Sustainable building materials: how to choose yours

on .

Sustainable building practices are essential in stimulating and maintaining the growth of eco-friendly and energy efficient architecture. Of course, the materials used for construction need to be sustainable. But how do we identify sustainable materials?

Determining whether materials are sustainable or not can be a complex issue. However, there are criteria which materials need to meet in order to be considered as sustainable and appropriate for sustainable building practices. They must have a low toxicity rating and low chemical emissions. In essence, high performing materials that improve air quality, insulation and general lifespan of a building are key to sustainability.

5 Interesting Sustainable Building Materials:

  • Wool Bricks
  • Sustainable Concrete
  • Triple Glazed Windows
  • Polyurethane Rigid Foam
  • Recycled Steel

Sustainability Inside

It’s not only the external walls and flooring that need to be considered in sustainable building practices, but also the materials used to construct the appliances within those sustainable properties that are important too.

Investment in high-quality appliances and fixtures will reduce the chances of constant replacement, cutting costs and material wastage. Greywater systems can also be a revelation in improving energy efficiency and sustainability.

Greywater is the waste water generated from household uses like dishwashing, clothes washing and bathing. This water is low in contaminants, and still relatively clean. This water can then be reused for a number of purposes, from agricultural irrigation to toilet-flushing.

Continuing with the topic of water sustainability, everybody needs hot water in their building. But the common water heaters use energy all day to keep the tank hot. On-demand water heating is much more efficient because it only warms the water needed at that particular time.

Green Design

It is essential to consider sustainability from the very beginning of the design process. For example, dimensions can be more important than you’d think. Materials like plywood are usually only available from merchants in sheets 4ft wide.

Designing the space measurements with this in mind will improve the efficiency and reduce the amount of waste material left at the end of the building process.

The design of the building’s location and the angles of the building itself are also important. It’s proximity to the sun makes a difference not only to the possibility of having solar panels, but for the level of natural light in the property. If there is plenty of sunlight, there will be less need to use energy to light up the interior of the building.

At Green Unit, we always take into consideration every aspect of sustainable building practices, both in our design and our selection of materials. Stay tuned to the Green Unit website for more information about sustainable building and news about our projects.

For more information about what we do and to see what we can design for you, get in touch here or call us on 07785 725068 or 01865 682707.