How Traditional Building Materials Are Helping Build  Environmentally Friendly Homes

Using sustainable products and materials is a great way to ensure that you are having as little effect on the environment as possible, and you should consider doing this at every opportunity. When you consider a task, such as building a home, the importance of sustainability is even more important, and you should think about the way you can use sustainable materials at every opportunity. By using materials that can be recycled, you will be ensuring sustainability; here are the main building materials, and how you can use them in a conscientious way.


This may seem a strange material to use, as trees are so important to the environment, but you can still use wood in your eco-friendly home; it is simply where you source it that you need to consider. For instance, you can still have a beautiful wood floor without an impact on the environment, by using salvaged wood and having it reworked to suit your home. Another choice could be to use recycled wood that has been cut to smaller sizes from larger timber. In a study by the Canadian Wood Council, it was shown that a building constructed from wood had less impact on the environment than either steel or concrete buildings, so that is something that you should also consider before refusing to use wood.



As steel is generally made from reused steel, and with 80% of steel products being recycled, it is a great sustainable choice. Steel can be 100% recycled forever, and about 60% of steel is made from recycled steel. These facts make steel a very sustainable product that can used all over your home. The frame of your building, its roof, and even the walls and doors can be made of steel that has been recycled, so using some girders from fabrication will mean a practical sustainable choice has been made to add strength to your home. There is a downside to steel production, because of the high level of energy used in production and CO2 emissions, but the sustainability factor cannot be ignored.


Recycled Concrete

Concrete is an important part of any construction endeavour, and the facts about concrete use tell us that 17 tonnes of concrete are used to build a new home; but you can help with sustainability by using recycled concrete. Using new concrete has a big effect on the environment, as its exploration can have a big effect, and if it is not recycled, it can be a major burden on landfill sites. Concrete can be broken down to form new aggregates for things like road construction, or used as part of the constituent mix of new concrete. Used in either of these ways it will help reduce landfill use and stop any extra mining of the aggregates that could cause environmental havoc. When you consider the amount of concrete that is used as the foundations of your home, the paving around it, and the driveway leading up to it, using recycled concrete becomes a must for sustainability. Especially when you’re then to think about the amount of repairs needed on homes that involve using concrete, any number of things could start wearing away at a concrete foundation that could require a certain type of foundation repair that then involves using more concrete.

These are the big three materials in home construction, and without sensible recycling of them, and a high sustainability level, our environment will suffer dramatically. Steel is always manufactured using recycled steel, and concrete will now generally use recycled concrete as aggregate. However, before starting construction, make sure the builder knows that you are concerned about sustainability and that wood should have been recycled as well. The creation of materials will always have an effect on the environment, but using recycled materials will at least help with sustainability.