Alternative Green Building Materials

Choosing the right things for you, that makes the minimal impact on the planet, is a responsibility rather than a choice. From choosing our food to the materials we choose to build our homes. If you are planning on a renovation or building a new home, take a loot at our list of ‘green’ materials. 


These root-like fibers found on mushrooms and fungi that grow below the ground. It can be used as a building material once dried, and combined with pasteurized sawdust. Mycelium is a strong, water, mold, and fire resistant material, which was initially experimented with for art installations.
Sheep’s Wool:
Our regular insulation materials has various types of toxic chemicals, which are mainly put in for properties like fire-resistance. Sheep’s wool, is a minimum-impact, environment-friendly option that helps in improving energy efficiency and soundproofing.


Cotton or Denim:
Similar to sheep’s wool, cotton and denim are natural resources, providing excellent insulation properties. As you would’ve probably wondered already, these options are flammable, hence it is treated with a borate solution and flash dried. Cotton might not be as pocket-friendly as the other options. 
Aerogel is made from silica. Under high pressure and temperature, the liquid from silica is removed to get aerogel. Aerogel is 90 percent air and heat-resistant, which makes it an excellent option for insulation. 
Cellulosic materials, just like cotton, are good choices for insulation. Straw, hemp, sawdust, and newspaper are all such materials. This alternative is cost-effective and energy-efficient.



Bamboo is becoming a widely popular choice in the field of architecture. There are several firms across the world, focusing solely on projects utilizing bamboo as the main material. Its multipurpose benefits and durability makes it a highly recommended material. Bamboo trees grow fast, irrespective of it location and climatic conditions. It is highly useful in the construction of frames, supports and walls. Bamboo is also used to create aesthetically pleasing spaces. 


Also known as heplime, hempcrete is a biocomposite material mixture of lime and hemp hurds. Several countries have legalized this material, given only industrial hemp is used. Make sure to check the rules before you decide on this one.
Rammed Earth:
Rammed earth is a popular choice among green building materials. Fibrous materials like chopped straw and grass are added to materials cob and rammed earth to provide good strength and durability. Rammed earth is used to make building blocks or whole walls in place by ramming the soil into a mold. 
Straw Bale:
Due to its good insulating properties, fire-resistance, and easy availability makes it a popular green building material.  Some debate on this one exists related to moisture and mold.


Probably the easiest to think of on this list, stone is a popular choice due to its high thermal mass, durability, low maintenance and versatility. Structures built hundreds of years ago, with stones, still exist without much issues.
Reclaimed wood:
This is a great and responsible way to reduce the kind of fresh resources you use for construction. Unlike many other materials we use, reclaimed wood, reduces embodied energy energy and saves landfill space.



This amazing material is an all-rounder. It is available in a variety of styles and is very durable. Check for the certification of the bamboo used to makes sure its good quality and free from toxic chemicals.
Linoleum, like vinyl and cork, is a resilient flooring material. It is made from natural materials like ground limestone, powdered cork, jute and linseed oil.
Natural Fiber Floor:
A natural and renewable option for flooring. Sisal, mountain grass, wool, and seagrass are few options of natural fibers. Being recyclable and biodegradable, these are perfectly environment-friendly as well as energy efficient.
Earthen Flooring:
A long time favorite, earthen flooring is an environment-friendly flooring option, with the added benefit of being aesthetically pleasing. Check out our article about earthen floors, what to know and why to consider this option.



Also know as Void Structured concrete, grasscrete is a a form of concrete that infuses grass into it and has a defined pattern of voids.  The quantity of concrete in this case, is reduced and it also improves stormwater absorption and drainage.

Recycled Plastic:
From roofing tiles to insulation, recycled plastic provides solution to several issues. The versatility of its function, the durability of the material, especially its composites, are quite exceptional.

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