4 of the Most Common Green Building Materials Today

recycled steel

Green building is currently the most responsible way to build infrastructure by limiting waste and saving natural resources. But generating energy might be its biggest positive, as it is a self-reliant way to live, decrease carbon emissions, reduce exposure to toxins, and increase biodiversity in your neighborhood.


Reclaimed Wood


As demand increases for remodeling and constructing new suburban homes, wood production is at an all-time high. In general, wood is a time-tested, traditional material, so the eco-conscious can gravitate toward reclaimed wood without having to worry about many unappealing alternatives for green building.

Reclaimed wood is pulled from old barns, factories, and warehouses and thus creates opportunities for unique home flooring, cabinetry, and furniture designs. The biggest downside is that it’s more expensive. Most would think that if it’s more expensive, the quality should be better than regular wood.

Well, unlike virgin wood, most reclaimed wood in America is sourced from Heart Pine, a slow-growing tree with a natural ability to repel mold and insects. In fact, most reclaimed lumber like hard maple and coastal redwood is from a family of old, slow-growing trees that are naturally stronger and more durable than younger generations chopped for younger wood.


Recycled Steel


The good thing about steel is that it can be recycled over and over without ever losing quality. No matter what, it’s as strong as new steel.

The process involves sourcing material from scrap vehicles, melted, and purified to release any contaminants. They can then be made useful in lighting structures and roofing. This is particularly interesting if you’re planning on taking one step forward for the environment and installing solar panels on your roof.

Metal roofing is the best kind of roofing for solar energy panels because of the standing seam. There’s no need to drill, thus, the process is made cheaper. Recycled steel is great for replacing parts of home appliances like refrigerators and washing machines.




Bamboo is the most exotic option, at least in this list. It can be found in China and Africa, but many extend through Latin America to the South of North America. It is seen as versatile because it can supply homes with expected things like floors and fencing to more unexpected things like rugs and bedsheets.

Of course, bamboo is known as one of the fastest-growing plants and can grow to astounding heights in a matter of a month. That’s why it makes sense to manage its ability to grow by using the stalks in home construction. However, two types of bamboo called Teak and Guadua are considered the best for reforestation. So much so that Guadua, in particular, is being pushed for use in affordable housing throughout Central and South America.




It’s the last item that people think of replacing in the home. Wool insulation is a replacement for the common insulation in the home. If you don’t know, recyclables like fiberglass or wool can line the HVAC system to keep in moisture and dirt. This is the puffy cotton-like material in attics and the material used for soundproofing in walls.

There are some options out there built to last for decades, particularly fiberglass, which is cheaper and pretty efficient. Wool, though more costly than others with similar quality, has a few quirks. It requires less energy to produce, is favorable for soundproofing because of its thickness, and was given a higher R-value (Resistance to heat flow) than many insulation types. That’s why it is becoming a popular addition to the home.




Green building materials are an exciting prospect to help pollution, but quite a few are expensive. This is normal for items that take more effort to assemble than the traditional construction materials. But whichever you choose, each transition to more sustainable construction acts as a physical advertisement that pushes popular opinion towards a cleaner society.


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