Architects, engineers and construction professionals have predicted that these building materials will propel eco-builds in 2020. 

  riba cork house by magnus dennis - self build eco home - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: RIBA/Magnus Dennis 

A new survey from Sell House Fast has uncovered what building industry experts believe will be the biggest trends in eco-friendly construction in the coming year. 

In speaking to over 580 architects, engineers and construction (AEC) professionals, the research reveals the top 7 materials destined to define eco-builds in both the commercial and residential sectors in 2020. 

1. Bamboo 

69% of architects, engineers and construction professionals agreed that bamboo was the biggest eco-friendly material trend for the next year. While inexpensive and light, bamboo has impressive tensile strength that offers an alternative method to concrete and rebar construction. 

2. Straw bales 

grand design straw bale house - eco build - granddesigns

 Image: Grand Designs 

You may remember the Straw Bale house - a Grand Designs classic, in which the owners uniquely left its straw bale insulation on show to the world. As well as insulating properties, straw bales are naturally fireproof and can be used as a replacement in wall building for concrete, plaster, wood, fiberglass, stone and gypsum.

Read more about the Straw Bale house. 

3. Timbercrete

By mixing sawdust and concrete to create timbercrete, not only are you provided with a much lighter material, but a more eco-friendly product. The sawdust replaces components within concrete that are most energy-intensive to produce. 

4. Recycled plastics

cowshed conversion grand designs tv house with recycled plastic bottletop roof - self vuilds - granddesigns

 Image: Grand Designs 

While a property such as the Cowshed conversion in Somerset, featured previously on Grand Designs, has re-used plastic in a clever way with a bottletop roof, modern construction methods using plastic look to re-use waste in the production of concrete. This takes this plastic out of circulation, reducing greenhouse emissions or keeping it from landfill. 

5. Ferrock

Stronger than concrete, Ferrock combines recycled and waste products such as steel dust and silica from ground up glass. In the drying and hardening process, the material also absorbs and seals carbon dioxide, meaning fewer emissions than traditional concrete. 

6. Hempcrete

hempcrete Grand designs The Street Episode 3 paul blanka - granddesignsmagazine.com

Image: Freemantle Media/Channel 4

Hempcrete is created from the inner fibres of the hemp plant, combined with lime to create a concrete-like material. Super light-weight and durable, it was used by Paul and Blanka in their budget eco-build in Grand Designs: The Street. Read more about their experiences with the construction material

7. Cork

riba cork house by magnus dennis - self build eco home - granddesignsmagazine.com

 Image: RIBA/Magnus Dennis 

Made from the bark of cork oak, left untreated cork is naturally water, rot and fire-resistant. 

The Cork House, a build long-listed for Grand Design's House of the Year 2019, has been constructed entirely of cork from waste and by product of the cork forestry and stopper industry. You can read more about this build at RIBA

 

Inspired by these eco-friendly building ideas? Let us know by tweeting us @granddesigns or post a comment on our Facebook page.

 

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