The environmental drawbacks to cement (and concrete, of which cement is a major component) have been - will always be - things we consider when building at False Bluff: we want the look and, given our harsh coastal environment, a lot of the benefits of a block and mortar building with as few of the damaging side effects as possible
Blueboard, which is the siding of El Nido, the small building that will be our reading room, was the kinder option.
But I confess the stuff made El Nido, at the edge of the Caribbean, look decidedly odd when it was first installed.
We selected a brand of blueboard designed for exterior use and once the building was parged the place looked much less strange sitting at the edge of the sea.
I had done some preliminary landscaping and after putting the plants in the ground and marking where more would go, I pulled a chair onto the porch to enjoy the spectacular view - just before doing some caulking.
Thanks to Cesper for the solution to our concerns: the man's always problem-solving. And thanks to him and his crew for making it happen.