Building your own home can be exciting. You get to choose your layout and personalize your home as much as you would like! Another huge perk of building your own home is deciding what building materials to use. When choosing your construction materials, it is important to think about the environmental impact they have. There are a number of sustainable building materials out there that can help you create an eco-friendly house.
What is sustainable architecture?
You’ve probably heard of sustainable living already, but what about sustainable architecture? The idea behind sustainable architecture is to minimize the negative environmental impact that a building has. Often times, this means using environmentally-friendly materials (referred to as sustainable materials) and figuring out how to make buildings energy efficient. Constructing your own home gives you the opportunity to practice sustainable architecture.
Why should you use sustainable building materials?
Sustainable building materials not only minimize environmental impact but save you money and make your home more valuable. The majority of sustainable materials are meant to last because they’re extremely durable. A home that is built to last will need less maintenance, which means you won’t have to worry about unexpected costs.
Houses that use sustainable materials have a high resale value. While selling your newly constructed house might not be an immediate goal, you may eventually decide to relocate. And when you do, you’ll be able to market the fact that your home is made out of sustainable materials.
What are some examples of sustainable and eco-friendly building materials?
There are numerous sustainable and eco-friendly building materials out there. It’s important to note that not every material will be right for every home. Some of the materials below may degrade or need to be replaced frequently in certain climates.
Aluminium is a sustainable material. So it is steel. These metals can be reused and recycled over and over, and less energy is used every time it is melted down and reshaped. They’re also great building materials because they’re long-lasting.
Steel is frequently used for structural support because it doesn’t rot, warp or burn and it is termite resistant. Aluminum has a number of building purposes, including being used as a siding material. Aluminum siding is waterproof, insect-proof, and cost-efficient.
Bamboo is one of the best eco-friendly materials because it is naturally occurring, fast-growing, extremely durable, and easy to transport. Bamboo is frequently used in flooring and in cabinets. Bamboo flooring has increased in popularity because it is as durable as oak flooring, easy to install, easy to maintain, and cheaper than traditional hardwood flooring. Bamboo does need to be treated and finished before it can be used. Untreated bamboo attracts insects and also swells when wet.
If you want to use wood as a building material, look for reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood is wood that has been salvaged or repurposed from other wood structures. Using reclaimed wood helps preserve forests and keeps wood out of landfills. Each piece of reclaimed wood is unique and can add character to your home.
Cork is a fast-growing bark that is harvested from cork oaks. The harvesting process doesn’t hurt the tree, and then the cork bark can regrow and then be harvested again. It is typically used in floor tiles. This material is resistant to wear, absorbs noise, and is a good thermal insulator. There are a few downsides to a cork, however. One is that it does become brittle over time, which means that it might need to be replaced more frequently than other materials. The other downside is that is it typically harvested in the Western Mediterranean or in Northern Africa, so it does need to be shipped overseas.
If you’re looking for natural insulation for your home, look no further than sheep’s wool. Sheep grow wool to adapt to cold weather conditions. Harvesting wool doesn’t hurt the sheep, and the wool will grow back. When wool fibers are compressed, the fibers create tiny air pockets. These air pockets trap air to help keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The wool also absorbs moisture from the air.
If you’re in the process of building your own home and want to minimize the negative impact your home has on the environment, using sustainable and eco-friendly materials can help. Sustainable materials are increasingly becoming available in most home improvement stores. Visit your local store today and see what materials they have in stock!