Can Sustainable Building Materials Help The Environment?

 By: Chris Coxon
There is no doubt that choosing to build eco friendly homes can help protect the environment. The home is a big offender when it comes to carbon emissions because of the building materials used in construction and also the ongoing fuel consumption used to heat and cool the house. If each and every house did a little bit more to protect the environment that would add up to a lot of help and would significantly reduce carbon emissions across the world. If you want to find out what building materials should be used to build houses instead of the traditional bricks and cement then you should read on. Here you will find out how you can build a environmentally friendly home.

As with food, it is more environmentally friendly to choose materials that can be sourced locally. This way you know there is less fuel used to move the materials from A to B which can equate to a lot of carbon emissions. It is also very eco friendly to find second hand items or reuse materials found nearby. There are often scrap yards and salvage yards that you may not know about located in your area and it can be very worthwhile visiting to see if there is something there that can be reused or some building materials that have a bit more life in them.

Wood is a renewable source, however you need to be careful what type of wood you choose. Hard wood tress such as oak take a very long time to grow and do not grow again once they have been cut down. This makes these types of wood inappropriate to use because it is unsustainable. Pine on the other hand is fast growing and makes a good, durable wood. Pine is very much sustainable. Another type of wood that is catching on around the world is that from bamboo. This doesn't' take very long to grow and keeps growing even once cut down. One plant can keep on producing wood for decades. Because there is just a couple of years needed for bamboo to grow to a good size it offers total sustainability. Bamboo flooring is extremely durable and hard wearing too and requires little maintenance.

Another material that is very sustainable is cork. Cork flooring is another sustainable alternative to bamboo. It too is durable and stays looking very good in the home for many years. Cork is produced on tree trunks and is stripped away. Like bamboo it keeps on growing back, year after year. Another great feature of cork is that it is fire-resistant and therefore perfect for use in the home.

Often bricks and concrete are used to build houses, but neither of these materials are good for the environment. They take a huge amount of energy to produce and that makes them unsustainable. It isn't just the building materials however that make a house bad for the environment either. Heating the home needs fuel, and if you have a house that is not insulated then you will need to use more fuel. Insulation in the roof is important and having insulated windows and doors makes a big difference too with cavity closures made of uPVC.

Ensuring your home is built and run in an environmentally friendly way is extremely important in today's world as the threat of global warming is so serious. As well as ensuring sustainable building materials are used in the place of concrete and bricks, you must also ensure your ongoing fuel consumption is low. This is achieved primarily through efficient heaters and cookers as well as plenty of insulation in the roof and in the walls too if possible. Choose recycled building materials where possible will save you money and help your eco credentials too. Cavity wall closures should always be used to make the windows more insulated.
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