As more and more people become conscious of the influence that our decisions have on the environment, the green construction movement is gaining ground globally. This has led to a rise in the demand for eco-friendly materials, particularly in the construction industry. Green building materials come in a variety of forms; they can be synthetic (like recycled plastics) or natural (like wood or wool). When selecting materials for green buildings, there are a few important factors to take into account: Are they safe to use? Do they recycle them? Are they produced locally? Do they have a small carbon impact, too, to finish? An overview of some of the most popular green building materials that you might wish to take into account for your next project is provided in the following article.
Green roofing materials
One of the most important decisions when building a roof is the type of material used. Roofing materials are responsible for 25% of the lifetime CO2 emissions of a building, with the potential for savings of up to 90% by choosing the right material.
Roof tiles are an eco-friendly roofing option because they are made of recycled materials, and are available in a range of styles and colors. They are easy to install and don’t require any special tools. Roof tiles are highly resistant to UV rays, making them a good choice for areas that get a lot of suns
- Clay or concrete tiles: Clay and concrete tiles are natural and durable, and are a good choice for areas that get a lot of rainfall. They are also a good choice for areas that experience high winds, as they are very sturdy.
- EPDM rubber tiles: EPDM rubber tiles are a good choice for areas with excessive rainfall, as they are very water resistant and durable. These tiles are made from recycled rubber and are easy to maintain.
- Plastic or composite tiles: Plastic or composite tiles are commonly used for commercial or industrial buildings. They are inexpensive, and very durable, with an estimated lifespan of around 50 years. They are resistant to UV rays and chemicals, making them a good choice for areas like patios or food preparation areas.
Eco-friendly roofing materials
Eco-friendly roofing materials are typically simple to install and have no negative environmental impact both during production and throughout the duration of their useful lives in addition to being strong, beautiful, and long-lasting. Some of the greenest roofing materials are listed below:
- Rubber EPDM is a synthetic substance produced from recycled materials. It has an expected lifespan of between 50 and 75 years and is frequently used in roofing materials. Because EPDM rubber is resistant to UV radiation, chemicals, and severe temperatures, it is a fantastic material for green roofs and rooftop gardens.
- Cool Roofing: For environmentally friendly roofs, cool roofs are a popular option. They are roofing materials with high reflectivity that, by deflecting the sun’s rays, can assist prevent overheating in buildings. Metal, asphalt, or ceramic tiles are common lightweight materials used to construct cool roofs.
- One of the most popular and environmentally friendly roofing materials is shingles. They are relatively simple to install and manufactured from recycled materials. There are numerous varieties of shingles on the market, each with a different price point and design.
- Cattail or straw roofs: Cattail or straw roofs are an environmentally beneficial roofing choice that is frequently utilized in natural building projects. Extreme temperatures and heavy rain have no effect on them because of their high durability.
A long-time favorite among environmentally friendly materials is natural stone. Since the beginning of time, stone has been used to construct buildings, and it is still a common material today. It is readily accessible, has a distinctive look, and may enhance any building’s design or architecture. Natural stone is incredibly durable, with some varieties of stone lasting for decades, and it is a fantastic insulator, keeping houses cool in the summer and warm in the winter. To prevent the depletion of natural resources, it is crucial to get natural stone for green buildings from a sustainable source. Natural stone possibilities that are excellent for green buildings include granite, sandstone, and limestone. Considering the variety of forms and hues available in artificial stones, they are a fantastic option for green structures as well. They are typically more affordable than natural stones and are easily accessible in the majority of places.
There is a strong reason why wood is a widely used building material. It has aesthetic potential that other materials frequently lack, is readily available, and is simple to deal with. Wood that has been properly obtained and sustainably harvested is referred to as “green” or sustainable wood. This implies that trees are harvested sustainably, with new ones being planted to replace those that have been removed. It is possible to accomplish this by either collecting already-dead trees (referred to as “post-harvest” lumber) or by harvesting trees that are currently growing in managed forests. Everything from flooring and walls to furniture and cabinets may be made from sustainable wood. Sustainable wood goods are also available, such as paper manufactured from recycled materials or soybeans.
Green walls and ceilings
Indoor areas can benefit greatly from the addition of greenery thanks to green walls and ceilings. Various materials, including synthetic fabrics and organic elements like vines and moss, are utilized to make green walls and ceilings. They are a green method to provide a dash of color, act as insulation, and remove noxious elements from the air. Due to research showing that green walls and ceilings are beneficial for patients, pupils, and staff, they are frequently employed in hospitals, schools, and businesses. The following materials are frequently used to make green walls and ceilings:
- Fabric: Synthetic or spandex fabrics are frequently used to make green walls. They are reasonably priced and available in a variety of patterns and colors. They are ideal for temporary decorations because they are portable and simple to put up and take down.
- Plants: Plants can be used in a variety of ways and are a natural alternative for green walls. A variety of climbing vines are available, or you can use smaller plants to produce a “wallpaper” look. You have a wide range of choices because there are numerous plant species that are appropriate for green walls.
- One of the most cutting-edge materials utilized to create green walls is 3D-printed wallpaper. It may be printed with a wide range of designs and is produced from synthetic textiles. It is a fantastic option for big walls and is simple to install.
Floors made from eco-friendly materials
There are many eco-friendly flooring materials on the market – both traditional and modern. They are usually chosen based on aesthetic preferences, but it is important to keep sustainability in mind when choosing flooring materials. Here are some of the most common eco-friendly flooring options:
- Cork: Cork is a natural flooring material that is commonly used in eco-friendly homes. It is made from the bark of cork oak trees and has been used for thousands of years. Cork flooring is durable and resilient, and it is also resistant to pests like insects and termites.
- Eco-Friendly Vinyl: Eco-friendly vinyl flooring is a good choice for people who want the look of vinyl without a higher carbon footprint. It is made from recycled materials and is designed to resemble traditional floorings like vinyl and linoleum.
- Rubber: Rubber is another eco-friendly flooring material that comes in the form of tiles. It is commonly made from recycled materials and has many different patterns and styles.
- Bamboo: Bamboo is a natural and sustainable flooring material that is very easy to maintain. It is grown in a sustainable way and comes in a variety of colors and styles.
There are many different types of green construction materials that can be used to construct long-lasting and energy-efficient structures. Eco-friendly materials should be used whenever possible because they can lessen the negative effects of building. Here are a few considerations to bear in mind while selecting materials for a green building: Are they safe to use? Do they recycle them? Are they produced locally? Do they have a small carbon impact, too, to finish? You can make sure that your green building materials are environmentally friendly and sustainable by taking these elements into consideration.