When it comes to building materials, more and more people are making the decision to go green. Choosing eco-friendly building materials to either build a new home or revamp the one you already have leaves less of an impact on the planet because green building materials are either highly renewable or they're recycled. With no need to manufacture them, they don't contribute to pollution, and they cost much less, too. If you're looking for green building material choices for your next construction project, featured here are 10 options for your consideration.
Wood is a great building material for green construction--especially when wood scraps are used or the wood was grown and harvested using environmentally-sound, certified practices. Wood is an energy efficient material, and it can be used to build solid framework, as flooring, or to side a home.
Straw bales are becoming increasingly popular in green construction because they make excellent insulators. Due to its density, air is unable to penetrate straw bales, making it soundproof and fireproof all at the same time.
Most commonly used in dry, airy states, clay is another green choice when it comes to building materials. When mixed with other earthy elements such as dirt and gravel, it's used to build adobe style homes most suitable for warmer climates. Its built-in insulating qualities are an added bonus.
A lesser-known green building material option, but one that's beginning to capture the attention of builders all over the globe is bamboo. Bamboo can be used to build nearly every part of a home, and because bamboo is actually a grass and not a tree, it grows quite fast. Its rapid growth makes it a very renewable resource that can be used to build an entire house, or just parts of one.
Steel is a durable material perfect for a green roof. Steel used in green home construction is best suited as a roofing material not only because it's durable,--but because it withstand the tests of time, too.
One of earth's natural fibers, wool is an ideal insulator for green homes. Wool also has the ability to absorb a hefty amount of chemicals found in our air, doing the dirty work for us. Wool that's been recycled can also be used to carpet your home.
If you are looking for a uniquely green flooring option, you might want to consider cork. Cork is water-resistant, highly renewable, and is a soft alternative to hardwood flooring. Because it's quite durable, floors constructed of cork can handle many years of wear and tear.
Recycled paper might seem like an impossible option as a building material, but the truth is it's a very viable choice for insulation. It's also very inexpensive--another good reason to think about using it.
Besides being eco-friendly, slate is fireproof, water-resistant, and long-lasting. It's an excellent roofing material, and it can be used as tile flooring as well.
Cotton is an abundant, renewable, and recyclable fiber that is commonly used to insulate homes. In an effort to be even truer to the green construction movement, many people choose to use scrapped cotton materials from large denim manufacturing companies as insulation versus cotton manufactured for the same purpose.
As you can see, there are a variety of sustainable materials to choose from that can save money and preserve precious resources. If you want to do right by our planet, opt to use green building materials the next time you want to construct, remodel, or repair your home. It may seem like a small contribution on your part, but it's one that the planet as a whole will benefit from--one home at a time.
Guest post from Bailey Harris. Bailey writes for AreaRugs.com.