Green Building: Working Towards Sustainable Buildings

Green Building: Working Towards Sustainable Buildings

Buildings account for more than 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, buildings can be considered one of the primary causes of global warming. So, what is to be done?

Everyone nowadays is talking about going green. True, in order to solve the problem of global warming, we will need to incorporate environmentally friendly elements into every field at some point.

So, why not begin with green buildings?

Define Green Building

Define Green Building

This concept, also known as sustainable building or green construction, entails using more resource-efficient and environmentally friendly processes and building structures. Green construction can be traced back to America and their desire for more sustainable and energy-efficient building practices.

Green building is primarily concerned with reducing or eliminating negative environmental impacts while creating positive ones. It is about building practices that promote a natural and healthy environment. It also includes processes that do not interfere with the earth’s natural resources, such as land and water. This holistic practice resembles the traditional building design concerns of durability, comfort, and economy in some ways. The green building principle takes into account the three dimensions of long-term development: economic, social, and environmental.

Aims and Objectives of Green Building

Aims and Objectives of Green Building


The vision of the green building concept is to stand in or near a building and smell fresh air while feeling the earth’s elements!

  • Conserve resources such as water, land, and energy by reducing consumption and increasing reuse.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint and fight global warming.
  • Cut back on waste.
  • Protect the environment while increasing productivity.

Main Features and Technologies of Green Building

Main Features and Technologies of Green Building

  1. Life Cycle Assessment

Life cycle assessment is a reliable analysis for assessing the environmental impacts that commercial buildings can have. It aids in the identification of environmental, social, and economic issues associated with building construction. It takes into account nearly every aspect, from raw material extraction to construction, repairs, maintenance, and disposal. For example, when evaluating a new building project, the methodology will consider its resource use, waste products, and any impacts on air or water quality.

Despite being one of the most effective methods for assessing the environmental impacts of building constructions, life cycle assessment has yet to be declared an efficient requirement of green building systems.

  1. Green Building Design

An environmentally sustainable design, also known as eco-design, entails designing buildings in accordance with sustainability principles. The design phase is one of the most important aspects of any construction project.

Buildings are now designed as environmentally optimal structures based on the green building concept, with an emphasis on efficient heating and cooling systems, the use of renewable energy sources such as solar panels and solar water heaters, recycling or reusing building materials, and so on.

Many buildings have successfully integrated natural and “go green” principles. One Central Park, for example, is an award-winning building in Australia. The landscape design of the building was planned in collaboration with Patrick Blanc, a French botanist. One Central Park’s notable features include vertical hanging gardens, an internal water recycling plant, and a central-trigeneration plant that generates low-carbon electricity for the building. Another well-known green building is Australia’s UTS Faculty of Science, a modern structure with a unique environment.

Although sustainable building design is a good step toward a healthier environment, no two buildings are alike and thus cannot all be streamlined.

  1. Waste Reduction Strategy

A key feature of green architecture is that waste of energy, water, and materials should be minimized during the construction stage. There are several options for incorporating green building principles and reducing waste, such as providing compost bins and using biodegradable materials.

The Neutral Alliance, a collaboration of the government, some NGOs, and the forestry industry that created the website, is an excellent example. This website, which aims to reduce the number of wood products that end up in landfills, contains a wealth of information on wood recycling.

  1. Optimum Use of Materials

A wide range of ‘green’ building materials is readily available on the market. Because bamboo, dimension stone, recycled metal, and stone are non-toxic and reusable, they can be widely used in building construction. Furthermore, the United States Environmental Protection Agency advised the use of coal combustion products and foundry sand.

So, what do you think about green buildings?



Alternative House

What Is an Alternative House


– What is an alternative house?

– Different styles for the alternative house

Living differently, living at a lower cost in a different house, often much more ecological than the passive house, is alternative housing. Based on traditional practices brought back to the forefront by the use of modern or recycled materials, the alternative house is a breath of hope for the habitat of tomorrow.

What is an alternative house?

It’s not a question of alternation but another way of thinking about housing, than the traditional construction in bricks and breeze blocks in particular. Other materials, other forms than cubes and squares, the concept of the alternative house is defined above all by a global reflection: what do we expect from a house? Here, we want to build a house adapted to the needs and means of its occupants.

What we expect from a house

If the idea that comes to mind for many is to create a real estate inheritance or even an investment or a rental income, the alternative house is not their answer. If, on the other hand, you expect a home to shelter the family at the lowest possible cost and with the least likely impact on the environment, both during construction and operation, then the alternative house is made for you.

Building a house that meets your needs and desires

By first considering another technique than those used every day to build volumes, the occupants must adapt by thinking about the lifestyle they want, the income needed to finance a traditional construction chosen by default from a catalog of standard products with right-angled walls, a more or less sloping roof and materials that consume water and energy.


Alternative House

Although initially designed to provide comfortable and economical housing for the life of its owners, the alternative house also achieves longevity equal to or much greater than that of traditional houses that are poorly thought out, poorly built or poorly maintained, victims of cracks, breaches, termites…

An ecological house

Therefore, thinking differently about housing is finding or imagining other ways of building and thinking about a house according to one’s real needs, primary means, and wishes regarding the traces of one’s existence on the planet. Our traditional homes, even modest ones, are designed to last a hundred years if they are well maintained, but which traditional houses made of bricks, concrete, or breeze blocks have not been destroyed long before because of the obsolescence of their services (distribution of surfaces, fittings, level of comfort and energy performance…)?

Good to know: the production of one ton of cement requires about 210 kWh of energy or 60 to 130 kg of fuel (or oil equivalent). While the world’s civil aviation is responsible for 2% of CO2 emissions, the manufacture of cement represents 7 to 8% of CO2 emissions due to human activities on the planet.

Different styles for the alternative house

Neither RomanesqueBaroque, nor Contemporary, because rather than talking about styles for the alternative house, it is better to identify the sources and architectural trends that have led to different alternative dwellings. Much more often realized in self-construction than built by companies, the alternative house has no other limit than the inventiveness of its creator. However, we can group the trends in alternative housing according to the reasons that led to the creation of each house.

The materials

As eco-builders know, the grey energy of construction is mainly due to the transportation of materials to the construction site. Therefore, to build with a low environmental impact, it is necessary to use a material whose source is close rather than to organize an energy-consuming supply.

Earth: it is the first material available on the construction site. The earthen house is no longer the simple cob hut. Still, it has benefited from the experience and genius of many builders to be declined in compressed earth blocks, adobes, and super-adobes used alone or in addition to a part of troglodyte house.

Wooden houses: in addition to the all-wooden or timber-frame home, which is making a significant comeback in residential housing, the log house is one of the first housing types practiced ancestrally in the forests.

Good to know: whatever the construction material, it must be waterproofed and insulated. For this purpose, there is a wide range of natural materials to be selected according to local availability.


Recycling bottles, tires, and even containers to make a home was a crazy idea in the 1960s. However, it has become commonplace nowadays. These visionaries of the time anticipated the revalorization of materials from recycling but also the modular construction.

The architecture

The bioclimatic architecture consists of giving the house many possibilities to take advantage of free natural energy. Take, for instance, the orientation and shelter from the prevailing winds for an optimal location and exterior and interior shapes and structures to optimize yields and volumes for a rational comfort (eco-dome, revolving house, etc.). In addition, bioclimatism, once mocked, has given rise to advances that have become our everyday life in low energy standards, the passive house, and the BEPOS positive energy building.

Attention: Natural materials and insulation in a reasoned architecture should not include the nuisances and pollution caused by a construction site. The drastic reduction of pollutants, resources, and nuisances is now entitling buildings for environmental certification, which is undoubtedly becoming a standard.

Read more:

What Is a Low Energy House?

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.