6 Materials Needed When Planning for a Construction Project


The construction industry often faces criticism when it comes to sustainability. It’s easy to see why — according to the International Energy Agency, the construction sector is responsible for 36% of final energy use worldwide. This illustrates the need for more eco-friendly practices, including the use of sustainable building materials. Learn more about the six most eco-friendly options when it comes to construction materials.

Construction Sustainability

It’s important to remember that the material you choose isn’t the only factor that determines the sustainability of a project. Choosing the right building product suppliers is also important. Partnering with a supplier that is located locally can minimize carbon emissions, for example, by eliminating unnecessary travel. The right construction supplier can also minimize excess travel and deliver everything you need straight to your worksite, and offer durable products that will stand up to the elements to save resources for your company and the planet.

1. Recycled Steel

Recycled materials are always a good bet when you’re looking to minimize the environmental impact of a building project. Recycled steel is particularly advantageous because it reduces the volume of metal in landfills and conserves natural resources.

Steel is also a great material to build with because it is remarkably strong and durable. It is noncombustible, too, meaning that it’s safer than many other kinds of building materials. All of these traits make recycled steel one of the top choices for sustainable construction.


2. Cork

Cork is yet another sustainable building material that can minimize the environmental impact of a project. This material is typically sourced from trees in Spain and Portugal, but unlike other tree-derived materials, it is widely considered to be eco-friendly. This is because of its biodegradability and lack of toxins.

Furthermore, the harvesting process leaves the tree completely unharmed because they are not cut down in order to produce cork. On the contrary, bark is stripped from the trees, and it will grow back. You can use cork in construction as a vapor barrier, as flooring, or in roofing.

3. Bamboo

There are more than 1400 known species of bamboo found throughout the world. This plant is known for its hardiness and versatility, so it’s no surprise that it’s a popular option for building materials. It ranks high in sustainability, too, because it grows quickly and regenerates easily.

4. Recycled Plastic

Plastic isn’t often considered an environmentally friendly material, but when you use recycled plastic, you can reap the benefits of sustainability. Recycled plastic has many applications in construction, including the following:

  • Floor tiles
  • Structural lumber
  • Bricks
  • Fences

Recycled plastic is also advantageous because it prevents problems such as pollution. It also cuts down on unnecessary production costs and energy usage, both of which can further exacerbate environmental harm. Building materials that incorporate recycled plastic are also often less expensive, which can benefit your business’s budget.

5. Clay Brick

Clay brick is both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly. Many builders prefer it because it requires minimal maintenance, and it creates a classic look that homeowners love. It offers plenty of eco-friendly benefits, too, including superior insulation that reduces energy costs and minimizes noise pollution.

Clay brick is especially eco-friendly, though, because of its natural origin. Clay is taken from deposits in the ground, eliminating the need for any man made product and thus minimizing carbon emissions during production. This material is also sustainable because it is incredibly durable and generally won’t require replacement.

6. Recycled Rubber

Recycled rubber is emerging as a trendy construction material for developers who value sustainability. It is popular for many reasons, including its durability and resistance to wear. It is also completely recyclable and useful in an array of construction applications. Some uses for recycled rubber include the following:

  • Sealing windows and thresholds
  • Trim for edges and guards
  • Seals for HVAC and ductwork

Rubber is also resistant to extreme fluctuations in temperature, and in its recycled form, it reduces deforestation, pollution, and other kinds of environmental harm. This is a major improvement over synthetic rubber, which uses polymers that harm the environment.

No matter what kind of construction project you’re working on, it’s important to consider the environmental impact. You can make your next development more sustainable with these six eco-friendly materials.