During these past few years, construction firms and developers are becoming more and more focused on building sustainable homes and structures. With global warming getting worse than ever, it is imperative that the whole world must take immediate action to lessen carbon dioxide emission, which is one of the major causes of this phenomenon. By developing eco-friendly infrastructure, construction companies are helping reduce the world’s carbon footprint.
Here’s a list of the top five eco-friendly and green construction materials that are currently available in the market:
Instead of the usual steel used in making trusses or a structure’s foundation, recycled steel is more environment-friendly because it is made from scrap steel. Every year, the world throws away tons of scrap metal. In order to make use of them and also help empty the landfills occupied by scrap metals, the Steel Recycling Institute created recycled steel. By simply replacing traditional metal beams, recycled steel helps reduce the energy that is used in producing steel by 75%.
Chemical foams are the ones commonly used in filling a building’s walls when installing insulation or making the building sound-proof, but there are actually plenty of options in the market now regarding the type of foam to use. Currently, the most popular is paper-based insulation, but just a few years ago, a surfboard maker from San Diego actually invented foam material made from plants (bamboo, kelp, and hemp). Construction developers have also started making use of this plant-based polyurethane rigid foam for insulation. The foam is heat-resistant and has high moisture content; it is also pest-repellent and has higher R-value compared to polystyrene and fiberglass.
Have you ever heard about why it is best to wear white shirts during hot days and why you should avoid dark-colored shirts? Scientifically, white is a better color to wear when the weather is sweltering because it reflects the heat; dark colors, such as black, absorb the heat. Cool Roof works in a similar manner. Instead of absorbing the sun’s heat and bringing it into the house, it reflects the heat. This makes the building or house stay cooler and transfer less heat inside. With the advent of technology, there are now dark-colored roofs that can also reflect the heat of the sun.
Recycled Plastic-Wood Lumber
Another construction material that promotes sustainability is the recycled plastic and wood lumber. Made with a 50-50 combination of plastic and wood, this type of lumber is more durable and strong; it is also less toxic compared to traditional treated lumber. This type of lumber is also mold-resistant, but it is also more expensive.
Another brilliant construction material that helps reduce carbon footprint is the low-E windows. It keeps the heat inside the building/house during the winter season and outside during the summer season. It is effective in regulating the temperature inside a home. Low-E stands for low emissivity; it uses metallic oxide as the window’s coating. This type of window has already been proven to reduce the heat flow and heat cost in a home, but compared to the common clear glass storm windows, they are more expensive.
These are just some of the eco-friendly construction materials available in the market today and are currently used by contractors and developers in building sustainable structures all over the world.