We’ve been hearing the word “sustainable” a lot these days, mainly because we’ve reached this point when we have to reduce waste. Synthetic materials take decades to deteriorate, causing an accumulation that could clog drainage systems. Sometimes, people burn these materials to lessen the clutter, releasing harmful gases environment. When you say something is “synthetic”, it means that it is able to preserve its viability through certain methods that allow repeated use. Easily-replaced materials like bamboo and those that don’t lose their inherent properties like copper are considered sustainable building materials. If you want to take part in saving the environment, you might want to use the materials listed below in your next project.
Those pairs of jeans that are now too faded and too frayed to be displayed can be sold to makers of cotton batting. This is a type of insulation created shredded jeans. Cotton batting, just like cellulose, doesn’t release volatile organic compounds.
A brilliant substitute to wood or bamboo is cork. It is taken from the outer part a tree; a certain layer is simply stripped out. There’s no need to cut the tree down or inflict terrible damage to it. Typically, cork is taken for the first time from a 25-30 year-old tree with a circumference of 24 inches. Subsequent removals are usually performed on a 9-year interval, although it could take up to 13 years for the tree to grow a cork of acceptable size.
Cork is impermeable and fire and insect-resistant, making it a good material for flooring. Due to its bubble-form structure varnished cork tiles muffle the sound of footsteps. It is also hypoallergenic so it’s suitable for households with members who suffer from respiratory problems. You may speak to a professional about the sustainable building materials available and workable with your budget.
You might have been surprised seeing concrete in this list, but this product is actually sustainable. Old concrete are crushed and poured in new roads or driveways. It can be completely repurposed because concrete doesn’t lose its intrinsic properties even after it is ground up. Wood chips and crushed glass, which normally get thrown to landfills, can be added to the mixture too.
Another marvelous sustainable product is the paper insulation. Cast-off cardboard and paper are shredded and mixed with borax, boric acid and calcium carbonate (which are also natural ingredient compounds) to create thick slurry. The result is a slightly clumpy mixture which is blown, using a particular insulation blower, into walls. Certain ingredients are added to make this product fire and insect resistant. You can use this sustainable building material in new buildings and as well as existing ones. In existing structures, holes are made in their exterior walls at equal depths and then the paper insulation is blown into those punctures. Once the walls are packed, the openings are topped up with the drilled out plugs. This is one of the cheapest sustainable building materials today.
Copper is one of the most popular building materials due to its tensile strength, corrosion-resistance, ductility and biostatic activity. This metal has been used for many centuries and has helped various improve the life of various societies. Copper is widely used these days, not only construction but also in electronics—that’s why it’s not surprising to find tons of this metal on landfills. Copper recovery is a lucrative business these days due to the intensifying demand of this metal.
What makes copper sustainable it is ability to maintain its valuable properties no matter how many times you’ve used it. Since it is a non-corrosive metal, you can be confident that your copper roof can last for decades. This is one of the sustainable building materials that you should really invest on.
Strawboard is an excellent replacement to drywall. It is cut in sizes that are the same with drywall so it is also suitable for conventional settings. And even though it’s only 2 inches thick, it is denser than drywall. Strawboard is made either from rice straw (the disposed stalks after grains are gathered) or wheat. Using particular machinery, the straws is pressed hardly to extract the natural resin within them that attach fibers together, and then both sides of the straws are papered.
Strawboard is just as versatile as wood. You can do virtually anything that you can do with wood to strawboard. Cut it, drill it, nail it, glue it or route it. It’s most remarkable characteristic is that is easy to replace. Wheat and rice grow a lot faster than trees. You may discuss with a professional about the best sustainable building materials for your home.
Many take bamboo as a tree because it can grow as tall as one, but it is actually a type of grass. Common to tropical regions, this grass has a rapid growth rate and matures only within 4-5 years. It’s relatively quick compared to a tree that takes up around 30 years to reach maturity. Moreover, per acreage of bamboo produces a construction material at almost 20 times more than trees. To top this, this grass has a quality that is higher than wood from most trees. You can tone its color through heating, but be careful for it can also weaken its structure. It’s a wonderful countertop, flooring or fencing material. The only hitch is the cost of shipping because you’ll have to export it from a tropical region. Bamboo is probably one of the most gorgeous sustainable building materials.
Wool and clay, with the help of a natural binding material from seaweed, are used to make wool bricks. Wool, clay and seaweed all exist naturally in the environment; therefore, they are regarded sustainable. These types of bricks don’t require firing and are simply air dried, which means lesser air pollution during the curing process. Wool bricks are one of the popular options who want to use sustainable building materials but also have to stay within a budget.