A Green building or a green structure does not only refer to the usage of sustainable materials but also how the systems of building work, and the application of different processes that a building goes through. E.g., from planning to design, construction, finishing, maintenance, renovation and demolition.
Buildings account for almost 18% of global emissions today which accounts for a considerable amount of CO2 emission. While in this urban realm, buildings and infrastructure play a leading role in development, we must re-look at our current practices to cater to the changing times.
Major role to play in a green building is the building materials used. While concrete is a material that quite literally forms our city scape, we have some alternatives for building materials that can be considered.
Earthen Building Materials –
Usage of prototypes of earthen building materials like rammed earth, adobe, cob, earthbags, and earth bricks are ancient history. A green building is fundamentally sustainable but also need to be strong and durable. Earth buildings have come a long way to prove themselves, and with technological advancement, usage of bamboo and straw is found out to further strengthen their structure.
Bamboo as a Green Building Materials –
With so many species with different properties, bamboo can be a good alternative of building material for green building construction in today’s context. They are durable, multifaceted as a building material. It can be used for structural as well as aesthetic purposes which makes it low cost as well.
Recycled Plastic for Green Buildings –
Instead of hunting and innovating new building materials while depleting our natural resources, recycled plastic can be used as an alternative. Researchers have been creating concrete from plastic trash which not only reduces greenhouse emissions but also reduces weight and most importantly clears out our landfills!
While fly ash bricks are already an alternative for conventional building material for a green building, ashcrete is a concrete alternative that uses fly ash instead of traditional cement.
More such green building materials like grasscrete, straw bales, natural fibres, natural clay and engineered wood have been revolutionizing the construction industry today. Other technologies and green practices like green wall systems, using Non-VOC paints can also change the outlook towards conventional buildings to transform into green buildings.