3 Green Building Materials for Eco Friendly Construction
Marissa Morin | Oct 20, 2021
Businesses have good reason to think about their environmental footprint. According to polls from Gallup, 66% of Americans have purchased a product because they thought it would be better for the environment, and 72% of Americans reported that an employer’s environmental track record was a factor in choosing a workplace. Plus, governments are now encouraging businesses to build sustainably through tax credits. Considering all the incentives to go green, we’ve decided to highlight a few green building materials for eco-friendly construction to help project managers meet sustainability goals.
Here are three eco friendly green building materials you should consider for your next construction project:
Bamboo grows quickly, easily, and on every continent except Europe and Antarctica. In fact, bamboo will grow and spread without the need to replant after harvesting and can sometimes grow multiple feet in a single day.
Although bamboo is not wood – but a perennial grass – it makes a great replacement for wood because bamboo fibers are two to three times stronger than wood. When you compare the tensile strength of bamboo to steel, bamboo surprisingly exceeds steel at 28,000 pounds tensile strength per square inch while steel is 23,000 pounds.
If you’re a project manager planning your next construction project, consider bamboo as one of the best eco friendly building materials. Not only is bamboo frequently used as cabinetry and flooring but it’s often cheaper than wood too.
2) Eco Friendly Shipping Containers
Many architects and engineers like working with shipping containers for their unique look and impressive strength, but ultimately using shipping containers as building elements is a great way to repurpose cargo boxes no longer in use.
Once shipping containers arrive at port, full of cargo, they’re often not sent back overseas. This happens for a few reasons: One, it’s often cheaper to create new shipping containers than incur the high shipping cost to return an empty box for reuse. And two, for countries like the US, we import more than we export, therefore we end up with a surplus of containers.
Instead of letting these shipping containers stack up unused, utilize them as green building materials. The corten steel, strong frame, and repurposed flooring (often bamboo or plywood) make great single offices, living spaces, or storage units. If you’re needing to build a larger structure, consider the stackability of containers to form a multi-unit building.
3) Recycled Plastic
It’s estimated that more than 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced since the 1950s and 91% of plastic isn’t recycled. Out of all the plastic waste, it makes sense that we should utilize repurposed plastic when we can. One way to do this is to consider the benefits of recycled plastic for construction.
Several manufacturers use recycled plastic to produce concrete, carpets, pipes, roofs, flooring, or polymeric timbers – used to make fences, tables, and structures – and more. This practice helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while making the most of global plastic waste. To determine what plastic reuse method is right for your construction project, learn more about the possibilities with plastic.
Our Expertise: Shipping Container Modification
Needless to say, there are many aspects to consider when businesses search for greener choices. To gain a better understanding of the environmental benefits of shipping containers, check out our free eBook, Eco-Friendly Business Choices with Shipping Container Structures. This guide discusses key topics such as tax credits and energy efficiency. We firmly believe that shipping container structures have a place in the green building movement when organizations leverage their potential for reuse and mobility.
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