Conversations with Corner Room Build about Ethical Decks
Jasen Teller has been building decks and fences for over 15 years and became aware of the impact building had on the environment.
The footprint is alarmingly large and has already made changes in his everyday life to become a better carer of his environment, he made a conscious effort to seek out changes in his building work to better ensure sustainability and protection of the world he lives in.
Q: Do you only build decks?
A: No, we build fences, retaining walls, pergolas, any hard structures for landscaping.
Q: What made you want to build ethically?
A: Well, I have a partner who is passionate about protecting our planet! The building industry contributes 50% of the rubbish in landfills. I just felt there must be a better way and started to look into it.
Q: What makes your decks better, how do you know?
A: Most of the larger timber suppliers sourced timber that has been certified ethical. It is stickered to show its compliance and most won’t sell anything but certified timber. It has less impact on the environment and has excellent longevity. Where ever possible ( if clients are on board and most are) we don’t use concrete.
Q: Can you build an entire deck without concrete, does it still have longevity?
A: Yes, we use screw-in pins for piles which have a longer life and a smaller footprint. New on the market are recycled rubber pads for the framing to sit on.
Q: How do clients respond to building ethically?
A: Well, they have a certain type of deck pictured in their mind with decking timber colours etc. Once I have shown them examples and assured the finish to be not only their vision but also sustainable most are on board.
Q: Does working this way make you feel differently about your work and what do you hope for the industry moving forward?
A: Being aware that there are better options available is heartening. Tradies and others in the industry just need to ask questions, suppliers need to listen to the needs. It just needs a little effort and commitment. Tell people and inspire them. And no I don’t use plastic bags or packaging or single-use coffee cups!