Sustainable Design and Building Materials

Image by Jeremy Levine via Flickr Creative Commons license.

Image by Jeremy Levine via Flickr Creative Commons license.

When someone talks about sustainable design, he or she is generally referring to design focused on environmental consciousness. What is going to be good for the environment, in addition to being good for the building’s residents? How does the design factor in an increased use of renewable resources while generating only a minimal amount of waste? Sustainable design is intended to be green at its finest. A sustainably-designed home is going to be healthier and much more biofriendly.

How do you make a home or office more sustainable? Well, it starts with the building materials you use. The following are just a few of the sustainable building materials popular today:

Green Building Materials infographic provided by Accurate Perforating Company.

Sustainable Design Making a Comeback

As you can see from this Decoist article, natural stone is one of many building materials making a comeback this year.  What’s great is not only has it become a trendy material for use in building design, but it’s a sustainable one as well.  Seeing more and more sustainable materials put into mainstream design and building is beneficial for us all. Why use unsustainable materials when green, eco-friendly and renewable materials will do the job? Besides, consumers want to see sustainability in their homes, their offices and the places they frequent.

Various Aspects of a Sustainable Building

A sustainable building can have various different aspects. The features and materials you incorporate into the design will determine its sustainability. Building a home with solar roofing, recycled lumber, natural stone siding, eco-friendly insulation, permeable pavement and living walls is innovative. It shows future and eco-conscious thinking.
For example, these solar-powered apartments featured on Inhabitat were built to generate more energy than they use.  Then you have the homes being built by UCSI students in Malaysia using recycled drink packs. In the past we’ve featured mushroom-based insulation, seen natural wool insulation and researched insulation made from miscellaneous recycled materials.  Living walls bring life to a home, as well as help to eliminate indoor air pollution. All kinds of materials can be used when designing and bringing into existence a sustainable building.  Recycled grey water and rainwater capture systems help lower water costs and keep the surroundings green. Take a look at various aspects of the 10 most sustainable buildings as awarded by the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment (COTE) and featured on New Atlas:'s "Celebrating the Very Best in Sustainable Design"’s “Celebrating the Very Best in Sustainable Design”

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