Types of sustainable building materials?

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Sustainable building materials are made from recycled or renewable resources, such as lumber, stone, metal, bamboo, cork, and straw. Reclaimed lumber is the most commonly used recycled material, but it may contain harmful chemicals. Natural materials can also be reclaimed, but may contain volatile organic compounds. Bamboo and cork are easily renewable and gaining popularity. Innovations include houses made of straw bales, recycled rubber tires, glass bottles, and terra cotta.

Sustainable building materials are building materials made from recycled products and resources that can be replenished in a relatively short amount of time. There are many types of sustainable building materials, often referred to as green building products. Lumber, stone, metal and paper are materials that can be recycled and reused as building products. Bamboo, cork, straw and even coconut are examples of building products that can be renovated quickly.

Reclaimed lumber is the most widely used recycled material for green building. The lumber is sourced from old structures, treated and resized for use on other projects. Using reclaimed lumber preserves lumber and saves energy because fewer resources are used to recycle lumber than would be used to harvest, treat, plane, and haul new lumber. Reclaimed lumber can be more expensive than first-use lumber due to costs associated with reclaim and treatment. Reclaimed lumber may also contain chemicals from previous treatments, which could be harmful to the environment.

Almost all natural materials, including stone, metal and concrete, can be reclaimed and used as sustainable building materials. The advantages and disadvantages of using them are similar to those of using reclaimed lumber. One of the biggest concerns with using recycled natural products is the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs can be present in reclaimed materials from things like paint, stain and other chemical treatments, especially those applied before more stringent environmental standards were in place.

Easily renewable products such as bamboo and cork are becoming more common as sustainable building materials. Bamboo is a fast growing plant that is used most frequently in sustainable building projects. It fills up quickly due to its rapid growth cycle and is versatile in its application. Bamboo is used most frequently as flooring and to reinforce concrete. More and more houses and buildings are being built with bamboo.

Cork is also gaining popularity as a sustainable building material. Harvesting cork requires stripping the bark from the tree, but does not require felling the entire tree. Cork is a flooring material that is becoming more and more common in residences around the world.

There are many innovations going on in sustainable building materials. Houses made of straw bales are being built, as are structures built entirely of recycled rubber tires. Some buildings were even built using glass bottles or cans. Terra cotta, clay and new forms of concrete are also being used more often as sustainable building materials.

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