18 Eco-Friendly Building Materials That Help You Save Energy And The Earth

Updated: Sep 17


The Best Eco Friendly building materials

With the inevitability increase in the housing crises and the global climate change, it is more than ever essential to reduce our energy consumption and choose wisely construction materials.

Eco-Friendly building material is a type of material that doesn't harm the environment, whether in its production, use or disposal and can easily be recycled.


Using Eco-Friendly materials is hugely beneficial in the long run. Building a green home reduces carbon emissions significantly and saves energy, which results in saving money on energy bills.



The Most Eco-Friendly Construction Materials:


1. Cob

Eco Friendly and sustainable building material - cob
Cob, Eco Friendly Natural Building Material

Image by Hank Nielsen on Pexels


Have you ever wonder what those unusual organic-looking houses made of are? They are constructed of a material called cob which is pretty much a mix of subsoil, water, fibrous organic material (typically longer straw), in some cases lime.


Did you know that the oldest known cob structure is over 10,000 years old?

Due to housing crises and the climate change on top of it, it certainly made us think about alternatives. Cob is one of the materials that's slowly finding its way back.


Benefits:

Besides being environmentally friendly, cob is a natural material super easy to use, and due to its texture, it gives you the freedom to create any shape you could possibly imagine. It creates a natural insulation and is very energy efficient. As a result cob houses require little to no heating.


Example of Cob House:

Cob House - made entirely of natural Eco Friendly material - cob
Cob House

Photo by Meritt Thomas on Unsplash



2. Recycled Steel

Recycled steel as an eco friendly construction material

Image by Chevanon Photography on Pexels


Recycled steel is a type of material that doesn't lose its properties when recycled. Did you know that steel is the most recycled material in the world? More steel is recycled each year than plastic, paper, aluminium and glass all combined.


Benefits:

Using recycled steel in the building process, you know for a fact that is will be strong and durable. It's a massive saver in energy costs too.


Example of steel in construction use:

Environmentally friendly construction material - Steel window frames.
Steel window frames.

Image by Expect Best on Pexel



3. Sheep's Wool

Eco friendly house building material - sheep's wool

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


Sheep's wool is entirely natural and eco friendly material that can be regrown quickly. Wool is best known for being used for cosy warm blankets and sweaters.


But it also plays a role as an outstanding home insulator - with its fibres forming millions of tiny air pockets that trap air. Usually, you can see wool incorporated in the ceiling, walls or attics.


Benefits:

Easy to source, excellent energy-saving material.


Example:

Natural eco friendly material - sheep's wool as a great insulator, built in the ceiling.
Sheep's wool incorporated in the ceiling.

Image source



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4. Reclaimed , Recycled or Sustainable Wood

Reclaimed wood from old doors - sustainable building material.
Reclaimed wood

Photo by Nick Tiemeyer on Unsplash


Probably one the most used type of building material and for a reason. It is aesthetically pleasing, easy to use, and it feels like nature indoors. Reclaimed or recycled wood has a much lower environmental impact than harvesting new timber.


However, if you are getting a new wood, it is essential to source from a sustainably managed forest. Besides being used in the home building, it's also an excellent material for natural-looking floors or exposed beams.


No wonder it became one of the most used martials in eco friendly architecture.


Benefits:

Being surrounded by a natural material like wood, it significantly increases overall wellbeing.


Related:

What is Biophilic Interior Design and How To Incorporate Into Your Home

Upcycling Wood Furniture Ideas for Beginners



Example:

Wood house made of reclaimed sustainable wood.
Rustic Looking wood house.

5. Cork

green house building material - recycled cork

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels


Cork is made of cork oak tree, which is one of the highly renewable and eco-friendly resources. Another fantastic green buoyant material found its unique purpose in building cork ceiling panels, acoustic wall and flooring. Next time when you open that yummy bottle of wine, remember there is a better place for cork than the landfill.


Benefits:

Cork is a resilient material, resistant to moisture and any liquid (hence the wine). Due to its structure, it can absorb vibration. Cork harvesting can help in the fight against global warming.


Related:

The Importance of Sustainability in Interior Design

Sustainable interior design practise reflects the honest commitment to protecting the environment. In interior design, sustainability is involved in many aspects of a project in order to deliver long-lasting high-quality design with low environmental impact, waste and lowering pollution. Read more...



Example:

Cork flooring as a green construction material
Cork Flooring

Image source