa being home to the rest. All the cork produced in the world comes from these areas.
The lifecycle of cork is what makes it a sustainable building material. When you harvest cork, you strip the bark using a technique that is harmless to the tree and beneficial to its regeneration. As the tree regenerates, it absorbs CO2 emissions. This technique makes the harvesting process carbon-neutral.
Sustainability aside, you’re probably wondering: is cork material safe to use in the home? The answer is yes. Its properties make it both safe and sustainable. Cork is biodegradable, fire-resistant, impermeable to gas and liquid, and naturally insulating.
These properties of cork make it a smart choice for your next building project. Many parts of Australia are flood and fire-prone. So, building materials that can resist adverse weather is a critical consideration.
Here are three brilliant ways you can use cork in your home or commercial property:
1. Sustainable cork flooring
Cork is waterproof, antimicrobial, and hypoallergenic, which instantly qualifies it as an ideal material for flooring, particularly in areas of the home that experience regular spills, such as the bathroom and kitchen.
Cork also naturally absorbs sound. This quality makes it a much quieter flooring alternative to materials like timber and marble. It also absorbs weight and pressure, making it softer to walk on.
2. Sustainable cork cladding
The beauty of cork is that it’s airtight and breathable, thanks to its cellular structure. This makes it perfect for the exterior of your home. Cork cladding is a stunning way to take advantage of this benefit. Because it’s easy to work with, you can cut it to suit any cladding design.
Aside from being visually appealing, cork cladding installed on the outside of your home will make your home more storm and fire-proof. Its insulation properties will keep your home’s interior warm and dry, while its sound-absorbing properties will repel noise pollution from the outside.
3. Sustainable cork walls
Cork building materials are just as brilliant on the interior walls of your home. Whether the cork on your walls is visible or not, the properties that make it suitable for your home’s floors and exteriors still apply. The insulation you gain from using cork will reduce the need to heat and cool your home, making it more energy-efficient.
And again, cork’s sound-absorbing quality will reduce noise travelling through your home, which is excellent for keeping excess sound from the TV or your kitchen out of your bedrooms.
If you’re looking to enhance the sustainability and design of your property or are simply curious to learn more about how cork building materials contribute to a greener future, get in touch with our expert team today. Together, we can help you create a home that makes you proud.
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