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UKCW Blog

13 Feb 2024

BUILDING THE FUTURE: 7 GREEN BUILDING MATERIALS TO EXPLORE IN 2024

BUILDING THE FUTURE: 7 GREEN BUILDING MATERIALS TO EXPLORE IN 2024

(Photo credit: CHUTTERSNAP via Unsplash)

 

In the race towards reducing emissions by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050, the construction industry is undergoing a transformative shift towards sustainability. Companies, recognising the urgency, are embracing innovative green building materials. Our exploration into 2024 unveils seven cutting-edge materials aimed at moving the industry forward and reinforcing a construction landscape where eco-conscious choices are fundamental.

  • Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT)

Wood has always been a versatile building material, but Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) takes sustainability to the next level. CLT is engineered by layering and bonding lumber in perpendicular directions, creating a strong and durable material suitable for walls, floors and roofs. Not only does CLT offer an aesthetically pleasing natural look, but it also has a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional construction materials like concrete and steel. Due to its composition of wood, it can also store carbon during the building's lifetime and even capture additional carbon.

  • 3D Printed Concrete

A cutting-edge addition to the sustainable materials line-up, 3D-printed concrete is revolutionising construction methods. This innovative approach allows for precise, resource-efficient construction, reducing waste and energy consumption. As a promising technology, 3D-printed concrete holds the potential to reshape the industry's environmental footprint.

  • Recycled Steel

Steel is a fundamental component in construction, but its production traditionally requires significant energy consumption and raw materials. In 2024, the focus is shifting towards recycled steel, which significantly reduces the environmental impact. By using recycled steel, building professionals can contribute to resource conservation and minimise the carbon emissions associated with steel production.

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(Photo credit: Eleonora Albasi via Unsplash)

  • Bamboo

Bamboo has gained recognition as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional hardwoods. Known for its rapid growth and renewability, bamboo is not only strong and versatile but also has a lower environmental impact. It can be used for flooring, roofing and even as a structural element. Its abundance and quick regrowth make it an excellent choice for sustainable construction practices.

  • Hempcrete

As sustainability becomes a priority, innovative materials like hempcrete are gaining popularity in the construction industry. Hempcrete is a mixture of hemp fibres, lime and water, creating a lightweight and insulating material. It has excellent thermal performance, is fire-resistant and has the added benefit of sequestering carbon over time. Hempcrete is a promising option for those seeking sustainable alternatives to traditional concrete.

  • Photovoltaic Glass

Harnessing solar energy is an integral part of sustainable construction and photovoltaic glass is emerging as a game-changer. This innovative glass allows buildings to generate electricity through integrated solar cells. By seamlessly blending energy production with building materials, construction professionals can create structures that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also contribute to renewable energy production.

  • Eco-Friendly Insulation Materials

Improving energy efficiency is a crucial aspect of sustainable construction. In 2024, construction experts are turning to eco-friendly insulation materials such as recycled denim, cork and sheep's wool. These materials not only provide excellent insulation but also contribute to reducing the environmental impact of the construction process.

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(Photo credit: Appolinary Kalashnikova via Unsplash)

In 2024, green building materials signal a pivotal shift towards green construction. Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) and 3D-printed concrete showcase the industry's commitment to emissions reduction. Recycled steel, bamboo, hempcrete, photovoltaic glass and eco-friendly insulation materials highlight collective efforts for environmental impact reduction and structural enhancement. These innovations reshape the industry towards sustainability, crucial for meeting emission targets and achieving net-zero status by 2050.

Position yourself at the forefront of industry innovation by engaging in vital discussions at UK Construction Week London 2024. Collaborate with influential green organisations such as the Sustainable Energy Association and UK Green Building Council and contribute to the shared goal of creating a sustainable future.

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