The buildings of the future must be made of newer materials that do not have a significant ecological footprint. Concrete is a building material that is widely used in constructing both commercial and residential buildings. It is versatile, cheap, strong, and durable. But, the manufacture of concrete releases way too much greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.
Wood is also a common building product that is strong and beautiful. But, cutting down more and more of the world’s forests cannot continue without a harmful impact on the Earth and climate change. Plastic is a building and manufacturing material that does not break down easily and is filling the world’s dumps, oceans, and other areas with harmful debris that kills animals and causes other harm.
Finding Better building Materials
Builders and architects must find building material alternatives to replace the three materials that are becoming outdated and harder to manufacture and supply. Natural stone is one alternative that is beautiful and long-lasting when used in the construction of buildings. Companies such as Coldspring Natural Stone Suppliers are constantly searching for new sources of stone to use as building facade, flooring, countertops, and more. Natural stone can be used both inside and outside of buildings.
Building Materials Becoming Outdated
There are numerous old and new materials that can replace outdated materials now being used in the building industry. Some outdated materials with replacement choices include:
- Concrete now holds our cities together. It is commonly used in both commercial and residential buildings. Concrete can be found in homes, apartment buildings, commercial buildings, bridges, streets, sidewalks, and viaducts. But, the production of all that concrete releases tons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere every year. This is contributing to harmful climate change. There are products that improve concrete and reduce its carbon footprint.
Some of the building materials gaining popularity are straw bale construction, rammed earth, natural stone products, HempCrete made out of hemp fibers and lime, bamboo (which is more sustainable than other woods), concrete created using ground-up recycled plastics and trash, better-managed wood, and mycelium made with fungi and mushrooms. Ferrock (which is made from recycled steel dust and other materials from industry to create a concrete-like building material), ashcrete made with recycled fly ash (a by-product of burning coal), and timber create that is made of sawdust and concrete together are other options to consider.
- Wood has many advantages but there are serious environmental costs and structural problems to deal with. Cutting down the world’s forests is driving climate change and causing many animals to go extinct as their habitat is destroyed. Some replacements for wood include hemp, which is faster growing and more sustainable, bamboo, wood composite, plastic wood, soy, cork, cardboard, newspaper, nutshell, and straw. Researchers and manufacturers are developing all these new products.
- Plastic waste is overrunning the world, and that must be stopped. But, plastic is used in so many materials that it is hard to imagine replacing it. However, there are products being developed to take the place of plastic. They include liquid wood, fermented plant starch to substitute for polymers, algae insulation, stone wool, mycotecture involving fungi, bricks made of leftover brewery grains, and more materials under development.
A Promising Future for Construction
Though the traditional building materials are needing to be replaced with more ecologically friendly materials, the future of construction is bright. Builders and architects who use the newly developed materials will help the environment and end up with stronger, more sustainable buildings.