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5 Sustainable Practices In UK Joinery And Construction 2023

Nowadays, environmental sustainability is no longer an afterthought but a fundamental part of the conversation regarding construction and joinery. 

As we navigate the climate challenges of the 21st century, new rules and regulations (like Net Zero), and changes in the way we approach worldly processes, the need to adopt more sustainable practices within these industries has never been more apparent.

In the UK, the construction and joinery sector has been instrumental in pioneering eco-friendly trends and practices, paving the way for more sustainable infrastructure. 

In this article, we explore the five major sustainable practices shaping the UK joinery and construction landscape in 2023 and are sure to connect with any upcoming projects you plan to work on!

The Increasing Use of Eco-Friendly Materials and Products

The construction and joinery industry’s sustainability efforts are marked by an encouraging shift towards eco-friendly materials and products. This proactive transition is a crucial initiative to mitigate the sectors’ environmental impact.

Green Insulation Materials

Among the many changes sweeping the industry, the adoption of green insulation materials stands out. Using sustainable materials like sheep’s wool, cellulose, hemp-based products, and reclaimed wood enhances energy efficiency and reduces waste, fostering a circular economy.

Let’s take a look at some examples.

Sheep’s wool, a naturally occurring material, has excellent thermal qualities, allowing it to retain heat during colder months and maintain cool indoor temperatures during summer. Moreover, wool is renewable and decomposes naturally, minimising its environmental footprint.

Cellulose insulation, typically manufactured from recycled paper products, is an effective and environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional insulation materials. This material is less energy-intensive and has a lower risk of causing health issues during installation.

Hemp, a carbon-sequestering crop, offers another eco-friendly insulation option. When mixed with lime and water to create hempcrete, it provides impressive thermal performance and humidity control, reducing the need for high-energy heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

Finally, reclaimed wood offers a sustainable solution to timber needs. Salvaged from old buildings, it reduces the demand for new wood, contributing significantly to waste reduction and forest conservation.

A Reduction in Unsustainable Materials Usage

Hand in hand with the consideration above, the industry’s sustainability efforts also extend to decreasing the use of harmful materials. 

The use of high-energy materials like concrete and non-renewable metals has declined. Replacements such as bio-concrete, fly ash bricks, and recycled metals offer similar durability with a significantly reduced carbon footprint. 

Additionally, plastic-based products are being replaced with biodegradable alternatives, further reducing pollution and waste.

A Rise in Innovative Construction Techniques

Sustainability also means innovation in construction techniques. Technologies like modular building and 3D printing have emerged as game-changers.

Modular building involves assembling prefabricated components on-site, drastically reducing construction waste and time. This process also improves the quality of the final product, as components are manufactured in controlled environments.

3D printing, on the other hand, allows for the precise creation of complex designs with minimal material waste. By utilising additive manufacturing techniques, it’s possible to create components tailored to specific needs, thereby enhancing design flexibility and reducing overproduction.

These innovative techniques contribute to green architecture, making buildings more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

Improved Energy Efficiency and Waste Reduction

Efforts to increase energy efficiency and reduce waste have become central to creating a more sustainable future. These principles extend beyond the construction and joinery industry to all aspects of design and planning.

Embracing lean construction principles helps minimise waste throughout the construction process. This involves careful planning and coordination to ensure that resources are utilised effectively and waste is kept to a minimum.

Recycling and reusing discarded materials are also crucial in reducing construction waste. Old bricks, metals, and wood can often be repurposed, reducing the need for new materials and thus minimising the environmental impact.

The use of prefabricated or modular components, as mentioned earlier, also significantly contributes to waste reduction, as these components are precisely made to fit specific needs, leaving little room for waste.

An Improved Use of Technology

The construction and joinery industry’s sustainability efforts also involve an improved use of technology. Digital tools, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), are proving invaluable in enhancing efficiency and reducing waste.

BIM allows for improved coordination among various stakeholders in a construction project. By providing a shared model of a building or structure, it facilitates more accurate planning, reduces rework, and ensures more efficient use of resources.

In addition to BIM, other technologies, such as digital twins, drones, and smart sensors, are increasingly being used to monitor construction sites in real-time, further improving efficiency and sustainability.

Locally Sourcing Materials

The practice of locally sourcing materials is gaining traction in the construction and joinery industry. Local sourcing reduces the environmental impact of transportation and supports local economies, making it a win-win strategy.

By relying on local suppliers, businesses can significantly reduce their carbon footprint, bolster local economies, and increase resilience against potential disruptions in international supply chains. 

It also tends to improve the speed and efficiency of construction projects, as locally sourced materials can often be obtained more quickly than those sourced from afar.


In conclusion, these initiatives – increased use of eco-friendly materials, innovative construction techniques, a focus on energy efficiency and waste reduction, technological advancements, and locally sourcing materials – are the driving forces behind the construction and joinery industry’s journey towards sustainability. 

By adopting these practices, the industry is making strides in reducing its environmental impact, contributing to a greener and more sustainable future.

Frontier NW Construction is on a mission to lead the way in sustainable construction and joinery in the UK. 

We’re equipped with the tools, skills, and knowledge to deliver construction projects that are not only high-quality but also environmentally friendly. 

If you’re ready to make your next construction project a step towards a more sustainable future, contact us today

Let’s join hands and build a better tomorrow.

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