In the dawn of the new millennium, we live in a world unlike any that has ever existed before. Although we are allowed to revel in all the marvels of modern age technology, our planet is in more peril than it ever was. All the sins of past and our wrongdoings towards the Mother Nature are here to haunt us and it is our duty as a generation to leave to our descendents better world than we inherited from our predecessors. However, this requires a radical change in almost every aspect of our lives. The nature of construction and construction materials themselves are not exempt from this general rule.
Because we live in a world that is growing scarcer and scarcer in resources, what we should do is explore some alternative, greener ways to approach the issue of construction. The idea is that homes built from these materials should be both sustainable and cost effective, while at the same time being quite energy efficient. Here is a short list, consisting of top 5 green building materials, and reasons behind this.
1. Straw Bale
What straw bales are, are the leftover stems of harvested cereal grains which are later connected into a cube shaped formation usually connected with ropes or strings. The most usual course of action for these bales is to be turned into bedding solutions for cattle or even burned. However, since recently, straw bales are one of the most widely used green building materials. Because of their structures, these bales posses low compressive strength but when combined with clay, their durability increases dramatically.
2. Earthbag construction
The very name of this clever, green construction material is quite self-explanatory. What this means is that one uses bags filled with earth in order to build his or her home. Fill the bags to around 90% of their capacity so that you do not waste any unnecessary bags. This will at the same time ensure that all of your bags are pretty much of the same dimensions, which greatly helps making your walls proportional. This kind of home can be very economical and sustainable and with a bit of help from insulation grants it can also be extremely energy saving.
3. Dimensional lumber
Here is a material that is definitely eco-friendly but which can sometimes be quite controversial. The key thing is to note that wood itself although sustainable and eco friendly, it does reduce the natural resources of this life giving formation in the wilderness; however if carefully sanctioned, and done in agreement with numerous regulations, this shouldn’t pose a problem. As long as suppliers are able and willing to recognize old growth wood in lumber it will remain, as it always was one of the best green materials there are.
4. Flyash Concrete
Flyash as a by-product of coal-fired electric generating plants offers its user the genuine safety and firmness of concrete while still creating many advantages for the environment as well; a true win-win scenario if there ever was one. Do some research on this curious building material and it might in the end turn out that it was exactly the thing that will suit all your needs.
5. Think locally
In the end, what does eco friendly even mean? There are so many different ways in which one material can be eco friendly and one of them is that it is a material that locally exists in abundance. What this means is that the costs and effects of transportation on the environment are minimal; definitely a thing worth looking out for once you decide to build your eco-friendly home.
We owe it to our children to leave to them a better world than we inherited from our parents. However for this to happen there are a lot of changes that need to take place and there is no reason whatsoever why the first step towards the salvation of our beautiful green planet should not be made in the field of construction.