What are the different types of sustainable building materials?

Recycled paper can be used to create concrete paper, a form of sustainable concrete.

Sustainable building materials are building materials made from recycled products and resources that can be replenished in a relatively short period of time. There are many types of sustainable building materials, often referred to as green building products. Wood, stone, metal and paper are materials that can be recycled and reused as construction products. Bamboo, cork, straw and even coconut are examples of building products that can be quickly renewed.

Some buildings were built with glass bottles.

Reclaimed wood is the most widely used recycled material for green construction. Wood is taken from old structures, treated and resized for use in other projects. Using reclaimed wood preserves wood and saves energy because fewer resources are used to recycle wood than would be used to harvest, treat, plan and transport new wood. Recycled wood can be more expensive than first-use wood due to the costs associated with its recovery and treatment. Reclaimed wood may also contain chemicals from previous treatments, which can be harmful to the environment.

Reclaimed wood is one of the most used sustainable building materials.

Almost all natural materials, including stone, metal and concrete, can be salvaged and used as sustainable building materials. The advantages and disadvantages of using them are similar to those related to using reclaimed wood. One of the biggest concerns with using recycled natural products is the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs can be present in reclaimed materials as a result of things like paints, stains and other chemical treatments, especially those applied before stricter environmental standards were in place.

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It is possible to build structures made entirely from recycled rubber tires.

Easily renewable products such as bamboo and cork are becoming more common as sustainable building materials. Bamboo is a fast growing plant that is being used more often in sustainable building projects. It replenishes quickly due to its rapid growth cycle and is versatile in its application. Bamboo is most often used as flooring and to reinforce concrete. More and more houses and buildings are being built with bamboo.

Cork is also gaining popularity as a sustainable building material. Harvesting cork requires removing the bark from the tree, but it does not require the entire tree to be cut down. Cork is a flooring material that is becoming increasingly common in homes around the world.

There are many innovations being made in sustainable building materials. Houses made from straw bales are being built, as are structures built entirely from recycled rubber tires. Some buildings were even built with glass bottles or cans. Baked earth, clay and new forms of concrete are also being used more often as sustainable building materials.

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