The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Whether you own a major construction company, are updating your business’s facilities, or adding on to your own home, you want the materials you use to last for many long years. Maybe you even want to help the environment last a little longer as well. There are many innovations in building materials that provide both sustainability and durability to your project or project workload. Let’s take a look at three of them.
The material used in construction has always required durability and within the last couple of decades, sustainable materials have gained in necessity and popularity as well. But what’s the difference? Don’t they mean basically the same thing? Well, not exactly:
Sustainability refers to a reduced amount of effect that the manufacturing and daily use of a product will have on the environment.
Durability refers to how long a given product will last in the environment that they are intended for use in.
How durable a type of material definitely has an influence on how sustainable that material will be as well. Products that last longer don’t need to be manufactured as often as those that have short life expectancy. But at the same time, materials that are too durable, such as plastics, are often non-biodegradable and harmful to the environment. So what building materials offer the best of both? Here are three of them:
Commonly mistaken for a type of wood, bamboo is actually a type of grass. It’s one of the fastest-growing crops in the world and is impressively and surprisingly strong. Bamboo is also exceptionally versatile and can be used to replace timber in most parts of residential construction. Both wood and bamboo are organic, however, bamboo grows at a much faster rate and does not need to be replanted after a harvest.
No, steel is not a new and innovatively fresh material for building. But almost all of the structural steel, or steel used in the structural framing of building, bridges, and other structures, is actually recycled steel. Additionally, because it is so reliably durable, nearly 98% of all buildings are constructed with the use of steel.
Yes, that’s right. Even sheep’s wool can be used as a building material. The soft, fibrous material is an excellent insulator, especially in attics, ceilings and flooring. Like bamboo, wool is an organic material that can be replenished quickly and infinitely supplied. That is, at least, for the life of the supplier’s sheep.
Next time you have an important construction project, take some time to think about the materials you’re using and whether or not they are both durable and sustainable.