Towards Sustainability | Building Your Home With Natural Materials


 – The natural wood frame

 – The natural roof

 – Natural walls

 – The natural insulation

 Do you want to build your home with natural materials but don’t know where to start? No problem, this post tells you everything you need to know. The different ways to build an ecological house are:

 Natural materials can be used at each stage of the construction, from the frame to the roof, through the walls and insulation.

 The natural wood frame

 What type of wooden house to build?

 Wood is an ideal solution for building a solid and environmentally friendly framework. This natural material allows a quick assembly of the frame in a few days and a clean and dry building site.


 In addition, wood can be combined with brick, stone, or wood panels according to preference.


 For a reduced cost and a limited grey energy balance, you will take care to adopt a local wood species.

 The natural roof

 Roofing requires a high-quality choice of material and installation. Several options exist for a natural and robust roof.

 Wood roofing

 Shingles, or wood shakes, are back on the scene after being neglected.

 Lightweight, insulating, environmentally friendly, and able to withstand years of use, wood shingles require a budget comparable to that of traditional clay tiles (about $30/m²).

 Clay roofing

 Terracotta tiles are now widely used around the world. The most natural and dye-free tiles are the most durable, lasting up to two centuries! Light, non-flammable, they are aesthetically pleasing and develop a patina over time.

 There are three types of tiles and terra cotta:

 – the canal tile of conical shape,

 – the flat tile,

 – the mechanical tile with a system of grooves allowing the interlocking.

 Natural walls

Several realistic possibilities are possible to build the walls of the house.

 Wooden walls

 Wooden panels are frequently used in wood-frame houses. Durable, suitable hygrometric regulators, insulating and warm, they are ecologically sound.

 It is important to choose wood with the FSC or PEFC label (i.e., from responsibly and sustainably managed forests) and avoid imported exotic woods.

 Brick walls

 A noble and natural material, brick has good thermal and sound insulation qualities. It also has good inertia and fire resistance. It is one of the most attractive ecological materials for the quality/price ratio.

 Raw earth walls

 Indeed, the raw earth is a perfect thermal and phonic insulator. It is the simplest and most ecological material, along with wood. It is used to build walls or to reinforce the insulation. Moreover, it is an excellent thermal regulator throughout the year.

 The natural insulation

 Insulation is a crucial step in the construction process since the comfort of a home depends mainly on the quality of its thermal and sound insulation. In this field, many natural and efficient solutions exist.


 This insulating material, which comes from the cork oak tree, offers profound environmental and mechanical qualities. Lightweight, it is available in sheets, in bulk, or granules. It is used in non-habitable attics, floors, walls, and roofs.

 It is moisture resistant, rot-proof, self-extinguishing, and stable over time.

 Price: about $31/m² for 100 mm thickness.

 Wood fiber

 Excellent thermal insulation, it is also effective for soundproofing. Perfect for floors, walls, roofs, and partitions, it is available in rigid, semi-rigid, and loose boards.

 Wood fiber insulation:

  • ages well 
  • is not very flammable,
  • and acts as a hygrometric regulator.

 Price: From $15 to $20/m² for 100 mm thickness.

 Hemp wool

 This natural wool offers excellent thermal and phonic insulation qualities for walls, partitions, attics, and roofs. Hemp is naturally rot-proof, anti-fungal, and thermo-regulating.

 Price: about $15/m².

 Flax fiber

 This insulation is made from flax fibers that are too short to be used in the textile industry. It is impregnated with boron salt to resist insect, rodent, mold, and fire attacks. It provides good insulation for attics, roofs, and walls. Rotproof, it resists well to fire and settling.

 Price: about $15/m².

 The sheep wool

 It is an excellent thermal and phonic insulator, in particular on-air noises. Sheep’s wool exists in panels, rolls, felt, or in bulk. It is generally reserved for the roof and lost attic. The wool of sheep and little inflammable and tends to the auto-extinction. It is, however, reinforced with a boron salt treatment.

 Price: 12 $/m² approximately in 100 mm of thickness.

 Duck feathers

 The thermal and phonic performances are good. Available in rolls or panels, this insulation is used for non-habitable attics, added ceilings, walls, wood-frame houses, or under floating floors.

 Price: between $20 and $25/m².

 Cellulose wadding

 Ecological and efficient, this insulation has one of the best inertia. It can be found in panels, in bulk or granules, for many uses: lost attics, walls, partitions, floors, construction voids, false ceilings. Lightweight, cellulose wadding effectively prevents thermal bridges.

 Price: $20/m² for 100 mm thickness.


 Hope that this article will have brought you enough ideas on what kind of home you can build using natural materials while respecting sustainable development.

How Do You Recognize an Eco-Constructor?

Eco-construction is in fashion whether it is through the wooden house, the timber-frame house, or bio-climatic architecture. When you build your own house, self-construction often rhymes with Eco-construction, but there are also professionals who can advise you in this sense: Eco-constructors.

Is your contractor an Eco-builder in construction or renovation?

The notion of ecology in construction and/or renovation aims at maximum performance in the various fields impacting the environment during the design, construction, and occupation of a property. Thus, Eco-construction has multiple goals to achieve in relation to:

– the environment: preservation of energy and water resources, the fight against climate change, environmental and health quality of construction products, waste reduction;

– to people: reduction of pollution-induced by housing, health, and comfort of the occupants by preserving IAQ (indoor air quality), thermal and sound insulation, etc.

An Eco-builder is therefore an individual or a professional with the desire to achieve these goals at each stage of the construction and then use of a building, in order to obtain a building with the least negative impact on the environment while preserving the health and comfort of its occupants.

If any individual who is a self-builder of his house is able at all levels to apply its principles of Eco-construction, professionals must, to be qualified as Eco-constructors, apply reference frames and standards.

Principles of Eco-construction by professionals

In order to be able to design, build, renovate, fit-out and equip an Eco-built building, the whole of a sustainable approach is to apply principles and methods to different actors, professionals, and trades during the construction process:

The study of the project

Integration of the building in its environment: location, bio-climatic architecture taking into account the reduction of heating and cooling needs by optimizing free inputs (solar, geothermal, rainwater, etc.).

Its design

Reduction of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions while favoring resources in the choice of construction materials and exploiting renewable energies (rainwater recovery, energy production by the building, ventilation management, etc.).

Its realization

Reduction of nuisances from the construction site and then from the building in operation: limitation of atmospheric emissions, sorting, and recovery of waste, reduction of noise levels.

How to recognize an Eco-constructor?

If at present there is no professional certification of Eco-builder yet, we can qualify the various major actors of construction having satisfied one of the 3 following certifications as Eco-construction aware:


– HQE;


It is therefore first of all through their commitment to respect the environment during the study (architects, design offices, etc.), design (design offices, energy specialists, renewable energy professionals, heating engineers, etc.) and construction (builders, masons, electricians, plumbers, heating engineers, etc.) of the building that Eco-constructors can be selected. It is good that each of these professionals can attest to at least one achievement having obtained one of the certifications of sustainable building, and if possible the HQE certification.

In fact, an Eco-builder is not more expensive than a conventional builder, but the materials, techniques, etc. may represent an additional cost.

Good to know: the professional license “Project management in Eco-construction and Eco-materials” aims to train autonomous senior technicians in project management and construction and manufacturing management in the field of Eco-construction and Eco-materials with direct professional integration at the end of the license year.

Hope the above helps you out in finding the right Eco-builder for your Eco-project. Should you be looking for more info, please do not hesitate to write down your comments in the section below. We will find out as much information as possible and get back to you within hours.