Using Eco-Friendly Materials in Construction to Aid Sustainable Efforts
Sustainability is trending across all industries, but construction is one area where sustainable efforts are particularly important. It’s essential for the infrastructure of our cities, such as the various types of buildings used for things like schools, office buildings, healthcare facilities, housing, transportation, and more, to start being built using more eco-friendly materials for us to create a more sustainable future.
People are also generally moving towards developing more eco-conscious practices, meaning construction companies need to use newer and better eco-friendly materials if they want to stay relevant and appeal to individuals and businesses looking to work with sustainable brands. As the world continues to adopt more sustainable mindsets, it’s necessary to evolve or get left behind.
Some construction companies may struggle to justify completely changing the way they do business in regards to adopting more sustainable practices and using more sustainable building materials. Understandably, making big business decisions always comes with risks, but sustainable businesses will only continue to become increasingly necessary. So it’s helpful to consider the benefits to help justify taking these risks.
Some of the many benefits of sustainable construction include:
- Reduced costs: Green materials and construction overall cost less than normal construction. This is because the materials are often more efficient, and sustainable processes use fewer resources. Sustainable buildings also generally have a higher return on investment.
- Improved health: Sustainable construction materials are much safer to work with. They are often made out of other non-toxic substances and materials, meaning they are better for your health. This is good both for the workers building with these materials as well as the individuals living or working in green buildings.
- Waste reduction: The construction industry, like many other industries, is responsible for a significant amount of waste that ends up polluting natural environments and the atmosphere. However, when companies go green and use more sustainable products and materials, it cuts down on their carbon footprint and their waste production.
- Competitive advantage: Eco-friendly construction companies can increase their profits and growth because they have an advantage over competitors that have not yet gone green. More and more individuals are choosing sustainable brands over others, so by becoming a more eco-friendly company, they can expand their reach to consumers looking for sustainable businesses to work with.
Construction companies must start using more environmentally friendly materials to build a more sustainable future for generations to come. Green buildings are better for the environment and the health of our society. Sustainable structures are also known to improve quality of life overall because they use cleaner materials and focus on ways to bring nature inside with lots of windows for natural light, as well as other natural elements and design features.
Below are some of the most innovative and sustainable materials revolutionizing the construction industry today:
Concrete is typically not very sustainable because it cracks and breaks down, which requires a lot of maintenance and repaving. However, construction companies can now use something known as self-healing concrete, which uses a bacterial element that produces limestone to naturally help fill in gaps and cracks. This is more sustainable because it is more durable and will last longer over time.
Light-emitting cement can help cities significantly reduce energy costs. The cement can absorb solar energy during the day, so it can then light up roadways and bike lanes at night. This means there will be less need for electric-powered street lights, which use up a significant amount of energy that results in the burning of fossil fuels.
Breath bricks are a new pollution-absorbing material being used to help combat air pollution. These bricks are designed to direct airflow inwards through their natural filtration system, which results in cleaner air. It also takes less energy to make breath bricks than it does a standard brick and costs less money.
Cross-laminated timber is a much thicker and stronger type of engineered wood used for its structural integrity. Using cross-laminated timber is more sustainable because it cuts out the need for other support materials like steel, plastic, and concrete, which results in fewer resources being used and an overall healthier, more sustainable structure.
Though many of these materials are not yet widely available, construction companies need to keep an eye out for when they do hit the market. Sustainable materials are notoriously difficult to obtain because everyone wants them, and they are in limited supply. This is often because they are developed overseas. Especially now, post-COVID and with war in Russia raging, supply chains are struggling to meet demand.
The infrastructure of our cities is important because it plays a critical role in economic growth. The health and success of a city and its people heavily depend on the construction of roads, bridges, resource facilities, hospitals, public buildings, housing, and more. Unfortunately, as populations grow and urban areas become more crowded, cities are struggling to sustain themselves.
The weight of environmental issues combined with growing populations means sustainable construction is now more important than ever. Many cities understand the situation we are in and are already using eco-friendly construction to build more sustainable eco-cities. If this trend of sustainable constructions continues, it can significantly reduce carbon emissions and cut down on the use of resources, allowing for a healthier and more viable future.
We can no longer deny that climate change is an issue. The way we live our lives and run our businesses has a significant impact on the planet. Everyone must start developing more eco-conscious practices, but businesses and corporations especially have even more of a responsibility to make sustainable changes. And the construction industry, in particular, has the power to effect change on a large scale by using more eco-friendly materials and processes.