Sustainable Building & Eco-Friendly Homes

Sustainable Building

Sustainable and eco-friendly building aims to reduce the impact of human occupation on natural zones, increase efficiency in domestic use of resources and improve occupants' quality of life. At the core of that concept are the building materials.

Does sustainable building create durable properties?

The combination of naturally-occurring materials like mud and straw may seem unlikely to resist erosion by wind and rain, but the construction has proven enduringly robust even for buildings of ambitious scale. The durability of timber construction owes much to its users' skill and preventative treatment, though harsh chemicals are at odds with the thinking behind sustainable building.

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What features and materials are found in sustainable building?

Sustainable building doesn't restrict architectural ideas but attempts to benefit by natural ambient light, heat and rainwater rather than simply repelling the elements as masonry does. Wood is the obvious sustainable material but others are favoured, including wattle & daub, cob, straw bale, earthen plasters, thatch, bamboo and many more. Ideally these will always be sourced local to their use, also giving distinctive regional style to the construction.

Is sustainable building expensive?

Affordability is central to sustainability; if the construction isn't affordable, the concept won't endure. This relates equally to the cost to the planet as to the financial bottom line, but it's surprising how often the green choice is cheaper than, for instance, materials which must be sourced remotely or mined then shipped at great expense. Materials offering advantageous thermal insulation are intrinsic to sustainable building, and will mean reduced long-term energy consumption and bills. Some sustainable materials are effectively free.

Eco building demonstrates wide-ranging choices by the architect and builder to avoid the conventional upheaval and scarring of landscapes for human occupation. The effect is impressive and persuasive, and likely to benefit from ongoing government support.