During this time of a global energy crisis, spurred on by an over-reliance on limited fossil fuels such as oil and gas, there is more need than ever for consumers to seek ways to reduce living costs for themselves and their families. One of the best ways of doing this is by investing in eco-friendly building materials.
Whether used around the home or for larger construction projects, adopting eco-friendly materials can save money both in the short and long term. Here’s a brief guide to the best eco-friendly building materials available in 2022.
It may not be the first thing that springs to mind, but bamboo has become increasingly popular as a building material. Bamboo is more common than people think, available throughout the world. Unlike more traditional wood taken from trees that require years to regrow, it also reforests much quicker and rivals steel in tensile strength. The only reason bamboo isn’t currently used more, it seems, is that it feels less traditional than the popular wooden variants.
Natural insulation boards
These can be essential in cutting energy costs for your home, as good insulation prevents heat escaping or can help keep the place cool during a heatwave. While some insulation panels may be made with plastic, sustainable materials such as sheep’s wool or straw bales can be just as if not more effective. They’re also easier to maintain and replace later. Be sure to invest in an insulation board that can be as good for the environment as it is for your home.
Still arguably the most reliable material for maintaining the structural integrity of modern buildings, steel is also the most recycled material in the world for good reason. Recycling steel saves an impressive 75% of the energy costs of making it from scratch, making it universally popular. You simply lose nothing yet gain plenty by using recycled steel in your construction project.
A popular material that people may not initially think of as eco-friendly, glass is made from natural products like sand and limestone. Its brittle reputation can sometimes disguise its superior strength and durability when used right; this is why it remains one of the most popular materials used in construction. Insulation is also a key strength, making it ideal for windows in warm homes and offices. Being easily recyclable makes it a highly sustainable choice.
We’ve already touched on the strengths of bamboo in comparison, but more generally wood has been a popular building material for centuries due to its impressive strength, durability and insulation properties – all of which translate well to new homes. Overuse of new wood can in turn be bad for the environment if not balanced out with adequate reforestation, but the good news is wood can be just as easily recycled as the other materials listed here, and it could perhaps solve some of the world’s problems if more of us adopted that approach.
Working together with cement as the ‘bread and butter’ choice for building materials, concrete is especially famous for its durability and strength. It is also easily recycled, and this too has helped make it the faithful go-to material for new home builds for many years. Even appearing ‘weathered’ over time can simply be considered a part of its character – though it can be easily replaced if needs must.
Yeah, in a lot of ways plastic is the poster child for unsustainable anti-eco materials, but while it’s a part of our world we may as well use it.
That isn’t to say we should make more; rather continue using what we do have, because it so happens that plastic is an amazingly recyclable material. Its (often annoyingly) durable nature can be used to our advantage if put to good use, and perhaps one of the better ways to do that is as a construction material.
When you are completing your building works with these eco-friendly building materials, consider using skip hire for any scraps or waste that could be left behind. This can be even more eco-friendly than going to your local tip, as waste companies recycle between 90 and 100% of the waste they receive from their skips.
When it comes to sustainable living and eco-friendly building materials there are certainly further efforts you can put in to create an eco paradise. Otherwise, though, the examples listed above should work perfectly for most people regardless of circumstance. However environmentally minded you may be, hopefully this has shown the potential universal benefits awaiting anyone who embraces eco-friendly building materials.0