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5 building construction materials that are ecological


5 building construction materials that are ecological

Are you curious to know which building construction materials are ecological? The building sector is trying to find ways to reduce carbon emissions and ecological materials have a role in shaping the future architecture and construction industry.
Editorial Team

In the current scenario of a climate crisis, thinking about an architectural project without defining ecological guidelines has become practically unacceptable. One of the main emitters of carbon dioxide and other pollutants, the construction sector is increasingly looking for new ways and means that can make works more sustainable and, in some way, mitigate damage to the environment. Thinking about ecological materials can be one of the fundamental steps, but, which materials are these?

By definition, to be considered ecological, a material must follow some general characteristics such as: be made from a raw material that is rapidly renewed, or that is recyclable, biodegradable or susceptible to conversion to carbon; their collection, extraction and manufacture must be done locally, avoiding distant displacements; its inputs must be organically or sustainably grown or harvested, and must be free of toxins; and be durable, easy to maintain and easy to reuse. Below, you will find some of the materials that meet these requirements:

Adobe and Rammed Earth: Composed of raw earth, water, straw and, in some cases, other natural fibers, adobe is an ancient technique used all over the world. It is a low-impact material that is produced manually, does not use fossil fuels in its production and does not require energy to burn it. Therefore, the traditional material allows its rubble to be returned directly to the earth. Other advantages are its low cost, ease of production and implementation. While adobe is a sun-baked brick and its construction process follows the form of masonry, therammed earth normally consists of two parallel wooden panels or plywood sheets, filled with a layer of damp earth. After this small layer is added, it is compressed to about half its original volume by a pneumatic tamper. This process is repeated iteratively until the structure is filled with compacted earth, allowing the wood to be removed and a self-supporting rammed earth wall to remain.

Bamboo: The material that captures and stores carbon dioxide has demonstrated in laboratory tests that it achieves impressive structural capabilities. Its compressive strength is equivalent to that of concrete, while its tensile strength reaches the numbers of steel.

Certified or Planted Wood: As it is a renewable material, therefore, it is possible to use it without further damage to the environment as long as its extraction rate allows for the restoration of the forest and maintains the entire cycle sustainable. An already traditional building material, wood is capable of storing about a ton of carbon dioxide in each cubic meter. In addition, its easy handling allows the construction site to be more efficient, reducing construction time and consuming less energy for the construction of structures.

Ecological bricks: Known as compressed earth blocks, ecological bricks are modular and can be used for structural purposes - replacing other more materials that are harmful to the environment, such as concrete. They are composed of soil and cement and cured with water. In other words, they do not need any kind of burning. Due to their texture, they can be kept in their apparent forms, making coatings unnecessary.

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ArchDaily Team
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