This is the latest in green building materials

The United Nations Environment Program has revealed that the construction industry is not taking adequate steps to achieve net zero emissions. It is true that efforts are being made in all sectors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, the construction sector still needs to establish an organized strategy in this regard.

Currently, it is estimated that up to 50% of global climate change is caused by this specific sector. The activities of the construction industry have a great impact on water pollution, being responsible for up to 40% of this problem. These figures show the importance of this sector in terms of the environmental impact it generates.

Construction is an activity that impacts the environment in several ways. However, many of these effects can be easily controlled and prevented. One of them has to do with the use of land, since most construction projects require space to be carried out.

Having proper land use planning is essential to avoid problematic situations, such as deforestation and human-wildlife conflicts. Furthermore, making individual decisions with an eye toward the future can significantly contribute to reducing these problems.

In the fight against construction pollution, everyone has a role to play. However, the most crucial role lies with the developers. Whether you are building a home, a commercial property or another type of development, it is important to consider the concept of sustainability.

Sustainable construction

Sustainable construction refers to construction that seeks to satisfy present needs, but without compromising the future of the ecosystem and the planet in general. Developers have the ability to make their projects sustainable by taking important steps. For example, they can choose eco-friendly materials, reduce unnecessary waste, and take energy efficiency into account.

A sustainable building It is one that is characterized by being built using renewable and recyclable resources, in addition to significantly reducing energy consumption. Sustainability in building construction depends on various factors. Fortunately, there is no single strategy that applies to all cases. The important thing is to take into account the protection of the planet at each stage of the construction process.

Sustainable building materials

The first step to sustainable construction is getting the right materials.

If you are planning to start a construction project, it is important that you consider the sustainable materials available on the market. Fortunately, most of these materials are more accessible and economical than the traditional ones used in construction. Plus, they have been tested and are probably more durable. Let's look at the options you have for sustainable construction.

Ferrock bricks are an innovative alternative for construction, since they are manufactured using recycled steel powder and silica obtained from frosted glass. This type of brick is created through a chemical reaction with carbon dioxide, which results in the formation of a compound known as iron carbonate. This carbonate plays an important role in the ecosystem, since it has the ability to retain part of the carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere. In addition, it provides a more sustainable alternative to concrete walls, which generate high levels of pollution.

Another important advantage of these bricks is their lower cost compared to traditional concrete stones since they are manufactured from waste materials. Despite its advantages, bricks made of Ferrock are still not widely available in the market. However, if you are doing a small-scale build, it is something you might consider as a viable option.

Hemp Fiber HempCrete Bricks

Hempcrete is a novel building block made from hemp fiber. Although it is still uncommon in the market, it is rapidly gaining popularity due to its numerous benefits. According to studies, it is estimated that hemp can have a useful life of at least 300 years, thus exceeding the durability of traditional concrete.

By comparison, modern houses generally have a lifespan ranging from 50 to 1000 years. The growing popularity of hemp-based building blocks is a clear indicator that they are a superior option compared to traditional options.

Hemp is a material obtained from hemp fiber, which is extremely resistant. Additionally, hemp grows quickly and can be produced in large quantities. These blocks made of hemp can also be used without using concrete. Instead, a special glue is used that is more environmentally friendly than traditional cement.

One of the highlights of the blocks is their ability to provide good insulation. This results in a significant reduction in costs for both heating and cooling. Unlike concrete, which is characterized by being a poor insulator, these blocks help optimize energy consumption and maintain the appropriate temperature within the space.

Plant-based polyurethane rigid foam (PRF) for insulation

Rigid foam is widely used as an insulation option, but its manufacturing process from plastic and other elements emits a large amount of CO2. Additionally, the main components of the foam are chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which have various side effects. Polyurethane foam of plant origin is an alternative that eliminates the negative effects associated with traditional foam.

Unlike conventional rigid foam, this option is based on plant-based ingredients and contains no harmful chemicals. Although rigid foam has been crucial in providing insulation in homes since the 1970s, the use of plant-based polyurethane foam offers a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option. However, it is time to move towards a friendlier foam option.

The plant-based rigid polyurethane foam is manufactured from an innovative combination of hemp, seaweed and bamboo. This eco-friendly material stands out for being produced from easily accessible plants, making it an environmentally friendly option. Bamboo is known to be the fastest growing plant on our planet.

Fortunately, its growing capacity extends to virtually anywhere, making it a viable option for many regions. On the other hand, hemp is also a plant that can be produced in large quantities, which offers interesting opportunities for its use in various sectors.

Plant-based foam offers important benefits for the environment. First, it provides protection against mold and pests in homes. In addition, its thermal value is higher than that of traditional foam, which makes it more efficient as an insulator.

Smart glass windows for controlled lighting

Smart glass windows and doors are rapidly gaining popularity. However, many people are unaware of the sustainability that these products offer. Smart glasses are made up of a layer of PDLC liquid crystal, which has the ability to convert normal glasses into ones with a filter or something similar. On the other hand, smart windows require electricity to operate, but the benefits they offer justify the effort invested.

Using UV and IR protection windows on hot days prevents these direct rays from reaching the interior of your home. Thanks to this, the temperature is controlled and heating costs are reduced. On the other hand, during cold days, these windows allow the automatic passage of ultraviolet rays to heat your home.

These glasses are not only useful for temperature monitoring, but also offer benefits in terms of personal privacy. Thanks to their advanced technology in constant development, they are an interesting option for those looking to build in a sustainable and efficient way.

solar panel roof

Solar panels have long been considered a sustainable building option. However, today its functionality has gone beyond electricity generation. In fact, there are various roof options equipped with solar cells that allow you to make the most of the available solar energy. These solar roofs are a great way to reduce energy consumption and contribute to a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. A notable example of innovation is solar panel roofing shingles. These tiles look like traditional ones, but are equipped with solar cells. Thanks to these solar cells, they generate electricity and can power your home, resulting in a significant reduction in energy costs.

Cross-laminated timber (CLT)

CLT (Cross Laminated Timber) is an innovative construction material that has taken longer than expected to be widely adopted. Although some companies are already using it, it has not reached the expected expectations. CLT is a wood product developed in Europe in the early 1990s. This material is made from structurally graded wood that has been joined with glue. Although it may look like ordinary wood on the surface, its structural strength and durability are significantly superior.

CLT boasts a strength-to-weight ratio equal to that of concrete. This means that the weight that a concrete wall can support can also be supported by CLT. However, it is important to note that CLT is five times lighter compared to concrete. Indeed, CLT can provide a faster and cheaper form of construction compared to concrete.

One of the main advantages of CLT is its ability to replace concrete, which is a major source of carbon pollution. Additionally, CLT functions as a good thermal insulator, which can help reduce heating costs in buildings. However, a disadvantage to consider is that CLT depends on the use of wood as the main material, which could have negative impacts on our forests if its adoption is carried out without caution and considering sustainable forest management.

Conclusion

These materials provide information on the requirements to achieve sustainable construction. In the field of sustainable construction, it is important to have an open attitude.

All the mentioned materials analyze different aspects of sustainability. When choosing a material, it is important to take into account various aspects and evaluate both its advantages and disadvantages. It is advisable to avoid those materials that may cause more harm than good.

With information inhabitat.com