Unfortunately, a lot of human behavior puts a significant burden on the earth that can help lead to problems like pollution, global warming, and the depletion of natural resources. This is certainly true in regards to the building of things like a house. Thankfully, building practices have progressed to the point that more sustainable materials for home building are readily available. Below are five.
Stone has been a building material since at least 9,000 thousand years ago. There are many benefits to using stone. It’s, of course, naturally sturdy and far stronger than other options like concrete. It also has a strong classical aesthetic appeal that you may find extremely attractive. However, today, one of the best benefits is just how sustainable using stone as a building material for a home is. For one, there is no stone manufacturing process. It is created naturally and simply removed from the Earth. This releases no chemical or bad byproducts into the environment. Since the earth is, for the most part, made of stone, it is also doubtful it will ever be depleted as a building material.
Steel may not be the first building material you think of when it comes to sustainability. However, you may be surprised to learn there are, in fact, many environmentally friendly aspects to constructing steel buildings. One of the biggest is the fact that steel is one of the easiest materials to recycle. If you choose to use recycled steel in the construction of your home, you will greatly decrease your carbon footprint. Steel being recyclable is also beneficial when it comes time to tear down an old home. That steel can be recycled instead of ending up in a landfill like so many other home building materials. Steel is also a natural insulator and can greatly reduce heating and cooling costs over the life of a home. Steel, of course, lasts longer than wood and does not require any trees to be chopped down.
If you are eco-conscious, another building material you should consider is adobe brick. Adobe is an ancient building material composed of clay and straw. Its manufacturing process is not harmful to the environment, and it is not produced from limited resources. Like steel, it is a good insulator and can help lower your heating and cooling costs. It is an attractive material commonly used in homes in the Southwest. If you want to add some visual flair to your home building project, adobe is an excellent choice to utilize.
While the creation of plastic is generally bad for the environment, this is not the case with plastic that has been recycled. Recycled plastic prevents extra waste from going into landfills. Due to how plastic does not biodegrade, that plastic will take eons to properly disintegrate in a landfill. Over that period, harmful chemicals could be leaked into the soil and water. Recycled plastic used to build a home, however, does not have these risks. Plastic also has certain benefits as a building material. For one, it weighs less than other materials of equal strength.
If you haven’t heard of bamboo as a home building material, you should probably examine historical records. It’s been used to build shelters for thousands of years. You should also be aware of the fact that bamboo is a completely sustainable building material. What is chopped down can be easily regrown quite quickly without a significant impact on the environment. Bamboo is a quite miraculous building material. It can better absorb compression than concrete, and it has more tensile strength than most building materials including steel. It doesn’t weigh a lot and is very easy to transport. The same cannot be said for heavier building materials that require more gas to transport. It can also, of course, give your home an extremely distinct look.
Overall, you should be aware that newer technology and methods of building are constantly being introduced that can allow the construction of new homes to be done in a more eco-friendly manner. Do your research and consider the costs and benefits of different options. You may find that certain more sustainable materials meet your needs better than building materials that do have a more inordinate impact on the environment.