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Sustainable Construction & Building Materials (Ι) by Sarah Buckley Time:2020/10/09 10:00:00 Hit:96

What does sustainable mean?

There is no universally agreed definition of sustainability. In fact, there are many different viewpoints on this concept and on how it can be achieved.

Etymologically, the word sustainability comes from sustainable + ity. And sustainable is, for instance, a composition of sustain + able. So if we start from the beginning, to <sustain> means “give support to”, “to hold up”, “to bear” or to “keep up”.

What is sustainability, then? Sustainable is an adjective for something that is able to be sustained, i.e, something that is “bearable” and “capable of being continued at a certain level”. In the end, sustainability can perhaps be seen as the process(es) by which something is kept at a certain level.

Nonetheless, nowadays, because of the environmental and social problems society is facing, sustainability is commonly used in a specific way.

Therefore, sustainability can be defined as the processes and actions through which humankind avoids the depletion of natural resources (which is influenced by the way societies are organised) to keep an ecological balance so that society’s quality of life doesn’t decrease.

In this way, we can say that resources exploitation, manufacturing operations, the direction of investments, technological developments, wealth distribution, institutional changes, among others, are being sustainable if they don’t hurt the ecosystem services and if they allow for society’s quality of life not to decrease.


How does it relate to building materials?

In building, environmentally-friendly materials (also known as green building materials) are those in which, for their production, placing and maintenance, actions of low environmental impact have been performed. ... These materials also have to be natural (soil, adobe, wood, cork, bamboo, straw, sawdust, etc.)


Nine sustainable building materials:

1. Green thermal insulation

2. Structural insulated panels

3. Recycled metal

4. Reclaimed wood

5. Engineered wood for cross-laminated timber buildings

6. Precast concrete slabs

7. Bamboo

8. Cork

9. Cement made out of recycled plastic



to be continue