Sustainable Building Materials

Sustainable Building Materials

Climate sustainability is on everybody’s mind. With the world shifting more and more to urbanization, the depletion of natural resources and climate change is only being exacerbated. One of the most effective ways we can fight pollution is through the use of sustainable building materials. 

The Benefits of Sustainable Building Materials

Increases Energy Efficiency

Sustainable materials are specifically designed to run on low energy consumption. They also maximize environmental factors to reduce energy costs. For example, maximizing natural light. The bottom line is they produce more energy with less effort. 

Reduces Cost

Sustainable materials also reduce maintenance and operational costs. Did you know that 80% of a building’s cost is maintenance, with only 20% going toward utilities, renovations, and furniture altogether? 

Helps Preserve Air Quality

Urbanization has led to a decrease in air quality. Polluted air results in several diseases and can cause serious illnesses in many people. Sustainable materials preserve good air quality through technologies, including filtration, insulation, and reducing air exchange from outside to the inside.

Top Sustainable Building Materials

Recycled Plastic

There is no shortage of plastic waste. In fact, manufacturers produce 300 million tons of plastic every year, and 50% of it is single-use. Considering that plastic decomposition takes 1000 years, recycling it should be a priority.


Plastic can be recycled into many building materials, including water pipes, PVC windows, or sustainable flooring materials, such as plastic foam insulations.

Recycled Wood

Wood ranks as one of the most common renewable building materials. It is a great choice for inexpensive flooring that looks great. Wood holds carbon, which is why it lasts so long and can be repeatedly recycled. 

Solar Panels

Electricity demand continues steadily increasing as the human population grows and developing countries develop. Solar panel tiles offer one of the most sustainable solutions to this problem. 


Solar panels installed on the roof of a commercial building gather enough sunlight to power even a large industrial operation. In fact, FedEx has an entire sorting facility in California that runs solely on solar panels. Solar panels are not only sustainable; they also cut energy costs down to size. 

Smart Glass Windows

Smart glass windows change their light transmission properties with the season. Because of this, heat is kept inside the building during the winter but kept out during the summer. Many models also block UV light, which protects your skin from the sun’s rays.

Structural Insulation Panels

Structural insulated panels minimize the energy consumed for both heating and cooling.  They are insulated wall panels that envelope the building, reducing air exchange and enhancing thermal resistance.

As a bonus, they also improve air quality and work against volatile organic compounds in the building.

In addition, structural insulation panels save time and labor during wall construction. The panels are produced from recycled materials and require less energy to manufacture compared to other insulation materials, making them a great sustainable alternative.

As technology continues to develop, more and more sustainable building materials are becoming available. Many of these sustainable materials are not just good for the environment, they are also healthy for the pocketbook. They reduce energy costs, and many are also less expensive to procure and install.

Carlton Building Services General Building Contractor in Hampton Roads Virginia

Carlton Building Services provides general building contractor services for medical facility remodeling in Hampton Roads Virginia. It also offers general building contractor services for new builds and commercial space rehab. Visit our website to see examples of our stunning work.

If you need general building contractor services in Hampton Roads Virginia , contact Carlton Building Services today.

JP Carlton

J.P. Carlton

J.P. Carlton is the founder of Carlton Building Services, a Hampton Roads-based construction company.