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Building green is becoming increasingly popular in the housing market and is becoming more widely accepted in the corporate arena too. Green renovation means taking an existing building and making it more energy efficient and environmentally friendly by reducing carbon emissions and other forms of pollution. Energy efficiency, and the cost of energy in general, is an issue that has been in the spotlight for a number of years now, but one that is likely to become increasingly important over the coming decade as fuel costs go up. As we enter into this new era of rising costs it is essential that we look for ways to help conserve energy and save costs, as you are more than likely only too aware.

Grasscrete

Grasscrete is concrete floors, walkways, and driveways that allow for grass or other flora to grow. By mixing concrete with wetland plants and organic landscaping products, grasscrete absorbs and absorbs rain water similarly to vegetative soil. This greatly reduces runoff and minimizes pollution in our streams and rivers.Detailed surface patterns on a concrete walkway may look cool but don’t necessarily contribute to storm-water runoff. On the other hand, grasscrete(tm) features deep intertwining patterns, which absorb and capture runoff.

Sheep’s Wool

Wool insulation is a natural insulator that helps keep buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Additionally, it inhibits mold and mildew growth and handles moisture well. It is considered among the best in energy efficiency. Sheep Wool Insulation is environmentally friendly and offers outstanding thermal values, making it the ideal product for today’s “green” buildings.

HempCrete

Hempcrete is a versatile, high-performance building material that can be used for interior walls, exterior walls, structural elements and insulated floors. It won’t shrink, swell or crack and has excellent insulation qualities. Its good thermal mass helps to conserve energy in buildings. HempCrete offers superior strength-weight ratios, saves energy through reduced transport weight, and is a 100% renewable resource.

Plant-Based Polyurethane Rigid Foam

One of the most commonly used materials for insulation, rigid foam offers a variety of benefits. It is a sustainable, natural and renewable source that is available in different forms. Kelp plywood, hemp plywood, and bamboo plywood are all made from natural products. Each has unique qualities that make it an attractive option for your next project.

Eco-friendly construction is one way to help us live on this planet in a way that will ensure we have future generations to enjoy it. It helps support the economy, create jobs, and make our community stronger. It also improves air quality, reduces energy consumption, and slows the rate of global warming.

Reclaimed or Recycled Wood

With an old-world charm and a unique style, reclaimed wood looks like no other. Many homes and other structures – barns, old factories or schools, for example – will have used wood for a number of years. This well-used wood can usually be reclaimed and recycled into new hardwood floors.

Re-claimed or recycled wood is not only affordable to use, but has less of an environmental impact than harvesting new timber. It’s a more stable, regulated, and mature industry than the cutting of new timber for various projects. Wood can be recycled into made for many unique items—from floors to beams, moulding and paneling—with no two pieces of wood alike.

Bamboo

Generally, the characteristics of bamboo are high tensile strength, flexibility, and resistance to termites and decay. Its overall strength is lower than that of timber but it is greater than steel or concrete unless designed improperly. Bamboo is also naturally fire resistant and does not warp when exposed to moisture or changes in humidity. Bamboo is a fully sustainable super-material. It grows three times faster than trees, uses less water, produces more oxygen per acre and absorbs more carbon dioxide than trees. Bamboo has a higher compressive strength than wood, brick or concrete and a tensile strength that rivals steel.

Straw Bales

Straw bales can be used in many ways. However, their main purpose is to insulate a house to help keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Straw bales are used as insulation to fill walls, attics and ceilings. The straw can be re-harvested multiple times before being recycled into mulch or compost. Because of this, using straw as insulation has a very low environmental impact. Builders have discovered that straw bales can be used as an alternative to wood framing. Because straw is a natural insulator, and bale construction is so well adapted to the local climate, homes and barns built with this method require less heating.

Mycelium

Mycelium is a revolutionary material. It is a natural building material that can grow around different materials, enhancing it’s strength. The resulting form will be lightweight and strong. Mycelium has a myriad of potential applications. It can be used as a soil additive to create super-strong bricks and blocks, a bio-degradable, compostable packaging material, or it can be 3D printed into any shape you can imagine.

Ferrock

The Ferrock building material is created using only recycled materials, making it both environmentally friendly and a lesser strain on the Earth’s natural resources. Its properties also make it extremely strong. As a result of its carbon dioxide sequestering, this unique material actually absorbs and traps carbon dioxide as part of its drying and hardening process – making it not only less CO2 intensive than traditional concrete, but actually carbon neutral.

AshCrete

Concrete is a popular building material because it’s strong and affordable. It is one of the world’s most consumed substances, and when coal-fired power plants produce a million tons of ash every hour, it makes sense to find a new use for it.However, it also causes air pollution and contributes to the greenhouse effect. The good news is that AshCrete is a concrete alternative that uses fly ash instead of traditional cement. By using fly ash, a by-product of burning coal, 97 percent of traditional components in concrete can be replaced with recycled material.

Timbercrete

Timbercrete has a lot going for it. Lightweight and strong, the material reduces emissions simply through its transportation. The sawdust that is mixed with the concrete is waste from sawmills and provides a natural insulation and reducing reliance on non-renewable energy input. Each of these facts makes timbercrete a wise choice.