Concrete is the go-to building material of many of today’s vastly growing metropolises. It is highly durable, as it gains more strength and stability over time.
Despite common usage, commercial concrete materials release a large amount of carbon dioxide when it is being produced. This is a greenhouse gas, and is harmful to the environment.
Luckily, there are eco-friendly materials that can be used to create safe and comfortable homes without harming the environment.
Eco friendly construction companies are quite conscious of the environmental footprint they leave behind, and use alternative materials, such as straw, bamboo, and wood, to create their masterpieces.
An oldie but goodie, building homes using straw bales dates back to a time when human beings were forced to construct their homes using whatever natural resources were available to them. Stray bales can be used to replace concrete, wood, stone or plaster as they create the walls inside of a house.
The straw bales need to be properly sealed in order to provide proper insulation. However, they are an extremely affordable and renewable resource.
Considered one of the best eco-friendly resources on the planet, bamboo has an extremely high regeneration rate which makes it extremely renewable and sustainable. It is also a locally-sourced material in many parts of the world, making this durable material easy to use and cultivate for building.
Bamboo is also extremely lightweight, enabling it to be transported easily and cheaply. Its properties allow it to be a coveted resource for framing structures, flooring and cabinetry throughout the world.
A highly abundant and sturdy material for construction, wood still remains an excellent resource for building. As long as the forests are properly managed, lumber is a renewable resource that is also highly sustainable.
Wood is available in many variations and is found in many places throughout the globe, making it fairly easy to cultivate and transport to the building sites.
There is also an option to use reclaimed wood for various building projects, including siding as well as the framing of some structures.
wood does have a tendency to lose strength over time, particularly when exposed to the elements. It is also susceptible to insects and other bugs. As a result, it is imperative that reclaimed wood is inspected thoroughly prior to use.
Cork has similar properties to bamboo, as it is a resource that can quickly and easily renew itself. It is also very lightweight, and can be transported cheaply from its native Mediterranean location.
An extraordinary trait of cork as a building material is its ability to harvest cork from a living tree. It is actually the bark of the tree, allowing it to be taken without having to cut down the tree. The tree can continue to grow, and as it does so, will reproduce the cork bark again and again.
Cork is also highly resistance to wear and tear. It can easily absorb noise and pressure. In addition, this resource is naturally resistant to fire (when it is not sealed) and will not release any toxic gases when it is burning. This highly resilient and flexible material can be used in floor and as insulation. It has the ability to return to its original shape when pressure is placed on it.
Highly durable materials such as steel and aluminum required a great deal of energy to be produced. In addition, these metals are very heavy to transport and take a ton of time to shape. However, once it is curated, it is an extremely durable building resource.
If done properly, metals such as these can be reused or recycled into new products. When you reuse metal in new projects, you do not need to go through the entire process of extracting the material from the earth, heating it, creating its form and transporting it to the necessary building site.
Thus, you are cutting down on the energy costs automatically by recycling already existing metal components.
Recycled metals are very durable and last for years and years. They also do not require much in terms of maintenance or replacement, and can withstand weather elements, fire, water and pests.
Though it may be possible for some metal components to be reused in their existing forms, others may require some energy to melt them down and reform them. However, even in this instance, the reclaimed metals are still reducing a builder’s carbon footprint.
Eco friendly construction companies are always on the lookout for building materials that are sustainable and renewable. Resources such as cork, bamboo, wood and reclaimed metal can enable these businesses to create comfortable and structurally sound buildings and homes that actually help the environment.
By embracing the use of highly renewable and sustainable resources for our building, we can all make a difference in our environment and created a brighter, better world for future generations.