Choosing the right building materials is one of the crucial points in home renovation. You have to select materials that can withstand the test of time. There are also other factors to consider, such as affordability, resource efficiency, and design flexibility. Lately, incorporating eco-friendly materials into various construction projects has also become a trend to address growing demands on sustainability and environmental conservation. Going green isn’t just a fad or a philanthropic statement. There’s a number of benefits that go along with it. Most construction companies are starting to see these benefits and are trying to incorporate more of the “green building” advocacy into their residential and commercial construction projects in Utah and other parts of the USA. Through using sustainable materials, building owners, tenants, and homeowners alike can enjoy lower maintenance and replacement cost over time. Also, going for more eco-friendly materials promotes better energy conservation and enhanced occupant health and productivity. If you’re looking into renovating your home while playing your role in preserving Mother Earth, consider the following materials:
Plain wood is still the top-of-mind choice when it comes to sustainable building materials. Trees from properly managed forests are renewable. Hence, wood is more available and relatively cheaper than other materials like steel or concrete. It is also known for its durability and flexibility. Moreover, it absorbs more carbon dioxide and undergoes less energy-intensive methods when being processed into construction products.
What can be more organic than materials derived from dirt or soil? Rammed earth has gained popularity due to its ability to exude a similar texture and feel to concrete. Its first use dates back to early human civilization, thousands of years ago, and has been proven to last a long time. Rammed earth is best used for walls and floors because of its high thermal mass or capability to store heat. In turn, this balances humidity and temperature levels, which can bring about lower energy costs.
Straw bales are usually made from agricultural industry waste such as leftover stalks from crops like rice, wheat, and oats. Who would have thought that materials traditionally used for animal beddings can address the demands for a more sustainable housing solution? Contrary to popular belief stemming from a known fable, straw bale homes are fire resistant and are commended for their insulating properties. As a result, incorporating straw bales into your home’s interior can also significantly reduce energy bills.
At first sight, one would think of bamboo as a tree. However, it is grass that is very tree-like in appearance. This makes it a more viable and sustainable option than trees because of its fast regrowth rate. While most trees take 25 to 50 years to grow for harvest fully, bamboo only needs four to six years. Bamboo is also known for its high tensile strength, durability, and termite resistance—making it an excellent alternative to wood for ceiling, flooring, and furniture.
As plastic continues to clog landfills, pose a threat to marine life, and be among the sources of greenhouse gas emissions, more studies find ways to recycle plastics and repurpose them. Recycled plastics are commonly mixed with virgin plastic (plastic that has not been processed before) and other materials such as concrete and wood. Despite its weight, recycled plastic produces versatile and durable products suitable for a wide range of construction needs. This makes it an ideal alternative to concrete and wood when it comes to landscaping and fencing. As more sustainable materials become available and affordable, building a greener home is far from impossible. The key is to keep an open mind and be creative in choosing materials for your home renovation. Going green seems simple, but it can surely go a long way not only in preserving the environment but in improving your overall quality of life as well.