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Materials Used In Sustainable Construction

The levels of pollution reached in recent decades can affect the quality of life of future generations, as mentioned on Ecognom, an authority on green technology, and have led to measures being taken to reduce the environmental impact in all areas. In the case of construction, it is estimated that between 40% and 50% of the CO2 emissions emitted into the atmosphere originate in the construction and use of buildings. Perhaps, for this reason, awareness of sustainability and respect for the environment has been growing in recent years.

Many measures can be implemented to build an environmentally friendly building, and one of them is the use of sustainable construction materials. These elements are those that have been carried out with low environmental impact for their manufacture, placement, and maintenance.

Sustainable Materials: Some Examples

Do you know sustainable materials? Next, we are going to present some of the alternative materials that are used when carrying out a sustainable building.

1. Wood

Wood has been used throughout history but its properties are sometimes unknown, and it is considered the material with the least environmental impact in its production because during its life cycle it is capable of removing a large amount of CO2.

It is necessary to highlight its insulating capacity, which is estimated to save between 50-60% on heating and air conditioning. In addition, wooden constructions tend to be completed more quickly and can be up to 30% cheaper than brick or concrete options.

There are products derived from the wood used for insulation, such as fiber panels, made up of the waste generated in sawmills, or OSB boards made up of layers of shavings or chips oriented in the same direction.

In any case, it will be necessary to certify that the wood used comes from responsible logging, which implies that the responsible company plants new trees for each one that has been felled.

2. Cooked Clay

It is composed of clay that has been heated to a temperature below 950 C and to which some natural treatments have been applied. With these actions, low radioactivity, good thermal inertia, and preservation of hygroscopicity are achieved.

Another property that makes fired clay sustainable is its ability to recycle because it is an inert and very stable material. In this way, the waste generated in its preparation can be reincorporated back into the manufacturing circuit.

It has a wide variety of uses in the construction industry, but it is mainly used to make walls, facades, and tiles.

3. Agglomerated Cork

Agglomerated cork is a natural product that has very good thermal and acoustic insulation properties. It is a material with very low conductivity, fireproof, does not accumulate static electricity, and does not absorb moisture. Due to this, it is mainly used to thermally insulate homes.

In addition, cork comes from the bark of cork oaks and can be extracted without cutting down the tree, recreating itself over time, which makes it a highly sustainable material.

4. Cellulose Fibers From Recycled Paper

Another sustainable material that can be used as insulation is cellulose fibers from recycled paper. It is made up of reused newspaper sheets that have been treated with Brax salts to give them fireproof, insecticide, and antifungal properties.

Its behavior is very similar to wood, which makes it balance temperatures both in winter and summer. It also has a small thermal conductivity coefficient and the energy required for its manufacture is very low, not exceeding 5 KWh/m3.

5. Polypropylene, Polybutylene, and Polyethylene

Apart from the structural or insulating elements, it is important to take into account the use of sustainable construction materials for the installations of the houses. In general, PVC pipes are used, which for their production incorporate biocidal elements that release particles that are harmful to health.

The most environmentally friendly plastic alternatives for piping are polypropylene, polybutylene, and polyethylene. These are thermoplastic materials that can be used for heating systems, water pipes, and drainage. Their main advantage is that they do not contain chlorine in their composition, so they are not toxic. They are also chemically inert, sterilizable, and recyclable.

6. Natural Paints

They are those that are composed of vegetable oils, metal oxides, and derivatives of vegetable or mineral origin. Contrary to traditional plastic paints, they do not contain volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, and heavy metals.

They are biodegradable and respectful of the environment, they allow the materials to breathe, preventing the appearance of humidity, cracks, or chips.

To achieve a more efficient building, in addition to the use of sustainable and environmentally friendly materials that we have seen, design and construction techniques can also be applied that allow greater energy efficiency, thus achieving more sustainable homes

In short, the use of sustainable construction materials should be increasingly important if we want to achieve a building that respects the environment. If you think that sustainable architecture is necessary, what are you waiting for to specialize in it?


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My name's Mary Lee, I'm a mom of twins and live in Los Angeles. Now the twins are at school, I can focus on my blog. You will be able to discover articles on lifestyle, hobbies, anything about the home and garden as well as entertainment. I love to write and hope you enjoy what I write....

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