Today, many people that are remodeling or building their houses use natural and environmentally friendly building materials. Eco-friendly building materials are those that are safe for the environment and people, produce minimum waste, make optimal use of resources, and increase the efficiency of energy. There are a number of different eco-friendly materials – from foundation and insulation, to interior / exterior wall finishes, flooring, and various countertop materials.
Why eco-friendly building materials?
There are hundreds of reasons to use eco-friendly materials for your home, but we will mention just a few of the most important:
- Production of conventional building materials leads to negative and irreversible environmental impacts.
- Growth in the construction industry depends on consumable and reusable resources.
- It is the best way to build (or remodel) an eco-friendly building.
- These materials make optimal use of natural resources.
- They make your home healthy and safe place to live.
In addition, stone quarries lead to erosion of hills, brick kilns lead to denudation of topsoil, while sand digging damages the river biodiversity. Not to mention impact on landscape.
What is eco-friendly building material?
There are many definitions for eco-friendly building materials, but they all boil down to the following: These are building materials that have been designed to have a minimal impact on the environment. In addition to minimal environmental damage, these materials also have a good effect on human health.
A material can be eco-friendly by itself, such as wood, bamboo, reed, and so on. However, some conventional materials can also become environment friendly, by using eco-friendly construction techniques. For example, “rat trap bond” construction technique requires less number of bricks than normal walls, and therefore it is eco-friendly.
You should know that there are a small number of materials in nature that are completely eco-friendly.
Most common eco-friendly building materials
The most common environmentally friendly building materials are:
- Recycled steel – If you want to build a 000-square-foot house, it is estimated that you will need recycled steel made of only six scrapped cars. It is a great alternative to other building materials, including wood.
- Straw bales – These bales can last for hundreds of years if they are kept dry. Straw bales are 100% natural building material, and they are very good for home insulation.
- Bamboo (bamboo particle board, ply board, and bamboo matting) – Bamboo has a lot of benefits: it grows fast (60-100cm per day), grows easily in most climates, and it is earthquake resistant. Uses of bamboo as a building material mainly include furniture as well as bamboo shades for windows.
- Richlite – This material looks very similar to wood. Richlite is a strong building material despite being made of 70 % recycled paper – treated with resin and baked.
- Self-fixing concrete – It has a special coating, which fills cracks before they get too big. This concrete can be used for homes as well as larger buildings, bridges or other infrastructure.
Apart from these materials, just to mention some other conventional eco-friendly building materials such as: bricks sun dried, phosphogypsum wall panels, calcium silicate boards and tiles, clay roofing tiles, rubber wood boards, and ferro-cement boards.