What Is The Most Eco-friendly Material To Build A House?

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Building a home nowadays is so much more innovative than the bricks and mortar approach used for centuries. Now there is a range of materials that offer both a reduction in environmental impact and the ability to lower energy costs resulting in a greener home for decades to come. The very best material will vary depending on specific needs but here are the top contenders to consider.

Recycled Steel

Creating steel is an energy-intensive process, but recycled steel avoids this while still providing incredible tensile strength for beams and frames. Steel can be recovered nowadays from a range of products. Six scrap cars provide enough to build an average sized home.


Bamboo is a cheap and robust material that has been used in Asia for centuries. Unlike conventional timber, bamboo is extremely fast to produce as some species grow up to 1 meter per day. Not only is bamboo great to build with, but the plants also absorb vast amounts of CO2 which could produce a carbon neutral home.

Sheep's Wool

We are probably all familiar with woolen clothes, but sheep's wool is being used increasingly in home design too. A 10 cm layer of wool insulation provides a 4x reduction in heat loss through a wall or ceiling. Couple that with the fact that wool is cheap and easy to work with and you can see why it is becoming a popular and eco-friendly choice.

Plant-Based Polyurethane Rigid Foam

Although not a name that trips of the tongue, plant-based polyurethane rigid foam is a fantastic material. This foam is made of kelp, hemp or bamboo which are all fast-growing plants. The material produced from these plants is a solid foam layer which comes in blocks. These blocks are impermeable which means they offer excellent protection against the elements and good soundproofing qualities.

Precast Concrete

Although concrete is not typically on the eco-friendly list of materials, it does have its place. Precast concrete is concrete that is poured into molds off-site. Pouring it into molds results in less waste and is cheaper due to multiple pourings done at once rather than individually on a building site.

Reclaimed or Recycled Wood

Much like bamboo, wood is a fantastic building material. Using recycled or reclaimed wood prevents used wood from being wasted, and no new trees are cut down. Older wood can also be used to give homes more character along with providing structural support.


Possibly the oldest material of all. Earth still has a place in construction as it keeps homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Typically, these homes are produced in areas with a mild, stable climate such as tropical countries and Latin America. Houses made of earth are easy to repair compared to other materials though they do tend to be more prone to weather damage.

For more information on eco-friendly materials for house construction contact Grayson Homes at 919-578-6222.