Top 5 Eco-Friendly Building Materials

Take a look around and you will soon see that the majority of large structures are built with concrete. Everything from skyscrapers to dams and bridges rely on concrete because of its impressive strength and durability. In its raw state, concrete is eco-friendly, but once it is mixed with aggregates and water, it loses its eco-friendly status.

Straw

When one of the three little pigs built his house from straw, he didn’t expect the Big Bad Wolf to blow it down and gobble him up. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about a wolf destroying your home if you build it using straw. Straw is not a new building material, but it has a lot of advantages. Straw is very sustainable and when sealed, it provides excellent insulation against hot and cold temperatures. It’s also cheap. It does need to be sealed, however. You can build a house using straw bales or mix straw with mud to build a traditional ‘cob’ house. Straw is most often used in roofs, with thatched roofs a very traditional alternative to slate, concrete tile, and asphalt shingles.

Bamboo

Bamboo is incredibly strong, as well as being sustainable. Bamboo grows fast in many regions of the world and is used to provide a framework for construction projects. It’s quick and easy to erect a simple bamboo framed-building, which is handy in impoverished or disaster-hit areas. Because most bamboo is locally sourced, it is also inexpensive.

Wood

Wood sourced from renewable forests is surprisingly eco-friendly. Mass-produced pine is inexpensive and doesn’t require energy-intensive harvesting methods. Wood doesn’t last as long as concrete and it isn’t as strong as some other materials, but wood is beautiful and if you are keen to build a sustainable structure, wood is an excellent choice.

Earth

If you told your neighbor you were moving into a mud hut, they would probably laugh like a drain. Yet, hard-packed earth is strong and resilient. It’s also very eco-friendly and readily available, which is why it is a commonly used building material in hot, dry countries in Africa. Old-fashioned methods of building with earth were labor intensive, but modern technology has made life a lot easier. Today, you can use mechanical tampers to compress earth into solid, sturdy walls constructed around a framework of bamboo for extra rigidity.

Mycelium

Mycelium is a futuristic eco-friendly building material made from the roots of fungi. Once air-dried, mycelium can be used to make blocks, bricks, and other shapes. Mycelium is 100% natural and in a 100-years’ time, we could see a lot more mycelium houses.

If your aim is to build a sustainable home, look at recycling materials such as wood, plastic, and glass.

Concrete

It can be difficult to find quality precast concrete panels for home use, but you should have no problem picking up bags of dry concrete powder to mix at home, direct from your local building supplier. However, there are other materials worth considering if you want to keep your project sustainable and eco-friendly. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at five of them.

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