Sustainable Homes

Top Eco-Friendly Home Building Materials

It’s safe to say eco-friendly homes are no longer just a trend but the future of building. 

Sustainability has gone from a buzzword to the common priority of most Australians. In fact, almost 80% of Australians are opting to make more eco-conscious decisions daily and this is, of course, affecting home building. It’s widely agreed: new homes need to have a friendlier environmental footprint, as advocated by the ongoing initiatives from building associations and our governments.

G.J. Gardner Homes are always seeking new ways to incorporate more sustainable practices into our product range. Whilst there are so many tips to enhance your home’s sustainability, opting for eco-friendly building materials is guaranteed to have a huge impact. Eco-friendly building materials lets sustainability be literally ‘built in’ to your home from the ground-up.

So, what is an eco-friendly home building material?

As with most matters of sustainability, definitions will vary. But essentially, eco-friendly building materials have a low environmental impact in production, installation and maintenance. In addition to this, the materials will be durable, easy to upkeep and versatile. 

We often just equate eco-friendly with natural, and whilst that is important, your home’s sustainability depends on many factors. If sustainability is a priority for you, ask when building: does this material have a long afterlife beyond your home, easily recycled or repurposed? Natural materials are a great place to start but you can decrease your environmental footprint with home materials in various other ways.

In fact, if you want to take your eco-friendliness to the next level, best practice eco-friendly materials also consider the travel involved in importing and sourcing the product itself. 

Fortunately, there’s a wide range of these materials in the market. A few however, are better suited for homes. 

Top 5 eco-friendly home building materials

1. Natural Stone

Stone is a common home material that’s low maintenance and highly reliable with multiple uses. As a naturally occurring material, it doesn’t release harmful chemicals or toxins into the environment. Uniquely patterned and textured, stone doesn’t require additional paint or finish to seal the material and is famously low maintenance. Stone is a great choice for homeowners, even being compatible with various climates and even fire resistant.

2. Timber

Timber has always been a leading home material for its high performance and durability – and natural as well. It’s even often called the ultimate renewable, being able to extract CO2 from the atmosphere. This eco-friendly home building material is also recyclable and in the context of homes, easy to repurpose. Timber’s appearance can easily be changed with paint, or a new stain to extend its lifetime to suit new trends. From flooring to cabinets, there’s limitless possibilities as to how to incorporate timber into your home.

Wide Bay 302

3. Glazing (or window paneling)

Plenty of natural light is always key to making a beautiful home. But the materials you use for these windows can actually have major impacts upon how your home functions. Glass, which is infinitely recyclable, is available with different insulation options that can support energy efficiency. Double or triple glazing can provide thermal-break and support the overall heating and cooling of your home. Not only do expansive windows help you feel more connected with the outside world, opting for the right glazing can boost your home’s eco-friendliness overall.

4. Recycled metal

Metal is essential to the home building process due to its durability and reliability. However, more and more, we’re seeing metal be incorporated for its aesthetic value both outdoors and indoors. Mining metal takes a major environmental toll, and involves a lengthy manufacturing process. Opting for recycled metal in your home building can help lower your environmental impact and is the eco-friendly alternative to this essential material. Fortunately, metals like aluminium and steel can be infinitely recycled which means the ones used in your home could even have an afterlife one day. Recycled metal lets you reap all the regular benefits of metal but with a lesser environmental impact.

5. Brick

Bricks are a classic home building material, whether it’s internally or externally. It became an Australian home staple for its energy efficiency, providing great heating and cooling. Crafted from rammed earth, brick reduces the need for exterior cladding, interior living and even painting – particularly with the range of bricks on the market today. They may only need a short lived  production process but bricks have a long life cycle, being easily recycled again and again. Given the bricks available today, ranging in texture, colour and finish, we consider it the untapped answer to both home sustainability and design. 

Looking to build an eco-friendly home?

If you’re hoping to build an eco-friendly home, our G.J. Gardner Homes design and building team will be able to find you the right materials to suit your lifestyle and budget. Learn more about home sustainability today.