4 Alternative Building Materials to Consider for Different Climates

Building materials are often matched to meet the conditions that the local environment presents, and that would include non-standard construction items. With green living becoming a focus of builders, engineers, and local politicians, you will find that alternative materials will become part of most future construction. Many building material alternatives are not only as strong as traditional components, they are often made with natural resources that are also sustainable. Alternatives are available everywhere, and the following four materials function well in various climates. Lumber Timber is something that is being used nowadays for more than cabin homes or for framing subdivisions. Contractors are using wood for a variety of tasks that range from interior paneling in place of drywall to wheelchair ramps for residential applications. With a natural resistance to changing weather, moisture, wind and even seismic activity, wood makes a great choice over concrete or steel in coastal regions, especially along the west coast. This alternative is natural and can be forested in sustainable ways, allowing it to meet future demands at lower costs. Adobe Bricks Not only are they durable, but they are also easy to cut and shape for a variety of tasks. These bricks and can do well when handling moisture and they are fireproof. Their soundproof qualities would prove beneficial in urban settings. With all things considered, adobe bricks could easily substitute traditional brick building materials in any temperate climate. Geopolymer Concrete Outside of water, concrete is the most used construction material in the world. One of the weaknesses of traditional Portland concrete has been its susceptibility to heat that can cause thermal cracking. Geopolymer concrete can make an excellent alternative in warmer climates, where an additive can be added to it that reduces or eliminates cracks from high temperatures over time. The geopolymer is also more environmentally friendly, as the CO2 generated during production is less than that made when creating traditional cement products.

Clay, Dirt, and Stone

This ancient building material is making a comeback as an alternative to many of the same materials that replaced earthen building materials in recent centuries. It has excellent insulating properties that help to maintain a mild temperature inside of structures that use it. While often associated with developing countries and rural settings, this alternative building material could prove beneficial in cooler climates where a large portion of public utilities is used to keep interiors warm during the winter. Article submitted by Emma Sturgis

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