What Are The Materials Used In Green Home Building?
Did you know that, after coal-fired power stations, concrete production is the second largest polluting industry on earth? Five percent of all the anthropogenic carbon dioxide comes from concrete used in the construction industry. With both the industry and consumers focused on environmental issues let's take a look at the current alternative materials to used to create a green home.
Straw is a fantastic material in that it is stable and provides excellent insulation. It also requires no real treatment to use and is one of the cheapest building materials. It is a suitable material in most locations except those with high levels of rainfall or humidity.
An obvious alternative but still a good one. Wood is far better for the environment and often offers aesthetic benefits over concrete which consumers prefer. Furthermore, well-managed timber forests can increase biodiversity and wildlife as well.
Bamboo has been used in Asia for centuries, but it is growing in popularity around the world. Bamboo is extremely fast growing and absorbs vast amounts of carbon dioxide making it a very sustainable choice. It is an easy material to produce and so tends to be cheaper than many alternatives.
Love it or hate it, plastic is a versatile material with many potential uses such as cladding, drainage pipes or flooring. Recycled plastic is often cost neutral and is becoming an increasingly popular choice for construction companies.
Mycelium is the root network of fungi. This material can be grown in molds or around other structural materials. Because it is organic any damage is cheap to repair, and it also offers high amounts of insulation.
Possibly the oldest and most natural building material of all. Rammed earth is soil that is compressed around a basic framework. Although it sounds simplistic rammed earth is a reliable, durable and long-lasting material that is found any place in the world.
A mixture of grass and concrete as the name implies. Grasscrete is essentially concrete but with holes cut out to allow grass to grow through it. It is mainly used for patios and driveways to allow drainage while still being durable.
Hempcrete is made from a mixture of the woody stems of the Sativa plant, lime, and water. Together these materials are mixed to produce hemp bricks which are an incredibly strong, carbon negative material. It is also waterproof, fireproof and will last for hundreds of years.