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Sustainable materials in construction

Sustainable architecture and construction have arrived and have settled strongly in our country. There is a growing need for the search for techniques that focus on the planet, that bet on less harmful materials, free of toxins and proximity.

Let's review the sector and its figures

The real estate sector is known to be one of the sectors directly responsible for global energy consumption. In addition, it is on the list of sectors with the highest greenhouse gas emissions, leading the list.

This is why there is no choice but to look for alternatives to reduce these outlandish figures. It is necessary to think about the present and the short-term future (we are running out of time). We must bet on building models that aim at the welfare and respect for both its inhabitants and the environment.

Special features of sustainable materials

For sustainable architecture and construction, we must look for materials in line with its philosophy and values. It is about using materials that fit the construction model and that offer us durability and guarantee when building. Obviously, the non-polluting factor is one of the first to be crossed off the list of ideal materials for sustainable architecture and construction.

In addition, it should be added to those already mentioned, that they come from a fair production, from abundant and renewable sources and that the energy consumption during their life cycle is reduced.

On the other hand, they must be products free of toxic and harmful substances for people and the environment, and part of their composition must be made of recycled materials. To close the list of particularities, it could also be included that the price of the products should be fair and accessible.

Its impact on the environment

It is essential that the materials used in the construction of sustainable homes generate the smallest possible environmental footprint. We could summarize them in five points:

  • The origin of these materials must be sustainable, certified and with a minimum impact on ecosystems.

  • Control over the consumption and origin of the natural resources used to obtain these materials.

  • Low energy consumption in their life cycle phases is necessary.

  • Linked to the previous point, CO2 emissions must be controlled during their manufacture and subsequent transport.

  • At the end of their useful life, the materials used should be recognized as waste and treated accordingly.

Which sustainable materials should I consider

The time has come to reduce the environmental impact of working with traditional architectural and construction materials and to use sustainable materials. Let's bet on a future of construction that respects the planet.

Listed below are some of the materials used in sustainable architecture and construction:

  • Wood

Used in construction for many years, wood has a low environmental impact, both in its production and in its life cycle. It is necessary to verify and prove its origin by means of a certificate of origin and exploitation. Considering energy consumption, this material is a very good thermal insulator, which allows us to reduce the use of heating and air conditioning.

  • Natural stone

This mineral product, ecological and with a minimum use of energy and water during its life cycle, meets all the parameters to be considered a sustainable material. In addition to being durable and reusable, it is a magnificent acoustic and thermal insulator. It is also non-toxic and low-maintenance.

  • OSB panels

They are made of wood shavings pressed under high pressure to provide strength and consistency. It is a clear example of a recycled material, since it comes from the remains of wood from sawmills.

  • Recycled paper pulp

It comes from the recycling and treatment of newsprint and has fireproof, insecticide and anti-fungal properties. It is a very powerful thermal and acoustic insulator and requires very little energy to manufacture.

  • Wood fiber panel

This is another thermal and acoustic insulator on the market. It offers high resistance to fire, insects and humidity. This material is very versatile when it comes to its placement and beneficial to the health of the inhabitants, since its composition is free of chemical additives.

  • Cork

It has a low conductivity and does not absorb humidity. This makes it a good thermal and acoustic insulator. This material comes from the bark of cork oak trees and is extracted without the need to cut down the tree, as it regenerates itself.

  • Lime mortar

It is the sustainable alternative to mortar because it requires less energy in its production. In addition, it does not require additives in its production. It can be used as a binder in mortars and as a facade finish.

  • Polypropylene, polybutylene and polyethylene

These are thermoplastic materials used in heating systems, water pipes and drains. They are toxic-free materials, since they do not contain chlorine in their composition, are chemically inert, sterilizable and recyclable.

  • Fired clay

It is obtained from clay that is heated at high temperatures and to which natural treatments are applied to enhance its properties. Easy to reuse and recycle, terracotta is a material to be taken into account when talking about sustainable construction.

  • Bamboo

Highly resistant, ecological and renewable, thanks to its rapid recovery after felling. It is a material that is not usually used in Western countries but is very common and a substitute for wood in Asian and tropical countries.

  • Natural paints

They are obtained from natural components such as vegetable oils or metal oxides. They are environmentally friendly and facilitate the transpiration of the materials they cover. In this way they avoid future cracks and possible humidity.

At Ecovip we believe in the model of sustainable architecture and construction. It is part of our company values and mission to focus on our clients and the environment. We use many of the aforementioned materials because they provide us with the quality standard we seek and want to offer.

We build healthy and energy self-sufficient homes. We pursue the ideal of offering a toxic-free space and we also aspire to promote the zero waste movement to close this virtuous circle.

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