The Benefits of Using Sustainable Materials In Construction

Is the use of sustainable materials in construction becoming more popular, and how can the construction industry become more eco-friendly?


Sustainable materials in construction refer to materials that are environmentally friendly, renewable, and have a smaller carbon footprint than traditional materials. These materials are becoming increasingly popular as the construction industry is recognising the need to reduce their environmental impact. The use of sustainable materials in construction can provide a wide range of benefits, including reducing energy consumption, minimising waste, and improving indoor air quality.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of sustainable materials and their uses.

What Are The Benefits of Sustainable Materials?

Reduce Energy Consumption

One of the most significant benefits of using sustainable materials in construction is that they can help to reduce energy consumption. Buildings are responsible for a large portion of energy consumption globally, and using sustainable materials can help make buildings more energy-efficient. For example, using insulation made from recycled materials can help reduce energy loss through walls, floors & roofs, while solar panels can help generate clean electricity on-site. This not only helps to reduce the overall energy consumption of a building but also cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.

Minimising Waste

Another benefit of using sustainable materials in construction is that they can help to minimise waste. Many traditional construction materials are not biodegradable or recyclable, which can lead to a significant amount of waste. On the other hand, sustainable materials can be recycled or repurposed, which can help reduce the amount of waste generated during the construction process. Additionally, many sustainable materials are made from natural resources that are renewable, meaning they can be easily replenished.

Improves Air Quality

In addition, sustainable materials can also improve indoor air quality. Many traditional construction materials emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are harmful to human health. Sustainable materials, such as bamboo or cork, are known for their low VOC emissions and can help to improve indoor air quality. This can be especially important for high-volume buildings, such as schools or hospitals, where many people spend a significant amount of time.

Cost Effective

Sustainable materials in construction can also offer economic benefits. For example, using sustainable materials can lead to cost savings over time, as they can last longer and require less maintenance than traditional materials. Moreover, it can also increase the value of the property, as sustainable construction is gaining popularity among buyers, tenants and investors.

What Sustainable Materials Can Be Used In Construction?

There are many different types of sustainable materials that can be used in construction. Here are a few examples:

Sustainably-sourced wood such as timber: Using timber from well-managed forests can help to ensure that the resource is not depleted and also provide a renewable source of construction material. At Dale Joinery, we carry the Forest Stewardship Council certification, which means we’re dedicated to protecting healthy, resilient forests. Sustainably sourced timber is a renewable material that can be used for structural frames in new buildings, windows, doors and more. Timber also has a low embodied energy value as it is a natural material and does not require anywhere as much processing as man made materials. Timber also absorbs Carbon dioxide as it grows, which is locked away within the material until it is burned. 

Bamboo: Bamboo is a fast-growing and renewable resource that can replace traditional wood. It is strong and durable and can be used for flooring, cabinetry, and even structural elements.

Cork: Cork is another renewable resource that can be used in construction. It is a great insulation material and can also be used as a flooring option.

Recycled steel: Steel is one of the most widely used materials in construction, but it can also be a significant source of carbon emissions. Recycling steel reduces the need for virgin steel, reducing the environmental impact.

Recycled Plastic: Plastic is a versatile material that can be easily recycled and used for construction. Recycled plastic lumber is a good alternative for decking, boardwalks and other outdoor structures.

Insulation: Insulation materials made from recycled materials such as denim or cellulose can be used to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

Straw bale: Straw bale can be used as a building material. It’s compressed and tied to create a structural wall, and it’s a highly insulating and sustainable material.

Sheeps Wool: This is a sustainable and natural insulation material that dampens sound and is firewood. It’s locally grown and breathable, helping properties achieve a good balance of temperature and humidity within the home.

Hempcrete: Hempcrete is a bio-composite material that can be used in construction as an alternative to concrete. It’s a natural solution for better, sustainable materials in the industry.

Warmcel: Warmcel is manufactured from recycled newspaper and is predominately suited for timber frame insulation. It’s a low energy insulation solution that offers high performance.

These are just a few examples of the many sustainable materials available for construction use.

Dale Joinery - A Sustainability Advocate

At Dale Joinery, we have made it our mission to be at the forefront of sustainable practices in the construction industry. Our commitment to sustainability is evident in every aspect of our business, from the materials we use to how we manufacture our bespoke timber windows and doors.

We are committed to sourcing timber from forests that are managed in a way that maintains the ecosystem’s biodiversity and ensures that the forests can regenerate themselves over time. Additionally, we take a proactive approach to educating customers about sustainable practices, guiding the installation and maintenance of our products to ensure that they perform optimally and have a long lifespan.


In conclusion, using sustainable materials in construction can offer a wide range of benefits for both the environment and building occupants. 

Although the construction industry has been traditionally slow to adopt new technologies and practices, there has been an increasing trend towards greater sustainability in recent years. The demand for green and sustainable buildings is growing among both public and private sector clients, and many governments are implementing regulations and policies to promote sustainable construction. The Net Zero Strategy sets out policies and proposals for debcarbonising all sectors of the UK economy to meet the net zero target by 2050, as well as the RIBA climate challenge. The climate challenge was developed by RIBA, with the aim to help architects design within a climate conscious trajectory.

The number of certifications for green buildings is also increasing worldwide, with many countries adopting their own set of standards for certifying green buildings. However, it’s also worth mentioning that the adoption of sustainable practices in construction also depends on the availability of materials and technology, which can be limited in certain regions. Furthermore, the cost of implementing these practices is another barrier to overcome.

As the construction industry continues to grow and evolve, it’s difficult to predict exactly when the construction sector will become entirely green and sustainable, but it’s clear that sustainable construction is becoming more prevalent, and it will continue to gain momentum in the future.