Eco-sustainable building materials


Sustainability has become one of the primary goals of the building industry, both in the designing and construction phases. Reducing environmental impact requires the use of construction materials that enable the decrease of emissions and ensure energy efficiency and cost savings.

Building sustainability: what does it mean?

The term refers to construction that is environmentally safe and considers natural resources. An eco-sustainable building incorporates design and construction solutions that minimize energy wastage and guarantee high levels of efficiency.

The exploration of increasingly less impactful building methods and residences has driven the search for eco-sustainable materials, contributing to the green revolution in this industry as well.


What are sustainable building materials?


On the market, there are now eco-sustainable building materials derived from innovative raw elements. These are components that meet the demands for water resource conservation, renewable energy, and disposal and recycling.

  • Bio-bricks. These are ecological bricks made by incorporating bacteria into a mix of hemp and lime. The components come from recycling processes and have the same – if not better – performance as traditional bricks, with lower production costs.
  • Sheep wool insulation. It is used for thermal insulation and absorbs pollutants in the buildings’ indoor air. In addition to being fire-resistant, it is easily recyclable: a safe material for the environment and people.
  • Fungus-based insulation. This is the sustainable alternative to plastic foams. It is obtained from agricultural by-products, including mycelium (roots) that grow within the wall, forming a hermetic structure. The ultimate result is perfect thermal and acoustic insulation, free from volatile organic compounds and fire-resistant.
  • Straw insulation panel. It is composed of 99% recycled materials, including dried straw. The solution is cost-effective and ecological, suitable for so-called passive houses.
  • Cellulose fiber panels. They require a limited amount of water and resources: 99.5% of those used can be recovered. The fiber is produced from recycled paper, appropriately treated to be fire-resistant and repellent to insects and rodents. They belong to the category of prefabricated modular components, typical in the bio-architecture.
  • Reinforced panels made of cement, straw, and wood. They can be used for roofs and walls as well as load-bearing elements. They are waterproof, resistant to termites and pests and sound-absorbing.

In addition to these innovative materials, for targeted sustainability results, one can also rely on some more traditional materials: expanded metal, for instance.


Is expanded metal sustainable?


To be considered sustainable, a material must meet specific criteria:

  • Production should not involve high energy consumption or the use of hazardous substances.
  • The raw material from which it is made must be natural, recycled, or recyclable.
  • It should not release harmful substances to health and the environment.
  • At the end of its cycle, it should not become a dangerous environmental waste but can be recovered and reused.

This classification aligns with sustainable architecture’s definition. Its inception dates to the 1970s when Baubiologie, better known as bioconstruction, gained traction in Germany.

Among the criteria defining sustainable architecture is the limited environmental impact of the buildings. Energy efficiency plays a key role alongside a particular care for the inhabitants’ experience, both in terms of health and the quality of space utilization.

Based on these indications, it can be said that expanded metal is also an eco-sustainable building material.


How is expanded metal made?

The primary processing step generates no waste, and the transformation takes place without the use of polluting substances. This process thereby eliminates resulting environmental harm. Starting from a limited initial quantity, the raw material can be expanded up to five times its original size.

Even aluminium, one of the most common materials for producing expanded metal mesh, is naturally present, primarily in bauxite minerals. Aluminium retains its original performance even when used as a material that is 80% recycled.

The skills of expert workers and the availability of technologically advanced equipment contribute to achieving sustainable standards set by regulations. Thanks to the mechanical energy and the cutting blades, there is no need for welding phases: as a result, the production does not generate waste and this manufacturing method reduces carbon emissions.

Furthermore, expanded metal can be recycled at the end of its long lifecycle: painting and anodizing techniques provide twenty years of protection against external agents. If a mesh is not entirely recycled, it can still be easily disposed of.

Expanded metal also make a building’s structure less impactful, adding lightness and blending with the surrounding environment. This creates a connection between outdoor and indoor spaces. For instance, it works as sunscreen panels and is suitable for optimally distributing natural light within indoor spaces.

This is one of the reasons why expanded metal finds applications in public buildings like schools, museums, and offices, as well as in private construction.vata.

The wide form of expanded metal ensures ventilation and air passages in structures such as parking lots. It facilitates air recirculation and the dispersion of toxic fumes.

Investing in expanded metal means:

  • environmental respect and sustainability;
  • increased commercial value of the buildings due to the comfort provided and their energy efficiency;
  • economic savings since the structure is less energy-consuming. uses cookies. Some cookies are necessary for the proper functioning of the site, while others are used to analyze site traffic. By selecting all cookies, you voluntarily consent to the processing of the mentioned data.
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