Sustainability is the future of development. Not only does it help save the environment but it also helps save money. One of the best ways to incorporate sustainability in construction is by using naturally sourced materials that require minimal processing and help conserve energy.
In this blog, we have listed some sustainable building materials that were used in the early ages but are not so commonly used in the modern world.
Sustainable Building Materials For A Better Environment
It would be wrong to blame only cars, factories and brick kilns because materials used in the construction of houses and buildings also leave a carbon footprint in the environment. Using natural and recyclable materials in the construction is a way of including sustainability and eco-friendliness in your lifestyle.
In order to promote sustainability and make Pakistan a waste-free country, Capital Development Authority (CDA) and a multinational firm have collaborated to build a road from plastic waste. This will set an example for other nations to do better to make this world a safer place to live.
Construction is one of the biggest industries of Pakistan and a lot of progress in using premium quality materials has been made. However, the modern world is talking a lot about sustainability and using green products that have a minimal carbon footprint and are recyclable. Some of these energy-efficient and sustainable building materials include bamboo, cork, straw bales, sheep wool, terrazzo, and recycled steel.
Let’s look at all these materials individually and see where these can be used.
Bamboo is a perennial grass that is found on every continent except Europe and Antarctica. Being one of the highly sustainable and green materials, bamboo has a lot of applications in the construction industry where it is used because of its strength. It has the ability to regenerate itself after the harvest and doesn’t need to be planted again.
Among the properties of bamboo is its durability which is why it is a preferred material for flooring and also makes the list of eco-friendly flooring options. Bamboo is lightweight and grows at a very high pace making it low-cost but trendy building material.
Cork is harvested from the bark of an oak tree and regrows. No tree is harmed or cut down to acquire the cork. Cork flooring is becoming popular in Pakistan due to the properties of cork which are numerous including it being inexpensive and easy to maintain. Because of its properties like being anti-microbial, insulation and ability to withstand pressure and coming back to its original shape, cork is widely used in flooring.
Apart from the flooring, it is also used as an insulation sheet in the walls as well as in floors. It does not rot, absorb water and if untreated, it will also not emit any harmful or toxic gases if burnt.
Straw is another green and sustainable building material that has a lot of uses in construction. Loose straw is highly flammable but when stored in bales, it shows some resistance to fire. Due to its insulation properties, it is used in walls and ceilings to make them resistant to heat and cold resulting in lower utility bills. Another reason for using straw bales in ceilings and walls is to make a room soundproof because it absorbs the noise and doesn’t let it pass.
It can be planted and harvested easily and does not affect the environment. Durability is its best characteristic as it can last up to a few decades. However, if there is moisture in the air and straw bales are exposed to it, it’s better to treat it right away before it gets worse.
Traditionally, the insulation used while constructing a house or a building is chemical-based which has a direct impact on the environment while it is being created. Other than the insulation materials mentioned above, sheep wool is another alternative that can be used in ceilings as well as walls and works just fine. It requires less energy to make and makes the building soundproof and energy-efficient.
Being one of the popular sources of wool, sheep wool is a bit expensive because it has to be treated to prevent an insect attack or the development of fungi. Sheep wool does not degrade easily like other insulation materials and regenerates easily.
Terrazzo is a popular material used in flooring as well as for walls. It is a composite material made up of cement, glass, stone, marble and quartz chips. The benefits of using terrazzo flooring and terrazzo walls include durability, low maintenance, ease to clean and environment friendliness. It is slightly expensive but its low maintenance and durability will let you enjoy it for a very long time.
Terrazzo comes in different colours and designs and you can choose from a wide variety. Different types of terrazzo flooring available in the market are cement terrazzo, epoxy terrazzo, monolithic terrazzo, rustic terrazzo and polyacrylate terrazzo.
Steel is one of the most recycled materials used in construction. Making a wooden frame of a house requires a lot of lumber for which many trees will need to be cut down, which can have a devastating impact on the environment. On the other hand, if recycled steel is used, it would take less energy as well as material from scrapped cars and other items will be used. That is how effective using steel is. It provides durability, which means it can help the structure withstand high winds and even earthquakes.
Sustainability has become an integral part of construction and development processes across the globe. More countries are moving toward greener products and energy resources as far as urban development is concerned.
You can also read our guide on how to make your bedroom eco-friendly if you are looking for ways to add sustainability to your lifestyle. For more sustainability and lifestyle-related blogs, head to Zameen Blog now.