With global warming becoming a serious concern, more and more people are turning towards green building materials for increased energy efficiency. Apart from that, these materials also help in lowering the maintenance costs associated with a home or a building.
Basically there are two types of wood which are gaining popularity among green builders – FSC certified wood and engineered lumber. Engineered wood has become the common choice for both conventional and green homes. Smaller trees and wood scrapes are used by it for the production of framing much stronger than traditional ones. Green builders also make use of FSC approved wood which means wood harvested from managed forests.
Even though construction with straw bale is not that common, it is definitely gaining popularity these days. The structures made with this one of the green building materials are quite similar to that of a log home. The best part about houses made with straw bale is that they have excellent sound-deadening properties and insulation. Surprisingly, they are also resistant to fire as air cannot flow easily through straw bales.
Composites are often made from rubber and plastics which mimic natural materials appearance like wood and slate. Unlike, their natural counterparts they are extremely light which helps with construction. Composites are often manufactured from recycled materials which are the reason why composites have lower embodied energy.
Entire buildings made from bamboo are quite common in France as well as the United States. The best part about these buildings is that they are internationally certified as well as cyclone- and earthquake-resistant. Bamboo serves as an environment friendly substance instead of wood simply because of the fact that it is type of grass. Grasses are known to grow a lot faster than trees and can be found across different parts of the world and in different climatic conditions.
Windows of these types have metallic oxide coating which helps in keeping the heat inside during winters and outside when it is summer time. The technology is available in hard coatings and soft coatings. The soft coatings are incorporated between the glass layers whereas the hard coatings are incorporated outside. Heat flow through glass is reduced drastically which helps is reducing heating costs.
People who wish to build walls with adobe or rammed earth are offered with a great advantage as the material is free, abundant and do not require transportation. However, the only drawback is that it is quite hard to find specialized craftsmen with proper knowledge of building with dirt. Countries like New Zealand, Peru and China make use of this sustainable building material, although in the United States it is not that prevalent.
These are some of the green building materials which are increasingly becoming the preferred choice of green builders from around the world for construction of individual houses, apartments and commercial buildings etc.