By this point, sustainability is everyone’s responsibility in a way that’s no longer an abstract concept. Consequently, there are more and more ways to practice sustainability, including when it comes to construction.
Whether it’s constructing a new wing in a retirement community or a kitchen remodeling, there’s a way to do so responsibly, particularly with the building materials. Here are 4 building materials to consider.
Bamboo is primarily composed of natural fibers, cellulose, and lignin, held together by a matrix of hemicellulose.
It’s a grass that matures in just a few years, making it a highly sustainable alternative to materials like slow-growing hardwoods. Also, bamboo plants absorb substantial amounts of carbon dioxide, contributing to a reduced carbon footprint.
Plus, there are plenty of practical applications. For example, bamboo flooring is durable, stylish, and eco-friendly, making it an excellent choice for homes and commercial spaces. And it’s strength-to-weight ratio makes it suitable for load-bearing columns and beams in building construction
Recycled metal is steel and aluminum that have been reclaimed from various sources and processed to remove impurities, reducing the need for virgin resources, and lowering the energy and environmental impact of mining and extraction. Using recycled metals requires less energy compared to producing new materials from scratch.
Plus, there are plenty of practical applications. For example, recycled steel beams and columns are commonly used for structural support in buildings. And recycled metal panels can be used as an attractive and weather-resistant cladding option.
Rammed Earth is primarily made of locally sourced earth materials, such as clay, chalk, lime, gravel, or a mixture of these, compacted and layered to create solid walls.
Rammed earth construction utilizes readily available earth, reducing the need for transporting materials over long distances. And unlike energy-intensive materials like concrete, rammed earth construction requires minimal energy during production.
Plus, there are plenty of practical applications. For example, rammed earth walls are load-bearing and can be used for both exterior and interior walls, creating a unique and sustainable aesthetic. Also not only can entire homes be constructed using rammed earth, providing a comfortable and energy-efficient living space, but larger-scale construction -such as schools and community centers- as well, offering sustainability and durability.
Cork is derived from the bark of cork oak trees that naturally regenerates their bark.
Cork’s cellular structure provides exceptional thermal and acoustic insulation, reducing heating and cooling energy needs.
Plus, there are plenty of practical applications. For example, cork flooring is comfortable underfoot, naturally insulating, and comes in a variety of styles. And cork panels can be used as eco-friendly insulation for walls for energy efficiency.
The construction industry is a major player in the race for a more sustainable planet and one of the ways to tip the scales in favor of Earth is by prioritizing green building materials.