As homeowners are becoming savvier about building materials and their impact on the environment, builders are delivering more sustainable house materials. The global green building material market is estimated at $199.9 billion, with a projected growth of 9% by 2026. In the meantime, these sustainable house materials are already trending in 2021, and we expect to see even more of these in the near future.
1. Composite Roofing Shingles
At last, sheet metals are out, and composite roofing shingles are the new sustainable house material everyone wants. Made from recycled paper products, asphalt, and fiberglass, they’re highly durable, require less maintenance. Plus, they can last the lifetime of the roof itself, making it the perfect sustainable roofing option for the future.
2. Smart Glass Windows
Switchable or smart windows are nothing new. They’ve been used for offices and modern bathroom spaces in the past. However, this time, builders use smart windows for commercial and residential buildings to control light and heat while insulating the building during the day. Estimates say smart windows can reduce energy costs by thirty percent. These windows can adapt to the environment, turning translucent to block heating sunlight or become transparent to allow sunlight to pass through and support heating efforts.
3. Bamboo Flooring
Bamboo floors are no longer just an aesthetic choice. Many homeowners and builders alike are choosing bamboo flooring as a sustainable house material in 2021. Since bamboo trees require very little maintenance to survive, it’s considered an eco-friendly alternative to other woods and natural materials. A bamboo tree completes its harvesting cycle in as little as three years, while an average tree takes roughly 25 years. Environmentally-conscious buyers know this can help slow down the deforestation problem. It’s also less expensive than hardwoods, which makes it even more appealing to consumers.
4. Insulated Concrete Framing
A key component of finding sustainable house materials is looking at reducing a house’s carbon footprint. Unlike wood, insulated concrete framing (ICF) is a more energy-efficient option with the capacity to control heat and cooling. Homes using ICF have an airtight barrier that prevents unwanted energy transfer, which helps maintain a consistent interior temperature more effectively than traditional wood frame insulation.
Another tending sustainable house material is hemp. New builders are using hemp insulation, which has the same insulative properties as fiberglass. Wool insulation is another up-and-coming trend, which can provide indoor air quality and a 10% greater insulating factor than traditional insulating materials.
5. Bark Siding
One of the most significant exterior home decor trends in 2021 has to do with siding. This element is no longer an afterthought when designing a house. Bark siding is durable and naturally beautiful. The bark used in construction comes from trees that are already cut, promoting reusability and sustainability practices. Unlike traditional siding, bark can last decades without regular maintenance, sealant, or painting. There’s also no need for chemical cleaning or runoff.
6. Recycled Materials
By far, the most sustainable practice is recycling. New construction projects are looking for recycled building materials instead of new materials. From recycled steel frames for the windows and doors, reclaimed wood for interiors, or reclaimed bricks and pavers, even drywall from recycled materials is possible in today’s construction practices. Some people choose natural materials like iron for their doors as they’re offering longevity and are almost maintenance-free.
Sustainable house material trends are on pace to strengthen in 2021 and continue to expand in the future. Solar panels, solar tiles, structural insulation panels, and timber in place of concrete are all sustainable house material trends emerging this year. Current and future homeowners owe to watch these trends to position their homes on top of the competition as eco-friendly houses embracing the future.
Geraldine Orentas is a writer with Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with Texas-based fencing designer, Viking Fence.