Using environmentally conscious and green materials during home construction has become a huge trend in the construction industry. And these green building materials are being used more and more during new home construction projects specifically.
There are tons of green building materials to choose from, but determining which is best for your future home can be difficult and even overwhelming. While it is important to be conscious of your carbon footprint you also want to make sure the overall build and design of your home aren’t compromised in the process. In this blog we are going to cover some of the different green building materials out there, however, it is extremely important for you to discuss the use of these materials with your builder before construction begins!
Why People are Building Green
The green building industry is booming, with people now looking for green homes and green materials to use throughout their homes. There are many reasons as to why people choose green during construction such as:
- Conserve natural resources
- Reuse existing material
- Reduce waste in the environment by creating less landfill garbage
- Save money on energy bills throughout the home
- Minimize greenhouse gas emissions and pollution
Green Building Materials
The green building materials you choose to use during your home construction project will ultimately affect the look and feel of your new home, so choosing wisely is key. There are so many green building materials out there, with each one coming in different forms for you to choose from. Some examples of these materials are:
One green building material that is very easy to reuse is glass! About 27% of the glass that is manufactured today is actually recycled and by mixing this recycled glass with fly ash a concrete-like substance is created. This material is perfect for blocks, panels, and even construction molds. Any glass that is leftover can then be transformed into countertops, tile, backsplash, or even colorful pebbles for your yard called glass mulch. Opting for recycled glass while building your home will actually reduce water pollution by 50% and air pollution by 20%.
Steel rods have been one of the most successful green building materials in construction. In the past when buildings were demolished the majority of steel would be tossed into landfills. Today, however, 98% of that steel is recycled and turned into rebar steel. This steel comes from iron and is used to reinforce a structure during the construction period.
Upcycled plastic is another green building material that has become more popular in the construction industry. This recycled plastic can be turned into plastic sheets and plastic lumber that can be used to create decks and siding for your home. Plastic lumber is much like regular wood but it does not require any chemicals to be used during the process, making this green building material a great choice.
Cob is a natural material that is essentially a mixture of mud that is made up of various natural ingredients such as soil, straw, sand, and sometimes even lime. This material is definitely one that is more niche and using it tends to make homes look more whimsical and enchanting. The use of this green building material will be energy efficient and low in cost, however, building a home with this material will take much longer and be more difficult to upkeep. So when it comes to using this material when building your new home, it is not our first choice at BRH.
Another green building material that can be used is stone. Living in a stone home is low maintenance and extremely low maintenance and any leftover stone can be used for finishings such as countertops or tile. Building your home with stone doesn’t release any chemicals or toxins.
Bamboo is considered one of the most green building materials out there. It has a high self generation rate, which essentially means that it can grow extremely quickly. New homes can be built with bamboo and leftover sections of the green building material could easily be recycled into flooring, furniture, cabinets, or fencing. This material does require treatment in order to resist rotting and insects so it is important that you have knowledge of what it takes to maintain the material.
Just like bamboo, cork grows very quickly. It can also be harvested from a living tree, which continues to grow and reproduce more cork. This green building material is not only resilient but also flexible and can revert to its orginal shape even after under pressure. This material is also a good thermal insulator because it is actually fire resistant. And because cork is nearly impermeable it won’t absorb water or rot.
Ferrock is a green building material that is relatively new in the industry and is composed from recycled materials like steel dust or ferrous rock. This material is actually stronger than concrete itself and is a great alternative to cement as it can be mixed to form driveways, staircases, pathways, and other structures. Some people even belive that ferrock is more weather resistant than concrete.
Straw and Hay Bales
Are a green building material that can be used for framing. And it can also be used as fill material for in between columns and in beams. Straw and hay can be harvested and re-planted very easily and has a very low impact on the environment. This green building material can also be placed within walls, attics and ceilings to help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter!
The last green building material we are going to talk about is hempcrete. Hempcrete is a concrete-like material that is created from the woody inner fibres of a hemp plant. These fibres are then bound with lime to create concrete-like shapes that are both strong and light.
Because these hemp concrete blocks are so lightweight, it can dramatically reduce the energy that is used to transport the blocks. This green building material is sturdy, has good thermal and acoustic insulation, and is fire resistant. Additionally, is a sustainable material this is CO2 negative, meaning it absorbs more CO2 than it emits.
Using Green Building Materials for Your New Home
Whether you are interested in an eco friendly home build or just a custom built home, our team at Built Right Homes is here to help! Contact our team today for more information about how BRH can help make your dream home a reality.