Alternative building materials you should consider while building your new home

The primary objective of today’s population is to desperately save Earth’s natural resources that seem to deplete at a steep rise day by day. The newer constructions now have a moral duty to avoid this substantial drain on natural resources. This objective can be achieved by using alternative home building materials and creating environment sustainable homes. Greener homes are not only Eco-friendly, they are also cost-effective in the long run. Use of naturally available materials such as straw bale, rammed earth, bamboo, solar lights and many more such greener alternatives can help sustain a healthier world with less depletion of the ozone layer, so that many generations down can reap the natural benefits. Here are some great alternatives to home construction materials described below.

cob construction

1. Straw bale

Straw bale construction is an ancient method of building houses that was prevalent in the 1800s. It is fast catching up as one of the good alternatives to save the environment of its depleting resources. Natural and organic bricks can be made out of straw bale are now being widely used for building load bearing construction as well as load bearing walls. The load bearing construction with straw bale has a roof structure that stands entirely on straw bale. It is generally topped with a plywood ring beam and straw is filled thus spreading the load of the roof structure. The non-load bearing construction makes use of a post and beam structural frame made out of wood, bamboo or metal and bales of straw are used as fillers in the space in between. Straw bale is stacked in a fashion similar to that of bricks and then plastered with clay or cement.

Straw bale construction blends with nature like no other material. It is a perfect waste product that can be made use of in building rather than burning it and causing more pollution. Its main advantage is that it is sustainable source whose manufacturing leaves a smaller footprint than the conventional building materials.

2. Bamboo

Bamboo is a durable and resistant material that is opening new vistas in green home constructions. It is beautiful, long-lasting and easily replenished, making it a great green alternative for building your homes. Bamboo offers thermal and sound insulation and keeps your house termite free. It can be easily manipulate to suit your requirements. Bamboo is easy to transport and is an earthquake-proof material. It has a rich and classy look and can be used to make almost anything for your house. It is also user friendly and extremely light on your purse strings, making it a leading choice for a green alternative to house building.

3. Rammed earth

Rammed earth is useful to make walls and consists of moist sandy soil which is toned into from. Walls need to be a minimum of 12” in thickness. Rammed earth is made from soil that contains 30 percent clay and 70 percent sand. Rammed earth can be easily used for structural walls and sometimes even for flooring. It is very cost-effective material and consumes low energy and is one of the potential alternatives for Eco-friendly construction. Moreover, rammed earth is also fireproof. Rammed earth is an ancient building technique and is favorable in humid and rainy regions. Soils with high clay content are more suitable for ramming as they stand curing better without cracking. Care should be taken while mixing soils for preparing rammed earth and pulverizing is very important to ensure a homogenous mix. Rammed earth walls are better when reinforced by a colar beam or steel bonds.

4. Recycled paper

Recycled paper is now being considered a great green alternative for building homes especially in earthquake prone areas. It is an extremely economical alternative, besides being fireproof, insect-proof, rodent-proof and very strong. You can collect old newspaper, cardboard, magazines and any other waste paper, soak it for some time and then mix it with Portland cement and sand in proper proportions to produce a great alternative for Eco-friendly home building. You can pour them in desired forms or blocks and allow them to set for some days. Once the blocks are constructed, they take around two weeks to be ready for use in construction.

5. Cob and light clay

Cob is an Eco-friendly material that consists of straw, clay, sand, water and earth to blend into a sturdy and fireproof building material. It is also resistant to earthquakes and can used to artistically design imposing structures and monuments. It was very prevalent in olden days and in recent times, the use of cob in construction has been revived by the environment conscious citizens.

Cob is prepared by mixing all the above mentioned ingredients and then allowed to set on to a stone foundation in a process termed as cobbing. Once the walls dry, they can be trimmed and shaped according to the needs and requirements. Cob is an ideal material due to its thermal properties and strength while qualifying as a perfect green material.


These are some of the alternatives that you could look into for building beautiful and suitable green homes . Not only are they extremely comfortable, they also help in environment sustainability. Many parts of the world are gradually promoting green and Eco-friendly materials to reduce the pollution and depletion of our natural resources by resorting to such great options like straw bale, bamboo or recycled paper.

Today's Top Articles:

Scroll to Top