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Natural Materials for Sustainable Homes

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Today, there is rising awareness regarding conserving the environment and building “green” houses. This is surely a very positive aspect in times of climate change and global heating. We all have to do our part to save our planet.

Whether you have planned a completely new house or only want to renovate your home, new materials will be used to fulfil your ideas. It depends on you if your choice of materials is eco-friendly or not. One thing is for sure that a lot of natural materials exist and there is no need to use synthetic and harmful ones. In this article, we give you a general idea of such materials that you may use.

Wood

One of the most antique building materials is also one of the most modern materials used today in sustainable houses. The wide range of applications makes wood the most used material in this sector. From the main supporting structure to fine furniture, almost every part of your home can be made from wood. Correct construction avoids the need to use chemical wood protection. It offers excellent insulation, a warm surface, and antiseptic characteristics.

Clay and adobe

Probably the first houses of mankind were made of this material and got through centuries. There are different forms to construct a building. Clay can be formed by your hands to construct walls or even benches and bathroom furniture. Its soft, skin-friendly surface is able to absorb a great amount of humidity and later emit it to the room. Instead of wet clay mixed on location from dry powder out of big sacs and water, you also can use dry adobe bricks. There are workshops too and your house can be a DIY project, constructed by you and your family.

Rammed earth

Similar to clay, pure earth is a great and completely natural material to form walls or floors. The durability is reached from the high pressure applied during the production process. Easy to mould, each mason may use blocks similar to traditional bricks in the construction.

Also, read Exciting Ideas To “Go Green” With Your Fix + Flip Business

Straw bales

It seems to be a fairy-tale, but it’s true: agricultural waste may serve to build your house! Just make sure that you plan the walls thicker than traditional brick construction. Excellent insulation is paired with perfect fire resistance, although first, you may think the opposite. The material is healthy and resistant.

Bamboo

Without any doubt, bamboo is a very good and well-tried construction material, first used in Asia and South America. Due to its extreme stability even large scale roofs and pavilions may be made of bamboo. Engineers worldwide classify bamboo as a building material for the future.

Cork

This natural material is fantastic and well known for its high acoustic and heat-insulating properties. Floors, ceiling and wall panels can be made from cork as well as from cork granules. These also can be filled as heat insulation in clamshell-type walls made from wood or bricks.

Sheep’s wool

Thinking about insulation, we come to a reference in heat insulation. Sheep’s wool has warmed us for thousands of years in form of clothing like woollen clothes or blankets, but now it can also be used in the interior of walls or ceilings to keep our homes warm.

Wood fibre

Normally used as panels, this material made of recycled wood is perfect in combination with wooden timber-framed constructions and also for wall covering and panelling. Due to its low price, wood fibre panels can be used even in economic constructions and structural insulation panels (SIPS) made of wood particles and some additives.

Recycled materials

Recycled wood or even recycled plastic also may be transformed into a durable building material with good insulation properties. Traditional concrete can be replaced by AshCrete, made of almost up to 100 per cent recycled fly ash. Even steel waste may be transformed into a highly durable brick that contains steel dust and silica.

Bottom Line

Apart from all the sustainable materials listed above the market offers you much more possibilities to use renewable materials instead of traditional ones. Some conventional materials used in the construction field are harmful due to their composition. Others are not directly harmful but need a lot of energy or long-distance transport to be produced.

Therefore, we should think of new fabricated, natural building materials and recycled materials. The world is full of products already fabricated and at the end of their lifecycle, we can help give these products a new life by using them to build our homes.

PG

Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to greensneha@yahoo.in

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