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7 Valuable Lessons About Sustainable Building Design

Last week we attended Sustainable Interior Design Week by UGREEN, a free online event! 

If you’ve missed it, here are the most important lessons we took from the summit, related to accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable construction: 

7 Valuable Lessons About Sustainable Building Design || StoneCycling X UGreen

Sustainable Interior Design Week Recap

1. Embodied carbon* will be responsible for almost half of total new construction emissions between now and 2050.

Unlike operational carbon emissions, which can be reduced over time with building energy efficiency renovations and the use of renewable energy, embodied carbon emissions are locked in place as soon as a building is built. 

It is critical that we get a handle on embodied carbon now if we hope to phase out fossil fuel emissions by the year 2050.

Read more on:



With the WasteBasedBrick® we’re focusing primarily on the use of waste as a resource instead of digging up natural and limited resources. To decrease the CO2 footprint of the brick even further, we look at more efficient firing curves and alternative fuels.

Most of our products are fired on forest compensated gas. This means that the CO2 footprint during production is compensated by planting trees. It is not the perfect solution yet and fundamental solutions will have to be found in alternative fuels such as hydro-oxygen.

We do believe that this is an important and significant step in creating more sustainable building materials for future generations.

* Carbon dioxide emitted during the extraction, manufacture, and transport of building materials.

7 Valuable Lessons About Sustainable Building Design || StoneCycling X UGreen
7 Valuable Lessons About Sustainable Building Design || StoneCycling X UGreen

2. Once we choose a material, they are there to stay.

It’s important to realise the impact of your decisions early on in the design process.

If we keep using the same materials as we’ve always done, we are not going to be able to make a shift to more sustainable construction. The power lies in your hands!



Are you curious to find out how we make our products from waste? Read our FAQ or send us a message

"Buildings are the problem, but they are also the solution." — Erin McDade

3. The industry is still catching up on bringing solutions to problems in construction because we are not asking enough!

True change can only happen when you make an effort to highlight problems and voice your concerns.

If we want to progress in this field, that does mean that we have to make other people uncomfortable so they will cross the bridge to a more sustainable world.



We are taking as many opportunities as we can to speak on stage, in webinars, lunch presentations, and interviews in newspapers, magazines, blogs or on television about the circular economy and sustainable construction.

You can find the best stories on our press page and news page.

7 Valuable Lessons About Sustainable Building Design || StoneCycling X UGreen

4. We need more companies to become a #GreenHero and implement sustainable building design

The demand for products proven to be sustainable grows exponentially in the market. In civil construction, this is no different. However, several products available do not have proof of sustainability. Soon, they lose significant opportunities in marketing and sales.

If top companies are already becoming more sustainable, they need people to help them in this journey. This will also guide the behaviour of other companies and ultimately your practice.



Would you like to contribute to a better world? Then make sure to share StoneCycling’s story with anyone interested, for example via social media, email or simply word of mouth.

The more people know about sustainable alternatives in construction, the more they will be used!

7 Valuable Lessons About Sustainable Building Design || StoneCycling X UGreen
BREEAM Outstanding Interior at LC Packaging HQ in The Netherlands || StoneCycling

5. It’s not too late to prevent us from becoming the generation of waste.

The sooner the world stops relying on fossil fuels and the use of raw materials and moves to a zero-emissions future, the better for our planet.

Luckily, the concern for the environment is growing in the public eye, which forces governments and everyone involved in the supply chain to adjust and develop better standards and certifications.



We work hard each day to complete our mission of moving towards beautiful building materials made from 100% up-cycled waste with a positive carbon impact on the planet. And we show the viability of our products and the results of innovation to pave the way for major players in the global market to follow our example and increase our impact exponentially.

Here are some actions steps mentioned in the conference that we always take into consideration for projects that we work on:

7 Valuable Lessons About Sustainable Building Design || StoneCycling X UGreen

6. Bring data to your project, not just beauty.

Sustainable design can be composed of many elements. Understand which one is most effective for your specific project, as this will help you make a decision with the best return on investment.

There are many tools available these days to gather information on the ecological impact of solutions in construction.



We are more than happy to become your partner to help improve the quality of your project and create better decisions based on data and science.

Questions about sustainable building solutions? Big ideas? Get in touch with us and click here to see how we work.

In the end, we’re not aiming to LOOK sustainable, we want to bring actual benefits and RESULTS to your project. Let’s create something beautiful together!

7 Valuable Lessons About Sustainable Building Design || StoneCycling X UGreen

7. There are plenty of alternatives.

By understanding the impacts of the product chain, we can optimise it. And there are more and more alternatives to traditional building materials, with a decreased negative impact on the environment. You can see a few of them in the image below.



To acquire more credibility in the sustainable market, it is necessary to prove it. That is why at StoneCycling, and many other sustainable companies, we aim at the future of product testing through international standards.

Which of the following sustainable materials are you already using (we’ve taken the liberty to include our WasteBasedBricks in the overview)

7 Valuable Lessons About Sustainable Building Design || StoneCycling X UGreen
Source: (edited)

Let’s explore the alternatives for sustainable building design together. Get in touch.

Find all resources from the Sustainable Interior Design Week here.