Sustainable building materials to look out for
Sustainable building materials help the construction sector to lower its carbon footprint and create more environmentally conscious options for both commercial and residential buildings going forward. Integrating more sustainable materials can attract a broader range of clients who have eco issues as their focus and also increase the value of construction. Greater use of more sustainable building materials also has advantages when it comes to maintenance and utility costs too. These are just some of the building materials that are available for use right now and which have the greatest sustainable potential.
- Smart glass. Using smart glass in construction has major benefits both when it comes to the energy consumption of the property and the costs that this generates. The smart glass will adapt to the way that heating and air conditioning are being used in a building. So, during the winter months, the glass is transparent so that sunlight can fully penetrate and support any heating in the building, while in the summer the glass can become translucent to help the interior stay cooler.
- Solar panels. The integration of solar panels into building design is something that has become a lot more commonplace in recent years. That’s because there are many advantages to using solar panels, especially in terms of generating energy for the building. Solar panels might be tiles or mounted structures and can be vital in terms of reducing the building’s reliance on nonrenewable energy.
- Insulated concrete. As a sustainable material, insulated concrete has a lot to offer. It will create an airtight barrier that helps to avoid unwanted energy transfers, for example. Plus, insulated concrete is also used to form an elite thermal mass, which can be vital to maintain temperatures inside the building.
- Roof tiles. Composite roofing shingles are the more sustainable option because they have much greater longevity than other roof tiles, such as those made from asphalt or wood. With virtually no maintenance required, composite roofing shingles will stay true to the natural aspect of traditional materials while generating very little waste and no maintenance burden.
- Bamboo flooring. Wood floors have become a must-have in many residential buildings but bamboo offers a much more sustainable option than traditional types of wood. Bamboo has a harvesting cycle of three years, compared to the 25 years it takes to grow and harvest regular wood. Choosing bamboo considerably slows down the rate of deforestation, as it provides time for trees to grow back.
- Environmentally friendly insulation. Any type of insulation can potentially fit into this category, as insulation will always have a positive impact on energy wastage within a building. However, the greenest options for insulation today are those that are sustainably sourced and avoid the use of toxic chemicals. Hemp insulation, for example, has the same insulative effect as traditional fibreglass but is 92% natural.
The construction sector has a lot to consider when it comes to a more eco-friendly approach – working with these sustainable materials is a great way to take advantage of both the cost and the environmental benefits.