With the adverse impact of climate change, there is a rise in awareness about the products getting used in our environment. One such awareness is witnessed in the construction field too. People are getting inclined towards these top 20 most popular green building materials now a day for a sustainable and better tomorrow.
In the world of construction, there are a variety of materials used to build structures. These materials range from concrete, wood, bamboo, soil, recycled and compressed polymer/clay pipe insulation (RPC & CPPI), metal roofing, sheeting and tubing to green roofs.
Each material has its own unique properties that make it suitable for certain applications. In this article, we will discuss the different types of construction materials and their uses in order to help you make informed decisions when selecting building materials for your project.
List of top 20 green building materials.
Bamboo has been used in the construction field for centuries, and it is still a popular choice today due to its sustainability. It can be utilized in building frameworks as well as roof structures because of its ability to endure extreme weather conditions such as high winds and heavy rainfalls. It offers excellent strength-to-weight ratios, making it an ideal material for both housing projects and commercial buildings alike.
Additionally, bamboo’s tensile strength makes it resistant to cracking or breaking even when subjected to significant force – this advantage translates into greater safety measures during installation operations compared with other materials like wood or concrete blocks which are prone to cracks or failures from impacts that may occur offsite on delivery vehicles.
Furthermore, not only does using bamboo require less energy than traditional wooden varieties but having vast amounts growing all over the world gives architects more freedom while allowing them to stick close to their budget plans -a plus especially when working with small infrastructural designs where money might always be tight! All these features make this natural building material bamboo a sustainable building material too.
2. Earthen Materials
Earthen materials such as soil, clay and mud are increasingly used in construction projects due to low cost and sustainability. The resulting wall structure has thermal properties that make it energy efficient for both hot and cold weather regions.
They transfer heat slowly throughout the day thereby allowing buildings to savour cooler temperatures during summer months while not taking too long to reheat afterwards using minimal resources.
The use of earth-based insulation is also increasingly popular as it provides superior thermal protection than conventional insulating products like fibreglass or styrofoam.
Moreover, using these natural building materials and techniques is healthier for interior air quality due to lower levels of toxins being released into the living spaces compared with synthetic ways of constructing homes and businesses.
3. Natural Fibre
The use of natural fibre in construction is becoming increasingly popular. Natural fibres are strong, lightweight, and durable materials that can be used to build a range of structures including houses and bridges. The most common types of natural fibres used for this purpose are hemp, flax straws or coconut husk strands which can all very effectively resist cracking or breaking under pressure while providing incredible insulation properties.
In addition to being environmentally friendly due to the biodegradable nature of such resources as plants; building with these sustainable products has been proven significantly reduces energy consumption rates associated with heating/cooling costs over time. This creates more advantageous investments financially speaking when constructing new buildings compared to other conventional materials like a concrete blocks for example.
Ultimately it makes sense why so many forward-thinking architects prefer going down the route of relying on renewable sources than mining nonrenewable minerals out of the earth’s crust.
4. Stone (One of the most common green building materials)
Stone is one of the oldest building materials used in construction and continues to be popular today due to its durability, strength, and versatility. There are various types stones available on the earth like Marble, Kadappa Stone, Granite, Travertine, etc. Stones can provide an aesthetically pleasing look when they are laid properly while still providing structural stability for buildings.
Stone can also help insulate a structure from cold weather conditions by trapping warmth inside walls or acting as thermal mass during hot days preventing overheating. It’s often used together with other elements such as brick, steel frame structures or timber posts so that it forms part of both exterior features like facades/cladding on residential houses or iconic monuments.
All these advantages make stone a reliable choice among architects looking for long-lasting projects throughout history. Forts of Rajasthan have proven stones as salvaged building materials.
Steel is one of the most popular sustainable building materials used in construction and plays a crucial role in different areas. It provides an unparalleled level of strength and durability that makes it ideal for building structures such as bridges, skyscrapers, industrial plants, homes and more.
Steel has excellent thermal properties which make it well suited to ensure buildings are energy efficient while still providing high levels of fire safety protection. This is an essential material used in the construction sector due to its strength, durability and affordability.
Steel is often used in high-rise buildings as it can withstand a great deal of pressure without breaking or buckling. Apart from this steel is highly resistant to corrosion so it won’t rust away when exposed to rain or other elements like snow and sun exposure.
Additionally, steel is economically efficient too and requires less maintenance over time than traditional materials like brick and mortar. This is so because there is no gap that requires filing with cement every few years.
Using steel allows for faster construction. This helps in saving time and hence the labour cost too when compared to other materials.
Composites are an invaluable and eco-friendly building material used in the construction industry, as they offer numerous benefits that traditional materials do not. Composite components can increase a structure’s strength while reducing its weight. This makes them ideal for use in large-scale projects such as buildings and bridges where structural integrity is of utmost importance.
Additionally, composites provide superior resistance to corrosion compared to other common building materials like steel or wood which deteriorate over time due to exposure to humidity and temperature changes, UV rays etc.
Furthermore, composite structures also require less maintenance than their counterparts made from more conventional materials since they don’t need regular painting or coating requirements required by metals and woods exposed to outdoor environments.
Finally, composites have long life cycles making them a much more exceptional choice with regards to comparable lifespan when pitted against most replacements available today on the market.
7. Engineered Wood
Engineered wood is a sustainable and recycled building material used in the construction industry. It offers superior strength, durability, fire resistance and insulation characteristics compared to other traditional materials such as concrete or steel.
Furthermore, engineered wood also has lower environmental impacts due to its low embodied energy. This impact results from the required manufacturing processes being lower when compared with other commonly-used building materials like steel. This means that it helps reduce carbon emissions during productions and in various stages of buildings’ life cycle!
Moreover, engineered wood’s ability to be tailored for specific desired properties makes it an increasingly attractive choice for architects since they can exercise greater creativity in their design choices without compromising on fundamental performance requirements set by regulatory bodies.
8. Structural Insulated Panel or SIP
Structural insulated panels are an energy-efficient form of construction that is quickly gaining popularity. It consists of a foam insulation core sandwiched between two structural skins, usually oriented strand board or plywood. This makes them extremely durable and resistant to weathering while providing excellent thermal performance qualities.
The use of SIPs for building walls can greatly improve overall airtightness and reduce total home energy consumption by as much as 50%. Additionally, the lightweight design reduces labour costs during installation since no extra bracing needs to be installed on-site compared with traditional lumber framing construction methods.
Therefore, using structurally insulated panels will not only result in improved thermal efficiency but also helps in cost savings over the lifetime of the structure due to reduced maintenance expenses associated with radiant heat transfer through frames built from conventional materials.
9. Insulated Concrete Forms
Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) are a modern building technology that is becoming increasingly popular for residential, commercial and industrial construction due to their numerous advantages. ICF walls have an insulated core made of polystyrene foam between layers of reinforced concrete which greatly increases insulation from the weather and makes them incredibly durable in extreme temperature ranges.
This combination creates superior thermal efficiency as well as significantly improved soundproofing. Both these property makes insulated concrete forms perfect for areas prone to high levels of noise pollution or sudden changes in temperature such as garages, warehouses or airports.
Additionally, they require very little maintenance while still providing excellent structural strength – creating structures ideal for long-term use without replacing any components over time (like traditional building materials may need to thus saving money on upkeep costs).
Ultimately using Insulated Concrete Forms contributes toward energy savings by increasing the R-value. R-value is the measurement used when referring to how much heat can be trapped inside a material effectively limiting exposure to exterior pollutant sources resulting in lower heating & cooling bills each month.
Cordwood construction is a building technique that uses short, round pieces of wood (called cordwood) to build walls. The walls are typically made by stacking the cordwood and securing them with a mortar mix. This is an eco-friendly building material. This method has been used for centuries, and it’s becoming increasingly popular for its energy efficiency, affordability, and sustainability.
Cordwood construction offers many benefits. First of all, it’s an eco-friendly way to build. The use of natural materials like wood, sand, and lime reduces the carbon footprint of the building. Cordwood is also a renewable resource, and the use of cordwood can help reduce deforestation.
Another advantage of cordwood construction is its thermal mass. The dense walls of cordwood buildings can absorb and store heat, which can help regulate indoor temperatures. This means that cordwood buildings can be kept warm in the winter and cool in the summer with less energy consumption.
Cordwood construction is also relatively affordable, as the materials are often readily available and inexpensive. It also allows for creativity in design, as builders can incorporate different colours and shapes of wood into the walls.
Overall, cordwood construction is an excellent option for those who want to build a sustainable and energy-efficient home. It offers many benefits and can be a beautiful and unique addition to any property.
Strawbale construction is a method of building that uses bales of straw as the primary building material for walls. These bales are stacked and then coated with plaster or stucco to create the finished wall surface. This technique has been used for centuries and is becoming increasingly popular due to its many benefits.
One of the primary benefits of straw bale construction is its energy efficiency. Straw is an excellent insulator, offering high thermal resistance, which can help reduce heating and cooling costs. Additionally, straw is a renewable resource, making it a sustainable building material.
Straw bale construction is also relatively affordable, as the materials are often readily available and inexpensive. It also allows for creativity in design, as builders can shape the bales to create unique curves and angles.
Another advantage of straw bale construction is its fire resistance. Straw bales are tightly packed and compressed, making them difficult to ignite. In the event of a fire, straw bale walls will smoulder rather than burn, providing additional time for occupants to escape.
Finally, straw bale construction offers excellent sound insulation. The thick walls of straw-bale buildings can absorb sound, making them ideal for use in noisy environments or near busy roads.
Overall, straw bale construction is an excellent option for those who want to build an energy-efficient and sustainable home. It offers many benefits and can be a beautiful and unique addition to any property.
12. Stale Roofing
Slate roofing is a type of roofing material that is made from natural slate stone. It has been used for centuries and is known for its durability, longevity, and aesthetic appeal. Slate is a popular choice for roofing due to its many benefits.
One of the primary benefits of slate roofing is its durability. Slate is an incredibly durable material that can last for up to 150 years or more with proper maintenance. It is resistant to fire, wind, rain, and other weather conditions, making it an ideal choice for areas with harsh weather.
Slate roofing is also aesthetically pleasing. It comes in a variety of colours, sizes, and textures, which can be mixed and matched to create a unique and attractive roof. Slate roofing also adds value to a home, as it is considered a high-end roofing material.
Another advantage of slate roofing is its energy efficiency. Slate is a natural insulator, which means it can help keep a home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This can help reduce energy costs and make a home more comfortable.
Slate roofing is also low maintenance. It requires very little upkeep, and any necessary repairs are usually simple to perform. This can save homeowners time and money in the long run.
Overall, slate roofing is an excellent choice for those who want a durable, attractive, and energy-efficient roofing material. It offers many benefits and can increase the value of a home while providing long-lasting protection.
Thatch is a traditional roofing material made from natural plant fibres, such as straw, reed, or grass. It has been used for centuries and is still used today in some parts of the world. Thatch roofing provides many benefits, including its natural insulation properties, aesthetic appeal, and sustainability.
One of the primary benefits of thatch roofing is its natural insulation properties. Thatch roofs are excellent insulators, providing warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer. This can help reduce energy costs and make a home more comfortable.
Thatch roofing also offers an attractive and unique appearance. It can be used to create a rustic, traditional look that complements the natural surroundings. Thatch roofing can be designed in many different styles and shapes, making it a versatile roofing material.
Another advantage of thatch roofing is its sustainability. Thatch is a natural, renewable resource that is biodegradable and can be easily replaced. Its roofing requires minimal processing and has a low carbon footprint, making it an eco-friendly choice for those who want to minimize their impact on the environment.
Thatch roofing is also low maintenance. It is resistant to rot and decay, and any necessary repairs are usually simple to perform. Thatch roofs can last for many years with proper maintenance.
Overall, thatch roofing is an excellent choice for those who want a sustainable, attractive, and natural roofing material. It offers many benefits, including its natural insulation properties, aesthetic appeal, and sustainability.
Polyurethane is a versatile material that is commonly used in construction for insulation, sealants, adhesives, and coatings. One of the primary benefits of polyurethane is its excellent insulation properties. Polyurethane insulation is lightweight and provides high thermal resistance, which can help reduce energy costs and make a building more comfortable.
Polyurethane is also a long-lasting building material. It is resistant to moisture, chemicals, and abrasion, making it an ideal choice for coatings and sealants. Polyurethane coatings can protect surfaces from weathering, corrosion, and UV degradation, extending the life of the building materials.
Another advantage of polyurethane is its versatility. It can be moulded into different shapes and sizes, making it suitable for a wide range of applications. Polyurethane adhesives can be used to bond different materials together, including wood, metal, and plastic.
Polyurethane is also eco-friendly building material. It can be made from renewable resources, and it is recyclable. Polyurethane insulation can help reduce energy consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Overall, polyurethane is an excellent choice for those who want a durable, versatile, and eco-friendly material for their construction projects. It offers many benefits, including excellent insulation properties, durability, versatility, and sustainability.
Hempcrete is a composite of hemp hurd and lime binder that is used as an insulation material for roofs, walls, and/or slabs in buildings. It is a renewable and eco-friendly insulation material that is sourced from waste streams or by-products.
Hempcrete has desirable thermal, structural, and moisture-handling properties and is environmentally friendly. It compares favourably with conventional insulation materials in many ways and is a good choice for those who value low- or zero-carbon footprints, non-toxic materials, good thermal performance, durability, fire resistance, and high indoor air quality.
Hempcrete is an affordable and sustainable alternative to conventional insulation materials. However, it should be noted that Hempcrete does not have the structural capacity to fully support roof loads. The cost of Hempcrete depends on the level of finish desired, and it is generally on par with or less expensive than a wood frame house.
Hemp walls regulate moisture and have thermal mass properties that assist in temperature control. The R-value of hempcrete is still being investigated, but those living in hemp-concrete houses have found them more comfortable to live in and less costly to heat or cool than stick/plastic/gypsum houses.
Mycelium is the vegetative part of the fungus that grows underground in the soil or decaying organic matter. Recently, there has been a growing interest in using mycelium in construction due to its unique material properties. Mycelium can be grown in different shapes and sizes, making it a versatile building material. It is also lightweight, strong, and fire-resistant.
One of the most significant advantages of mycelium is its sustainability. It can be grown using agricultural waste, such as corn stalks and hemp hurds, which would otherwise end up in landfills. Mycelium can also be grown in a matter of days, making it a fast and efficient building material.
Mycelium can be used in many different applications, such as insulation, wall panels, bricks, and even furniture. It can be moulded into different shapes and sizes, allowing for creative and unique designs. Mycelium can also be combined with other materials, such as wood chips, to create a stronger and more durable composite material.
Overall, mycelium is an exciting and promising building material that offers many benefits, including sustainability, versatility, strength, and fire resistance. As research into mycelium continues, it has the potential to revolutionize the construction industry and provide a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional building materials.
Ferrock is a type of eco-friendly concrete that is made from recycled materials, including steel dust and other industrial waste products. It is a sustainable alternative to traditional concrete that offers many benefits.
One of the most significant advantages of Ferrock is its environmental friendliness. It is made from recycled materials, which reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Ferrock also absorbs carbon dioxide during its manufacturing process, making it a carbon-negative material.
Ferrock is also incredibly strong and durable. It is resistant to fire, water, and corrosion, making it an ideal building material for bridges, tunnels, and other infrastructure projects. Ferrock is also easy to work with and can be moulded into different shapes and sizes. You can buy all these materials through an online B2B construction marketplace.
Another advantage of Ferrock is its affordability. It is generally less expensive than traditional concrete, and its production process is relatively simple and straightforward.
Timbercrete is a building material that combines sawdust or wood chips with cement to create a lightweight, energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly building material. It offers many benefits, including excellent insulation properties, durability, fire resistance, and sustainability.
One of the most significant advantages of Timbercrete is its insulation properties. It provides superior insulation compared to traditional concrete, which can help reduce energy consumption and lower heating and cooling costs. It also has excellent soundproofing capabilities, making it an ideal choice for residential and commercial buildings.
Timbercrete is also incredibly durable and fire-resistant. It can withstand extreme temperatures, making it a safe and reliable choice for construction in areas prone to wildfires. It is also resistant to pests, rot, and decay, making it a long-lasting and low-maintenance material.
Another advantage of Timbercrete is its sustainability. It is made from natural, renewable resources and can be recycled at the end of its life. It also has a low carbon footprint due to its manufacturing process, which uses less energy and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional concrete.
Overall, Timbercrete is an excellent choice for those who want a sustainable, durable, and energy-efficient building material. It offers many benefits, including excellent insulation properties, fire resistance, durability, and sustainability. As research into Timbercrete continues, it has the potential to become a more widely used and accepted material in the construction industry.
Cellulose insulation is a popular recycled building material choice for insulation in the construction industry. It is made from recycled paper and cardboard, which makes it an eco-friendly and sustainable option. Cellulose insulation is also known for its excellent thermal performance, which makes it a popular choice for energy-efficient buildings.
In addition to its thermal performance, cellulose insulation is also an excellent sound insulator. It can reduce outside noise and improve the acoustics of a building, making it ideal for use in theatres, concert halls, and other spaces that require good sound insulation.
Cellulose insulation is also fire-resistant. It is treated with fire-retardant chemicals that make it more difficult for fires to spread. This makes it a safe and reliable choice for use in homes and other buildings.
Overall, cellulose insulation is an excellent choice for those who want a sustainable, energy-efficient, and safe building material. It offers many benefits, including excellent thermal performance, sound insulation, and fire resistance. As research into sustainable building materials continues, cellulose insulation is likely to become a more widely used and accepted material in the construction industry.
Cork is a versatile and sustainable building material that has many applications in the construction industry. One of the primary uses of cork in construction is as insulation. Cork insulation is an excellent choice for those who want a sustainable and energy-efficient building material. It is lightweight, easy to install, and offers excellent thermal and acoustic insulation properties.
Cork is also used as flooring in many buildings. Cork flooring is popular in homes and commercial buildings because it is durable, comfortable to walk on, and has excellent sound insulation properties. It is also available in many different colours and patterns, making it a versatile and attractive flooring option.
Another use of cork in construction is as a wall covering. Cork wall tiles are a popular choice for those who want a sustainable and stylish way to finish their walls. These tiles are lightweight, easy to install, and available in many different colours and textures.
Cork is also used as a roofing material. Cork roofs are durable, waterproof, and have excellent insulation properties. They are an excellent choice for those who want a sustainable and low-maintenance roofing material.
Overall, cork is an excellent choice for those who want a sustainable and versatile building material. It offers many benefits, including excellent insulation properties, durability, and versatility. As research into sustainable building materials continues, cork is likely to become a more widely used and accepted material in the construction industry.