Five Eco-Friendly Materials For Sustainable Architecture
— 31 March 2022
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— 31 March 2022
As members of the ‘Association for Environment Conscious Building’, Spatial Design Architects have prioritised a common aim of promoting sustainable building. As your local architects, we always consider the environmental impact that our designs have, whether that be during construction, during the building’s lifetime or at the end of its lifespan. Sustainability is inherently part of our design process, and a large part of that is utilising eco-friendly materials whenever possible.
Read on to find out more about the eco-friendly materials which are regularly used within sustainable architecture projects in the modern house.
With a high strength-to-weight ratio, better comprehensive strength than concrete and the ability to last incredibly long, Bamboo is a great sustainable choice for flooring as well as cabinetry. One drawback is that bamboo requires treatment to resist rot. A high self-generation rate means that some bamboo can grow up to three feet within 24 hours, while it continues spreading and growing without having to be replanted after harvest.
Researchers have found a way to take post-consumer plastic and upcycle it into a concrete mix, therefore reducing greenhouse gas emissions, cutting down on landfill waste and reducing the weight of building material. Plastic is also used to make polymeric timbers, for use in making fences and similar structures, eliminating the need to cut down trees.
A mix of sawdust and concrete, this material retains the many benefits of concrete but with reduced transport emissions and costs due to the reduced weight. Sawdust is also otherwise wasted a lot of the time, so this material finds a practical use for a commodity which would otherwise be wasted entirely. Timbercrete provides the look, feel and sound absorption of regular concrete while providing superior insulation properties to the standard concrete blocks used in many modern houses.
In some ways similar to bamboo, cork grows very quickly. It can also be harvested from a living tree, which continues to grow and reproduce more cork. Resilience and resistance to wear make cork a common material in floor tiles, while excellent noise absorption makes it perfect for insulation sheets. One drawback from cork as a sustainable material is that it is expensive to ship, though fortunately it is extremely light and requires less energy usage to transport, making it ideal for sustainable architecture..
Reclaimed wood is one of the most environmentally responsible ways to save trees and reduce the waste in landfills. Found in shipping crates, pallets and often deemed surplus to requirements by companies, this material is good for structural framing, cabinetry, and flooring, though it is susceptible to degradation and likely to be targeted by insects.
Spatial Design Architects is a RIBA chartered practice located in Essex in the east of England, we specialise in contemporary bespoke residential family homes, apartments, mixed use projects and commercial developments. Our work undertakes discussions on interventions and opportunities that the land and buildings could achieve. We help you understand your desires and bring them to life, through our design, detail and deliver processes. For 20 years our sustainable architecture has been progressive and explored many forms, materials, and solutions, underlined with our ethos on professionalism, quality, experience, and design. Contact our team of local architects today for more information on the service we provide.