Eco-Friendly Construction

19 Benefits of Eco-Friendly Construction

Affiliate Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn commissions if you purchase products from other retailers after clicking on a link from our site.

Deciding to build a new home is a considerable investment, and over the years, conventional construction methods work fine. However, energy costs have led to the need for a more sustainable form of construction. Eco-friendly or green building is one of the adopted construction methods, but does it have any benefits?

Some of the benefits of eco-friendly construction include low operation/maintenance costs, energy efficiency, and eliminating environmental pollutants. What’s more, eco-friendly construction leads to improved health, better usage of materials, and ensures water efficiency.

There’s a lot more that goes into eco-friendly construction. This article explains what eco-friendly construction entails and looks at the benefits of this construction method in detail.

What Is Eco-Friendly Construction?

Eco-friendly construction is building a structure that is resource-efficient and unharmful to the environment. It’s also known as green building and involves the use of local and renewable materials. This type of construction is efficient because of its materials and the energy required to build one.

What Are Some Eco-Friendly Home Construction Materials?

Using eco-friendly building materials in construction helps with waste elimination, improves your family’s quality of life, and reduces maintenance costs. Some of the eco-friendly building materials you should consider are:

Recycled Steel

Steel is the world’s most recycled material, making it an eco-friendly material to use in your construction. Although there is crude steel made from recycled material, you can find 100% recycled steel in the material.


Bamboo is an excellent material when building small parts of a construction project. Apart from being lightweight, bamboo is sturdy enough and is available in different climates, which reduces the shipping time.

The fast-growing bamboo continues to grow and spread without the need for replanting. The lightweight material is also easier to carry compared to other materials like wood. The only disadvantage is that you’ll need to treat it to prevent insects.

Recycled or Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed or reused wood is lightweight, and you can use it for siding, structural framing flooring, and cabinetry. Some wood is durable, but this depends on the type of wood you choose. However, you’ll need to inspect and treat the reclaimed wood as most of it is prone to degradation and pests.

Sheep Wool Insulation

If you’re looking for an alternative to polyurethane spray foam or fiberglass, you may want to consider sheep’s wool. This material doesn’t degrade as fast as other insulation materials. You can use the wool as an insulation material in attics, ceilings, and walls. Sheep’s wool is simple to install and eco-friendly, making it ideal for homeowners looking for a green building with a good energy rating.

Precast Concrete

Precast concrete is poured into pre-made molds over wire or rebar. It’s then cured and can be used in several structures. That makes it an affordable option when used around the house. The material can also be recycled, which makes it an eco-friendly choice.

Straw Bales

Straw bales make an excellent insulating material. You can place the bales in ceilings, walls, and attics to make the house warm during winter and cool in the summer. The eco-friendly material is accessible to harvest and replant without causing any environmental damage.


Cork grows as fast as bamboo. Its resilient nature means that it gets to revert back to its original shape after sustaining pressure. That makes cork ideal in floor tiles. Cork’s shock absorption abilities make it suitable for sub-flooring. It can also be used for insulation sheets thanks to its noise absorption features.

Features of an Eco-Friendly Building

An eco-friendly building will include:

  • The use of low-energy bulbs that last longer
  • Water conservation, including the collection of rainwater for garden use
  • The use of solar panels for domestic hot water heating
  • Wood preservatives and lead-free paints
  • Cellulose insulation
  • Use of locally-grown and harvested timber
  • Pollution and waste reduction measures
  • Pleasant indoor environmental air quality
  • Use of non-toxic materials

Does Eco-Friendly Construction Cost More?

One reason most people fear to venture into green buildings is the fear that it will cost more than conventional construction. The truth is that it may cost a lot more to build an eco-friendly structure. But the long-term benefits will outweigh any incremental capital costs. You may have to incur 5% more than traditional home construction, but this difference in the expenses is covered within the first three years.

A good example is when you install a solar panel. Once installed, you’ll save on costly utility bills every month. There will also be a reduction in operational and maintenance costs. A green building is a future investment that will guarantee returns.

It’s also essential to look at other aspects like environmental analysis, design of the building, and schedule if you don’t want to spend more on eco-friendly construction. A good design can help you cut costs in the short term.

Here are some of the benefits of going the eco-friendly way of construction when building your project.

Reduced Construction Costs

Green buildings, whether homes or offices, are cheaper to construct compared to non-green buildings. That’s because you’ll be using recyclable materials like steel, which is less expensive than other metals like aluminum. Precast concrete is also cheaper compared to original concrete, which saves you some cash. The use of recycled water and solar panels also enhances cost savings.

The California Sustainable Building Task Force estimates that a 2% investment in green building will save you over ten times the initial investment in the long run. Renewable energy sources also reduce heating/cooling costs, which accounts for 20% lower maintenance costs than conventional buildings.

Low Operation and Maintenance Costs

Eco-friendly construction implements features that ensure enough resources like energy and water, covering the operations and maintenance costs account for close to 80% of a building’s lifetime costs.

Although a green building’s construction costs will be higher, the long-term prices will be cheaper than the conventional types of buildings. Furthermore, sustainable building increases the value of the property, thus guaranteeing a high ROI.

Material, Water, and Energy Efficiency

Green buildings have improved the efficiency of water, energy, and any resources used. The purpose of eco-friendly construction is to reduce the amount of energy used and save on the same. That will include using solar panels and ensuring the rooms receive as much natural light to minimize artificial light.

Clean water is no longer a renewable resource. That is why it’s essential to find ways to conserve water and reuse water creatively. The U.S. Green Building Council accounts for 12% of the total water consumed in the U.S. Eco-friendly construction focuses on collecting rainwater.

Recycling can also be done through the installation of purification systems and improving modern plumbing. Green building projects use water resources to ensure future generations can enjoy a supply of reliable and clean water.

Construction involves the use of a lot of materials. Green buildings focus on material efficiency, which affects how the materials are manufactured, how they are used, and what goes into reducing wastage without interfering with the final product’s quality. The materials purchased are minimal, something that saves the costs of material purchasing.

Improved Human Health and Better Indoor Environment

Humans want a place with excellent air quality, proper thermal conditions, good lighting, and ergonomics. All these factors play a role in humans’ psychological and physical well-being who live inside any building.

According to the EPA, indoor pollution could be 2-5 times worse. They also estimate that indoor pollution could be over 100 times worse than outdoor air quality. Unfortunately, these indoor pollutants found in most non-green buildings can trigger asthma, among other respiratory conditions.

An eco-friendly building uses non-toxic materials and natural insulation from sheep’s wool, and these products don’t have any negative impact on health in the long or short term. Eco materials are free from any harmful finishes, chemicals, or environmental pollutants. That makes them safe to use and also ensures you’re constructing a healthy place for the occupants.

High Property Value

Green buildings provide sustainability by reducing costs. That has led to high demand as more people realize that these structures are healthy to live in and could also reduce maintenance and operation costs. One benefit of constructing an eco-friendly building is that you’ll enjoy increased property value and get a high return on investment.

According to the SmartMarket report, green buildings owners have seen a 10% or more increase in asset value. That percentage has doubled over the years.

Building Durability and Longevity

Longevity combined with environmental preservation and energy efficiency is another reason why you should consider going green. Most green homes have design features that are meant to ensure the building lasts for years to come. Some of these features include vegetated roofs to lower heat degradation. Sump pumps prevent flooding in the basement, ventilation systems for air pressure control, and quality insulation materials.

A few buildings will have UV-blocking window glazing to reduce damage to interior furnishings and finishes.

Low Carbon Footprint

Traditional homes account for one-fourth of global carbon dioxide emissions. Most emissions come from energy, where coal, natural gas, and oil. Each kilowatt-hour used by one building contributes to the release of carbon dioxide into the air. The EPA estimates that heating and cooling accounts for 43% of all energy used in the country. That generates the most massive amounts of greenhouse gases.

However, a green building uses solar power. It conserves energy through passive heating and cooling, energy-efficient appliances, and creating a design that shrinks the carbon footprint on the environment and reduces air pollutants, leading to severe health issues.

Get a LEED Certification

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The program determines the energy efficiency of a building. A building that gets enough points gets LEED certified. Using eco-friendly construction methods gives you prestige in the real estate community, something that increases the property value to buyers.

Getting the certification also makes your building attractive to tenants. In some instances, LEED-certified buildings could qualify for tax breaks.

Reduced Waste

Eco-friendly construction uses renewable materials, such as precast concrete or recycled steel. You can also reuse industrial byproducts like foundry sand, coal combustion products, and demolition debris, and these help to reduce waste.

What’s more, the building occupants can contribute to less wastage by using greywater for irrigation and other non-drinkable uses. Green buildings play a role in smart growth, a concept that evaluates human health/safety, sustainability, and economic expansion.

Substituting one product for another doesn’t make a building eco-friendly. An overhaul is vital if you’re looking for a better quality of life.

Tax Incentives

The government has introduced federal tax incentives to encourage the construction of energy-efficient green buildings. These incentives apply to both residential and commercial buildings.

Most local and state governments have passed tax provisions to encourage the construction of green buildings. To find out more, you can ask the tax expert about the Housing Assistance Tax Act, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, and the Economic Stimulus Act to determine whether they apply in your state.

Creates a Market for Green Products

As more people continue to embrace eco-friendly construction, that has led to creating a market for green products. More people are manufacturing recycled steel, straw bale, precast concrete, and eco-friendly insulation.

Reduce Strain on Local Infrastructure

Eco-friendly buildings collaborate with local governments to provide incentives for energy efficiency and green buildings. The collaboration also helps them provide public forums, free classes, and technical training to reduce local infrastructure. That ensures that other homes can quickly go green without too many costs.

Contributes to Noise Reduction and Avoidance

Noise can have a significant impact on anyone’s well-being. Eco-friendly construction emphasizes on noise avoidance through:

  • Creation of noise barriers between the highway and a building
  • Distance augmentation between the subject and the source of the noise
  • Planting trees close to absorbing the noise

Protecting and Enhancing Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Eco-friendly projects are designed and implemented to cause little to no harm to the natural biodiversity and habitats. The inclusion of green spaces through the planting of trees protects the ecosystems.

Increased Productivity

An environment-friendly workspace can help employees perform better and reduce absenteeism. A study by the Michigan State University titled the Effects of Green Buildings on Employee Health and Productivity showed that the number of hours the respondents reported being absent due to asthma and allergies dropped from 1.12-.49 post-move.

That was attributed to green design that focused on energy-efficient appliances and low-VOC finishes. Having a sustainable design means the overall work environment is considered, making this about the employee and not architecture alone.

Worksites that focus on both productivity and sustainability have common principles, which include:

  • Access to daylight: That reduces energy use and creates an inviting workspace.
  • Open floor plans: The floor plans used space efficiently compared to enclosed offices. The open floor plans also encourage collaboration and mitigate any unfairness.
  • Sound control systems: Sound control in open offices promotes productivity among the employees.
  • Segregated spaces for meetings: A sustainable design also has some secluded areas for meetings. The space is also ideal for employees who need to concentrate.
  • Task lighting: Reduction of overhead lighting reduces energy costs. Incorporation of task lighting gives the employees control over their place of work. The sustainable design makes use of workforce temperature controls for similar reasons.

Creates Room for Innovation

Eco-friendly construction provides a unique opportunity for innovations in the industry. As new materials are being used in the industry, it has led to the development and implementation of innovative techniques, such as the new power plant in Copenhagen.

Creation of Jobs

Green building has led to creating jobs across different industries like manufacturing, engineering, construction, and operation industries. The jobs help grow the green economy and offer practical experience in high-performance technologies, building operations, and green construction.

Aspects of construction are changed through the application of sustainable building principles. A few examples include:

Use of integrated Photovoltaic Solar Power Systems

Installing these PV systems requires skills. Solar photovoltaic installers assemble, install, and maintain the PV systems on the roof and other structures. Maintenance involves ensuring that the plans comply with site schematics and assessment. Their work revolves around checking the environment for any potential hazards that could occur due to installation.

The use of the solar power system also reduces dependency on fossil fuels. Individuals in this industry are responsible for replacing old lighting systems to offer better lighting conditions, capture more daylight, and ensure less energy.

Demolition Work

Construction workers in the green economy are tasked with ensuring all materials are recycled and reused. That ensures less construction waste on the building projects.

Wind Turbines

Wind turbines help with ensuring the wind system functions as expected. Service technicians install, inspect, and repair the turbines. They also review the schematic diagrams and blueprints to maintain an automated system.

Proper Waste Disposal and Air Pollution Control

Environmental engineers are tasked with recycling, air pollution control, and waste disposal, among other things. They also handle ecological sustainability and climate change.

Implementing Eco-Friendly Construction Strategies

Green construction or eco-construction involves the use of eco-friendly materials in all buildings. If you are wondering how you can implement eco-friendly construction strategies, here are some tips to help you out.

Find Locally-Sourced Resources

In the day, hauling building materials from great distances to the construction site was considered the norm. The problem with this is that it led to delayed projects. Selecting locally-sourced materials helps to cut the carbon footprint.

Shifting to Eco-Friendly Construction Materials

Switching to eco-friendly materials like bamboo, recycled steel, precast concrete, and sheep’s hide is one way to create a healthy space and save money on construction materials and insulation.

Emphasizing on Impact Investing

In impact investing, the project focuses on the effect the property and development process will have on the local population and environment. A good example is a country like Indonesia, where specific firms work with construction companies, architects, and investors to facilitate the development of eco-friendly construction that is sustainable. The benefits of impact investing lead to a high return on investment.

Develop Full Eco-Friendly Potential of the Land

Green construction is not only using eco-friendly materials but also developing the eco-friendly potential of the land. That means using construction methods that don’t degrade the environment and those that meet the landscape requirements. Incorporating multipurpose areas and green spaces into the design also adds to eco-friendly construction.

Reuse and Repurpose Used Construction Materials

Demolition is prevalent in the construction industry. That’s because when there’s a need to put up a new building when a structure already exists, there will be a need to tear down the existing building for the new one to be set up.

Instead of dumping the concrete, steel, and other items into landfills, use these materials towards your construction projects to save money, reduce the environmental impact, and cut the time spent on construction operation. You can also recycle and reuse decorative resources like ceiling materials and flooring to create a sustainable construction.

Recycle Water

Water is critical for any construction. You can collect condensed water from HVAC units or collect rainwater and use it in the building process. Construction workers can also use recycled water for irrigation.

Implement the Use of Solar Power

Solar power converts the sun’s radiation into energy, saving energy consumption and money spent on utility bills. You’ll need to determine where to position the solar panels and decide if the location will be suitable.

Tips on Building an Eco-Friendly Building

Now that you’ve learned some benefits of eco-friendly construction, you may be confused over where to start. Here are some tips to ensure you build an eco-friendly home.

Find a Suitable Location

You need to find an eco-friendly location for you to achieve a successful green building project. Consider how easy it will be to access the construction materials, the type of insulation to use, and an estimate of the construction cost.

Have a Realistic Home Building Project

It’s recommended to have a budget in mind before starting any construction project. Anticipate project overruns in both labor and material costs. Ensure that you have a financial buffer to cover any missed targets.

Things like missed days or material shipment delays are also every day. Be realistic with the completion time when talking to the contractor.

Consider Starting Small

Green buildings don’t have to be big, and sometimes more significant doesn’t mean it’s always better. Start by building a home that fits your current needs as a family. Consider using creative designs to ensure you use each space correctly. However, do not sacrifice the quality of life, but have your preferred lifestyle in mind when coming up with a design.

Get Eco-Friendly Materials

Use sustainable materials like reclaimed wood for furniture and flooring, precast concrete, and recycled steel for places that need reinforcement. Other recycled materials include paper-based countertops made from tree pulp, rubber roofing, and composite decking made from wood waste and recycled paper.

You can also purchase construction materials from environmentally aware companies committed to environmental sustainability through product design, biodegradable/recyclable materials, and product design process.

Find a Green Home Designer or Contractor

When choosing a green home contractor, especially when thinking of a ZNE, LEED, or Passive House certified building, you need to find a green home architect or designer. Find someone experienced who understands the process of constructing a green home, where to get building materials and one who keeps the project on budget and time.

Consider Going Solar

Using solar power is another way to go green in your construction process. Solar panels not only help you generate your energy, but they also help you reduce your monthly electricity bills. You’re also entitled to certain tax breaks, grants, and other benefits once you use solar.

Getting a renewable source of energy is essential, but how you employ it is more important. That means you’ll need to choose energy-efficient appliances, use programmable thermostats, and install LED lights.

Don’t Forget the Windows and Doors.

Avoid paying too much attention to wall insulation and neglect the doors and windows. That’s because air can creep in through the cracks if the doors and windows aren’t sealed properly.

Use Water Conservation Strategies

Install a rainwater harvesting system to collect water and store it in a separate tank. You can use this water for irrigating the lawn or for your plumbing. Using low-flow showerheads and energy-efficient water heaters are other ways to go green and save water.


Although eco-friendly construction may be a bit costly initially, the benefits of having a green building outweigh the construction costs, and you no longer have to worry about operational or maintenance costs. The money you would have spent on energy is reduced, and you get to sell your building at a higher price due to the value-added features. Moreover, you get to contribute to a better environment and health of the occupants.


Share this Post