Plenty of work has been done over the last few years to make the construction of necessary buildings more sustainable. That includes taking a look at the construction materials themselves. There are different definitions of sustainability in terms of construction materials. It could refer to products that are locally sourced, how resilient a product is, or how much energy it takes to produce it.
Some professionals are looking at material sustainability as a concept that considers all the energy required to extract a material, produce it, and transport it. They also look at its appropriateness for the environment, the rate at which it degrades, and how often it needs to be replaced. Some construction professionals are also moving towards sustainability by incorporating recycled materials. Read on for a few examples of sustainable materials!
Bamboo Could Dominate the Construction Trades
Bamboo is a construction material with a lot of potential. It can be used in walls, flooring, or furniture, and its benefit is that it is extremely durable and strong. It has a greater compressive strength than even bricks or concrete. Its high strength-to-weight ratio means that it is relatively lightweight and takes less energy to transport than many other materials.
Bamboo is a perennial grass and can be found on several continents. Currently, it is mostly grown in South America and Asia. As a grass, its extremely quick rate of self-generation helps its sustainability. It continues to spread and grow without the need to replant it after harvesting it. Professionals with a career in construction should be aware of one potential downside to using bamboo: it requires treatment to make it resistant to insects and rotting.
Sheep’s Wool Is A Natural Construction Material
Sheep’s wool is a material that has been used for all kinds of things for hundreds of years. These days, it can still be beneficial for the construction industry. Sheep’s wool is naturally insulating. And, while it’ll still need extra treatment to make it properly safe with regards to fire risks, it is a material with a naturally high ignition temperature. As a result, it can be an energy-efficient insulator used in walls, ceilings, and attics.
One of the sustainable benefits of sheep’s wool is that it has similar properties to mineral wool or glass wool but requires less energy to produce. It is, of course, naturally regenerating. One of the potential downsides to using this material is that it requires treatment to prevent the infiltration of insects and fungi.
Cork Doesn’t Have a Significant Environmental Impact
Cork comes from the tree bark of the cork oak. After construction school, professionals can use this material as flooring or sub-flooring. It’s very flexible and resilient, a good thermal insulator, and efficient at absorbing noises and shocks, making it an effective construction material.
The benefit of this material is that it’s sourced entirely from natural sources. The cork oak will continue to grow and reproduce the material after it is extracted from it, making it a sustainable resource to use within the construction industry.
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