Sustainable Materials

Sustainable materials have become significant in the world of architecture and design, heralding a new era of conscientious activity. Sustainable materials, ranging from reclaimed wood and recycled ceramics to biodegradable composites, are not only chosen for  eco-friendly properties but also for their versatility and aesthetic appeal. Sustainable materials find essential placement in both architectural and interior design practices. From eco-conscious residential dwellings to innovative commercial space, architects and interior designers can integrate sustainable materials into flooring, facades, accent walls, retail spaces and many more, ensuring every aspect of their design aligns with sustainability practices.

At Materials Assemble, we are proud to offer a library of curated sustainable materials that cater to interior designers and architects. We provide consultation and conversation on these materials to support designers with out expertise, ensuring their designs align with sustainability principles.

What is the meaning of sustainable materials?

Sustainable materials refer to materials that are either sourced, produced, transported or used in a way that minimises negative impacts on the environment and human health, both in the present and future generations. These materials are often renewable, recycled or reclaimed and they are selected and managed with consideration for their environmental, social and economic impacts throughout their lifecycle. In architecture and interior design, sustainable materials play a crucial role in creating spaces that are environmentally friendly and socially responsible.

What is an example of sustainable materials management?

There are many examples of sustainable materials management. One example of sustainable materials management could be the implementation of a recycling program in a manufacturing facility. Many companies are implementing innovative strategies to minimise waste and minimise resource efficiency within their facilities. One such approach involves the recycling and reuse of pre-consumer waste generated during the manufacturing process. By carefully segregating and collecting materials such as off-cuts, trimmings and unsold inventory, companies can divert these materials from landfills and reintroduce them into their production process. Through processes like re-melting, re-grinding and reprocessing, pre-consumer waste can be transformed into new materials or incorporated into existing products, reducing the need for virgin materials and conserving valuable resources.

In this scenario, waste materials such as glass, marble, metal and ceramics can be used in existing and new products. As Materials Assemble, in our curated sustainable materials library, we try to incorporate many materials that use their pre-consumer waste. Our ceramic tiles are made with 50% pre-consumer waste, our terrazzo tiles incorporate up to 80% marble waste and our recycled blown glass material is made with 100% recycled glass waste from glass blowing facilities.

Are sustainable materials more expensive?

The cost of sustainable materials can vary depending on factors such as availability, demand, production methods, and certifications. Sustainable materials are a long term investment compared to cheaply produced materials that have a short lifespan and need constant maintenance. Sustainable materials can be durable, energy-efficient, can create a healthier environment for humans, and can require less maintenance. Furthermore, as the demand for sustainable materials continues to rise and technology advances, prices are becoming more competitive, making sustainable options increasingly accessible.

What is sustainable material for interior design?

Interior design plays a crucial role in creating spaces that are not only visually appealing but also conductive to human health and well-being. The materials used in interior spaces have direct impact on indoor air quality, which can significantly affect respiratory health and overall comfort. Many conventional materials emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harmful chemicals into the air, contributing to indoor air pollution and potential health issues. Sustainable materials a solution to this problem. Low-VOC and zero-VOC paints, finishes and adhesives reduce indoor air pollution and create healthier indoor environments by minimising harmful emissions. Additionally, materials like clay plasters have naturally humidity regulating properties, helping to maintain optimal moisture levels in the air and contributing to air wellness.

What can designers do to maintain material sustainability?

To maintain material sustainability, designers must meticulously research and select materials that align with sustainable principles, considering factors such as responsible sourcing, durability, and life cycle impacts. Prioritising materials with certain certifications can ensure that they can meet some sustainability standards, however this does not mean every material that has a certain certification is fully sustainable. Additionally, designers should optimise material use to minimise waste which is where their creative skills come into play as designers. Collaboration with suppliers and explanation to the clients on the importance of sustainability are also essential. At Materials Assemble, we offer consultation and presentation on sustainable materials and maintain an online library of sustainable materials. For further inquiries you can contact us at

What are 2 ways that designers can be more sustainable in the products they design?

One way designers can be more sustainable is by implementing strategies to reduce waste generation and optimise material use throughout the product life cycle. This involves prioritising the use of recycled  or reclaimed materials and adopting principals of lean manufacturing to minimise resource consumption and environmental impact. Another way designers can enhance sustainability in their designs is by considering the the entire lifecycle of materials used in their products. This involves conducting life cycle assessments (LCAs) to evaluate the environmental, social and economic impacts of materials from extraction and production to use and disposal. By making informed decisions about materials and designing products that minimise negative environmental and social impacts, designers can contribute to a more sustainable future for all.

What is sustainable material for architecture?

In architecture, sustainable materials are utilised in various applications to create building that are environmentally responsible, energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing. From structural elements like beams and columns to exterior cladding, roofing and interior finishes, sustainable materials can be integrated in to every aspect of architectural design. In architectural spaces sustainable materials can contribute to indoor and outdoor air quality, thermal comfort and the health and well-being of humans.

Bespoke Material Production 

In the design world, bespoke material production emerges as a powerful tool for promoting environmental stewardship and reducing ecological footprint. Customising materials to fit the specific need of each project not only enhances design flexibility but also offers significant sustainability advantages. By opting for bespoke and custom materials, designers can bypass mass production processes, thereby minimising energy consumption, reducing waste generation and mitigating the environmental impacts associated with large scale manufacturing.

Additionally, bespoke material production can enable the utilisation of locally sourced, recycled or reclaimed materials, further enhancing the sustainability story of the project. At Materials Assemble, our bespoke ceramic production allows this story to be created. For example, with 50% pre-consumer waste incorporated into the composition, our bespoke ceramic tiles can cater to the various needs  of designers and projects.

Sustainable Material Library

A sustainable material library serves as a cornerstone for architects, designers and builders committed to creating environmentally responsible spaces. From recycled marble and recycled glass to recycled ceramics and biodegradable composites, materials available in sustainable material libraries cater to a wide range of design preferences while prioritising sustainability. Moreover, sustainable material libraries provide valuable resources for research, education and inspiration, empowering design professionals to make informed decisions and explore innovative solutions for sustainable design. As Materials Assemble, we are proud to have a library of curated sustainable materials that is accessible online through our website, ensuring designers have convenient access to a wide range of options for their projects.

The use of sustainable materials in architecture is not merely a trend but a fundamental shift towards a more responsible and resilient built environment. As our understanding of environmental issues deepens and the urgency to address climate change intensifies, the significant change of sustainable materials will only continue to grow. Designers, architects and builders are increasingly recognising the importance of prioritising sustainability in their projects, not only to meet regulatory requirements but also to create spaces that enhance the well-being of occupants and minimise environmental impact

Check our curated sustainable materials