Sustainable construction materials are those that are durable over time, require little maintenance and can be reused, recovered or recycled. Additionally, these materials have little to no environmental impact and are guaranteed to be non-toxic.
Sustainable construction and architecture
During all these years, architecture and construction have used materials with enormous environmental costs that, together with bad habits that are not very careful with our environment, have enormously harmed our planet.
Aware of this great damage, different methods and philosophies have been put into practice to establish a new paradigm and improve our quality of life by creating wealth and competitiveness from more ecological products. Contributing to the use of products that consume fewer resources, and have fewer effects and risks for the environment and consequently for us humans, and avoid the generation of waste, must be our flag.
Which sustainable building materials to choose
- Natural insulators that are biodegradable and recyclable such as cellulose, hemp, wood fibre insulation boards, wood wool, and linen. These materials are free of additives and harmful substances.
- Wood or bamboo, ceramics and porcelain with recycled materials are optimal for coatings.
- For the finishes it is ideal to use clay or lime plasters, white cement or silicate mineral paints, natural paints or clay paints. These materials are solvent-free and breathable.
- 100% recyclable water supply pipes such as cross-linked polyethylene and polypropylene pipes.
Without a doubt, the most efficient natural cladding for any architectural project is natural stone. This material has been used by humans for centuries. Its own characteristics, from its extraction to its placement, make this material a careful choice with the environment.
Some of the advantages of using natural stone among sustainable construction materials are:
- Its durability makes its reuse possible.
- Due to its life cycle, which uses a minimum consumption of water and energy, it causes a minimum impact on health and the ecosystem.
- Thanks to its thermal inertia, it is a perfect insulator, with its corresponding energy savings.
- Due to its roughness, it is an excellent acoustic insulator.
Its resistance to atmospheric factors, it’s zero toxicity and its useful life with low energy cost, make natural stone a perfect ally to provide our projects with the necessary sustainability.
Another material from mother earth with zero toxic emissions is wood; undoubtedly one of the sustainable materials par excellences. Energy savings in our home using firewood can reach 60% in heating or air conditioning. Some of the advantages of using wood among sustainable construction materials are:
- It is completely natural, so it has no toxic treatments.
- It does not work as a thermal bridge, but it does work as a natural insulator, which increases its energy efficiency.
- The use of wood in construction implies a lower carbon footprint, compared to other constructions made of brick or concrete.
- Wood can be used in any type of home; with its use we are contributing positively to maintaining and increasing the forest mass.
It is necessary to always use certified wood that guarantees proper management of forest resources and prevents uncontrolled logging. The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) standards guarantee the origin and control of the wood. Sustainable solutions, such as the use of bamboo, further increase our consideration for the environment. This material presents excellent benefits in terms of resistance, durability, aesthetics and rapidity of growth.
Our architecture studio Pacheco & Asociados
At Pacheco & Asociados Architects we use sustainable construction materials for all our projects since one of our premises is to create sustainable and environmentally friendly projects. To do this, we make the most of material resources and the latest technology in the design of our projects.