Sustainable Building Materials

Sustainable Building Materials

What are sustainable building materials? The simplest explanation for sustainable building materials is that they are made with substances and using methods that are environmentally friendly. Sustainable building products do not give off toxic chemicals that can get into the ground water or the air, and they are made to last for a very long time.

The construction industry is starting to make sustainable building materials not only affordable, but innovative as well. As you plan your next building project, spend some time looking into the different green construction materials that are available to help make your project environmentally friendly.

Solar Roof Tiles

The days of large solar panels being the only option for including solar energy into a building project have come to an end. There are now solar panels in the shape of different types of roof tiles that can not only give you a solar-powered roof that looks great, but also significantly expand the amount of energy you can collect on a daily basis.

Solar panels are limited in size and scope, and that has always been an obstacle to allowing homeowners to collect the maximum amount of solar energy. But when the entire roof is made of solar roofing tiles, then the entire roof becomes a collector of solar energy. Solar roofing tiles are quickly becoming very popular among sustainable construction contractors.

Sustainable Concrete

Did you know that concrete is responsible for nearly 10 percent of all of the CO2 emissions in the world? When we learn something new like this, it does not take long to find sustainable solutions that reduce those emissions. Sustainable concrete is made from recycled concrete, wood chips and glass to create a mixture that significantly reduces CO2 emissions.

If you are doing a building project, then you are more than likely going to use concrete. Instead of adding more CO2 to the environment, you should do your part and utilize sustainable concrete products.

Recycled Insulation

It has been found that blown-in insulation made from recycled paper, wood and cardboard is more efficient than the chemical foams usually used for this type of insulation. When you are planning your building project and are considering forms of insulation, you should make blown-in insulation made from recycled materials your insulation of choice.

Straw Bales

If you are looking for something different, inexpensive and effective, then consider using straw bales as the core of your next building project. Using straw bales is a process that is starting to become popular among Native American builders, and it is picking up momentum in other parts of the country.

If you are doing a building project, then you are more than likely going to use concrete. Instead of adding more CO2 to the environment The straw bales are laid out to be the core of the walls, and then drywall enclosures and exterior wall protection are put in place around them. For example, Stucco is a material that adheres very well to straw bales and looks professional when it is finished. Straw is an inexpensive by-product of the grain industry, it is excellent as an insulating product and it can last for a very long time.

Composite Wood Products

Your next porch, deck or wood patio should be made from durable composite wood products made from recycled wood and paper. A composite board is designed to withstand the elements and not need any maintenance for a very long time. Composite wood products are durable, and can be painted just like regular wood. They work well for decks, fences, porches, patios and Gazebos in the backyard. They are natural products that utilize recycled materials, which makes composite wood the best of all sustainable worlds.

Low-E Windows

Low-E windows are designed to be the most energy efficient windows available. They are double-paned windows with insulation between each pane. They are constructed to limit air flow, and they are made of sustainable products. These types of energy efficient windows can be the best ways for keeping down energy costs and meeting all of the guidelines of sustainable building.

Many of the sustainable building materials available these days are marked to make them easy to find. But there are some types of green construction materials that take a little research to discover. The financial benefit of using sustainable building materials comes after the project is complete and you start to pay operating costs for the structure that has been built. The positive effect for the environment can be measured in the reduced air and water pollution that comes with using these green building materials.