Choosing Green Over Conventional Construction Materials- A Boon For Generations -By team Wienerberger, Wienerberger India


June 04, 2015
When you live in a home that is made from natural material, the environment inside is comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Above all, you do not leave a carbon footprint for the next generations. Such homes built with green materials are termed as green buildings. Their primary advantage is that they do not make use of non-renewable energy sources, which is important for sustainability of the environment in the long run. The natural material used to build them gives a very cozy and comfortable interior environment.

Here is a look at the features of ‘green’ construction materials, which makes them a better option over conventional construction materials:

  • Energy efficiency and insulation – Green materials have excellent thermal insulation property. This helps to keep the interiors comfortable. In-fact green buildings can reduce 30-50% of energy consumption. Natural materials such as clay hollow bricks are able to keep the interiors cool in summer and warm in winters without the use of HVAC systems. This helps to curb energy consumption and saves you money on electricity bills. Other materials that have thermal insulation property are straw bales, which offer up to 70% reduction in electricity bills.

One of the problems that people face in crowded city apartments is the proliferation of noise from the surroundings and streets into the home. Green materials prevent such noise naturally from coming inside and keep the home quiet and peaceful. Products like clay hollow bricks offer acoustic insulation keeping your house noise free. Woodfibre is yet another natural green material that comes with high thermal as well as acoustic insulation properties.

  • Low Cost – Green construction materials are highly cost effective in the long run. Green buildings come with a nominal 3-5% extra investment as compared to conventional buildings. But when you compare the efficiency and cost benefits over a period of time they’re actually much more cost effective. You can save on utility bills through energy conservation and save on structural costs since the materials like hollow bricks bring down the dead load on the structure drastically. Further you can also save on maintenance as the green materials are closer to nature and hence retain the quality for a longer period of time. You can use them to get fabulous homes, without incurring heavy expenses in material cost.
  • Availability – Green construction materials are easily available in nature. Weather it’s the abundance of clay, versatility of natural stones or quick availability of bamboo, nature provides the most to mankind. According to Vo TrongNghia, bamboo is the material that’ll replace steel. He even calls it ‘green steel’ due to its widespread availability at low costs i.e. as little as a dollar each for canes. In such a scenario green materials like clay products (hollow bricks, roof tiles and facades), bamboo products (laminated bamboo, engineered bamboo and bamboo tiles) and natural stones (for flooring) can not only help you build green home but also curbs the industrial and post-usage dump in the environment as the artificial goods production comes down.
  • Durable and strong – Green materials are known for their strength and enduring nature. They’re don’t usually get worn out by wind or weather elements easily. This enables the green materials to retain their aesthetics intact for generations with low maintenance. Green construction materials are strong hence you can be sure of getting a solid structure by using them. Materials such as bamboo can not only withstand tough weather conditions but also outperform steel in elasticity. Corkwood on the other hand is far more durable than the average wooden floors. Whereas clay stands as a testimony for long life since the roof tiles excavated during Indus valley civilization can be found intact till date.
  • Faster Construction and easy to handle– By using green materials, the time taken to complete construction is reduced, which brings down labor costs. The lightweight nature of these materials makes them easy to handle thus enabling faster construction.
  • Long-lasting and Low Maintenance – Green materials will last for decades. For example a clay roof will last even a hundred years unaffected by weather, termites, mold, etc. This eliminates the need to repair or replace them, which helps avoid such expenses. They are easy to maintain which cuts down on time, effort and money spent to clean and upkeep them.
  • Resistant To Fire and safety – Natural materials made from clay can be fire proof if burnt at a high temperature. This eliminates fire hazards and increases safety. Natural materials keep your loved ones safe, as they do not emit harmful gases in the environment. Green buildings can also reduce the emission of carbon-di-oxide by 35%.
  • Good Resale Value – Homes made from high quality green materials retain their value and are futuristic in nature. When you think of selling green buildings they fetch a good price. Since these materials are least affected by weather conditions, they do not fade or loose their aesthetic value, they retain their condition for generations.

Making use of eco-friendly material ushers in a totally new way of life, one in which you are closer to nature. By investing in such material for your home structure, you get a home for which you do not incur frequent repair costs. Not just the above-mentioned direct benefits but you’re also cutting down on the waste output that is reduced by 70 percent. The interiors are wonderful to live in and add to your health and well-being.