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7 Types of Materials for Sustainable Construction



A lot of emphasis on the fact that we must have a much more sustainable and efficient construction. Constructions are responsible for 40% of the world's CO2 emissions and also consume 40% of the world's energy. This calculation includes everything from the process of manufacturing and transport of materials to demolition or the cost of reusing buildings. Nowadays there are many alternatives when choosing the materials with which we are going to build at home builder Brisbane. That is why in our post today we are going to compile a series of materials that will help us to achieve architecture and a construction much more respectful with the environment. With the use of these materials, along with other factors, such as orientation, enclosures, insulation without thermal bridges or the use of passive systems, not only energy savings will be achieved throughout the life of our building, but also a strong reduction of the footprint of it and, ultimately, a more sustainable architecture.

1. Wood

Wood is a traditional and well known material but many are unaware of its many advantages. It is the material with the least environmental impact in its production and life cycle; it is considered a CO2 sink. When it comes to using wood in sustainable construction, it must come certified, guaranteeing that it comes from responsible felling, that is, the manufacturers plant new trees for each one they cut. The wood also has insulating properties, helping to keep our house cool in summer and warm in winter, which makes it a more sustainable and more energy efficient building material.

In wooden constructions, a saving of 50% to 60% per year in heating and air conditioning is calculated, their construction is usually faster and they are up to 30% cheaper than the usual concrete and brick dwellings. Although it is a very interesting system, as an inconvenience it should be noted that it would not be possible to globalize the construction of wood due to the overpopulation of the planet and the space that we would need to generate so much wood in a sustainable manner. However, it is an ideal system for use in single-family homes builder Brisbane.

2. Fiber’s Cellulose with Paper of Recycled

The cellulose insulation is recycled newspaper paper and treated with borax salts that provide flame retardant, insecticidal and anti-fungal properties. Cellulose has a very low thermal conductivity coefficient and requires very little manufacturing energy (5 KWh / m³), which we can appreciate if we compare it, for example, with glass wool and rock wool (180 KWh / m³). ). It behaves like wood, balancing the maximum and minimum temperatures of the day in summer and protecting from cold in winter, its thermal lag (time it takes to transmit the temperature from one side to another of its thickness) is between 8 and 10 hours , and also has a sound insulation coefficient well above traditional insulation.

3. Insulating Panel of wood Fibers

As we said before, there are many types of insulation at home builder Brisbane, wood fiber panels are another. It is a product from the waste generated by sawmills and other wood industries. Through the application of glues and pressure, a board with a certain mechanical resistance is obtained, which is mainly used as thermal and acoustic insulation. By adding additives, you can add special properties such as resistance to fire, insects or moisture. It is also a lightweight and handy material that can be easily cut with a hand saw, making it easier to use on site. The wood fiber boards are totally recyclable. Among all the materials used as insulation, wood fiber panels are those that have a higher thermal inertia. Of course, they are not suitable for insulation on the outside because they can absorb moisture and swell, especially when we talk about panels with low densities.

4. OSB Panels

It is another product derived from wood, enormously popular in the United States, where it was originally developed as early as 1978, and which, especially in recent years, is increasingly used in Europe. The OSB boards (abbreviations of Oriented Strand Board, in Spanish) are an evolution of the plywood board formed by layers of chips or chips oriented in the same direction. Each layer follows an orientation perpendicular to the previous layer, which provides the material with a more homogeneous behavior before the expansion or the application of forces in different directions. The edges are sealed with waterproofing material, to prevent moisture absorption. In addition to its great mechanical strength, it retains the thermal insulation properties typical of wood and wood agglomerates. It is also an excellent acoustic insulation and can be coated with a variety of materials both indoors and outdoors (mortars, natural stone, ceramics etc.) If they are not mixed with other materials, they can be treated and reused in the manufacture of other wood derivatives or in the generation of energy and electricity. They are a good alternative for use in structural elements, the formation of facades, interior partitions and even furniture, floors and ceilings.

5. Cooked Barro

The clay is cooked clay at a temperature below 950ºC and natural treatments to preserve the qualities of the soil such as hygroscopicity, insulation, low radioactivity and very good thermal inertia.Its uses in construction are very varied: brick walls and walls, ventilated ceramic facades, vaults, floors, tiles, lattices ... Ceramic materials are very inert and stable materials, which is why they are highly recyclable. In addition, the waste generated in the different phases of production of the material can be reincorporated into the preparation circuit of the raw material.

6. Lime Mortar

The lime can be used as a binder in mortars and as finishing of facades and plasters. It represents the sustainable alternative to cement because it needs less energy for its production. In addition, the CO2 produced in its manufacture is subsequently absorbed during carbonation, thus compensating for gas emissions. Another advantage over cement is that it does not require additives, simplifying the manufacturing process. As for its properties, lime mortars allow the passage of water vapor in addition to being more flexible than cement, preventing the appearance of cracks in the coatings. As a disadvantage, we find that the lime mortar has a hardening slower than cement mortar, so its structural use (within the brick or stone factories) is more limited.

7. Polypropylene, Polybutylene and Polyethylene

The facilities of a house are often the great forgotten architectural projects but they also have a great influence on the environment and the sustainability of construction. PVC materials incorporate biocide elements in their production, which can release harmful particles into the atmosphere for our health. Polypropylene, polybutylene and polyethylene are alternative thermoplastic materials to PVC and more respectful with the environment that, among other advantages, do not contain chlorine in their composition. They can be used in heating systems, sanitary water pipes, wastewater transport and drainage, among others. They are also used for roof waterproofing and as an electrical insulator. Besides being cheap, from the environmental point of view, they have the advantages of being non-toxic, chemically inert, sterilizable and recyclable.

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