Green building materials

Green building entails the creation of structures that have low environmental impact. PHOTO/FILE
Green building entails the creation of structures that have low environmental impact. PHOTO/FILE
Green building is now a buzzword in the building and construction sector. It entails construction that utilises eco friendly building materials in effort to conserve the environment.

The following are some of the main materials for green construction as far as flooring, glazing, roofing, insulation and cement are concerned.

1.) Floor – It is stylish to have floors made with wood or stretched out with expensive carpets. However, some woods are less renewable than others and some carpets may contain fumes that affect the quality of indoor air. Bamboo and cork are excellent green alternatives.

Bamboo is cheaper than ordinary wood and it is also easily replenished. On the other hand, cork is extracted from the exterior surface of a living tree every nine years! These two materials are physically appealing and have zero negative effect on the environment. Other eco friendly building materials for flooring include reclaimed wood, recycled rubber and carpet tiles as well as eucalyptus.

2.) Glazing – This can be done sustainably using glass windows made with layers of panes, whereby each layer is separated by compartments filled with a gas for energy saving insulation. On the other hand, doors and windows made with glass may be coated with a material that regulates the temperature in the building while blocking damaging sun rays.

3.) Roofing – Some of the green roofing alternatives available today include combined cedar tiles that resist moisture, insects and mildew as well as solar reflective roof tiles which are very useful during hot seasons.

READ: 4 building design trends in 2014

4.) Insulation – This addresses energy conservation. Instead of using the health hazardous asbestos, you should consider sustainable insulation materials recycled newspapers or plastic.

5.) Cement – Modern cement technologies are engineered to be more environmental friendly. Porous cement, mostly used on driveways and walkways, allows water to sink in through the pores to avoid damaging the waterways. Light coloured concrete is on the other hand very useful in urban areas to prevent overheating.