5 Benefits of using sustainable materials for construction companies

May 10, 2023

In today's world, the construction industry faces immense pressure to adopt sustainable practices and materials in order to minimise its environmental impact. Utilising sustainable materials for construction not only helps address this issue, but it also presents numerous benefits for construction companies themselves. 

In this article, we will explore how these materials can significantly contribute to a company's overall success.

Read more: Technology that makes concrete more sustainable and sustainable concrete mixes.

1. Enhanced Brand Image and Reputation

  1. Utilising sustainable materials demonstrates a company's commitment to environmental protection.
  2. Consumers increasingly prefer eco-friendly companies, offering a competitive edge.
  3. Positive public image attracts potential clients and partners.

2. Cost Savings and Improved Efficiency

  1. Sustainable materials often have a longer lifespan, reducing maintenance and replacement costs.
  2. Energy-efficient materials can result in lower utility bills for clients.
  3. Incentives and tax breaks are available for companies that incorporate sustainable practices.

3. Better Health and Wellbeing

  1. Sustainable materials promote better indoor air quality, reducing health risks.
  2. Natural lighting and improved thermal performance lead to increased comfort for occupants.
  3. Happier, healthier clients are more likely to recommend a company's services.

4. Regulatory Compliance and Future-proofing

  1. Governments are implementing stricter environmental regulations, making sustainable materials a necessity.
  2. Early adoption of sustainable practices prepares companies for potential future regulations.
  3. Companies that fail to adapt may face fines or struggle to secure contracts.

5. Innovation and Market Expansion

  1. Sustainable materials encourage innovation and the development of new technologies.
  2. Eco-friendly construction methods can lead to new market opportunities and partnerships.
  3. A strong sustainability record attracts investment from environmentally-conscious investors.

Read more: We give our best tips on how to use recycled concrete safely and explain the environmental impacts of concrete.

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Sustainable materials for construction: Examples

Now that we have highlighted some of the key benefits of using sustainable materials for construction, let's take a closer look at a few examples of such materials:

Recycled and Reclaimed Materials

Utilising reclaimed wood, steel, and bricks can significantly reduce waste and energy consumption in the construction process. These recycled materials often come at a lower cost compared to their newly-manufactured counterparts. 

Furthermore, sourcing locally available reclaimed materials can help diminish transportation-related emissions, boosting a project's overall sustainability.

Green Insulation

Eco-friendly materials such as sheep's wool, cellulose, and wood fibre provide effective insulation while being renewable, biodegradable, and non-toxic. The use of these green insulation options not only contributes to environmental protection but also leads to lower energy consumption and increased energy efficiency in buildings.

Low-impact Concrete Alternatives

Given that concrete production is a significant contributor to CO2 emissions, opting for alternatives can help mitigate this impact. Environmentally-friendly options like fly ash, slag cement, and hempcrete present a greener solution to traditional concrete, while still offering comparable or even superior performance.

Solar Panels and Green Roofs

Incorporating solar panels in construction projects can decrease a building's reliance on non-renewable energy sources, while green roofs offer multiple benefits such as insulation, rainwater management, and promoting biodiversity. 

Both of these options not only contribute to a building's sustainability credentials but can also enhance its aesthetic appeal, making it more attractive to potential clients.

Read more: How to make concrete more sustainable and read our summary of the PAS 2080

The main benefits of using sustainable materials 

In conclusion, construction companies stand to benefit greatly from embracing sustainable materials in their projects. The advantages range from an enhanced brand image and cost savings to better health and wellbeing for occupants, regulatory compliance, and market expansion. As consumer preferences and government regulations continue to shift towards sustainability, companies that adopt these practices will have a significant advantage over those that fail to adapt.

With the ever-growing array of sustainable materials for construction available, there has never been a better time for companies to make the switch and reap the rewards.

Frequently asked questions

What is the most eco-friendly building materials?

The most eco-friendly building material is difficult to pinpoint, as it depends on various factors such as availability, production methods, and specific project requirements. However, materials like reclaimed wood, bamboo, and rammed earth are generally considered among the most environmentally friendly options due to their low impact and sustainability.

Is there eco concrete? 

Yes, there is eco concrete, which refers to concrete alternatives with a reduced environmental impact. Examples include the use of fly ash, slag cement, and hempcrete, which offer greener solutions without compromising on performance, making them suitable substitutes for traditional concrete in construction projects.

What type of concrete is most sustainable?

There are multiple types of what is called “Green concrete”. Recycled concrete or green concrete are considered to be the most sustainable type of concrete. 

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