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5 Building Material Alternatives to Concrete

The world is evolving into a more environmentally-friendly community and with good reason. Choosing materials for any task in life is an important one in regards to the sustainability for anything we use.

You can also carry this mindset over to deciding what to use when tackling a new building construction or DIY task. More people who are designing their own homes are opting for the most environmentally-friendly method possible. Concrete is a traditional choice, but were you aware of the following five green building material alternatives?


Certain regions in the world have been using this one for a while, but this locally-sourced material is fast becoming a more popular choice. This is due to its impressive tensile strength and lightweight characteristic, meaning it’s easy to navigate and use, as well as being structurally sound.

It’s a great choice for small buildings and shelters, perhaps in disaster-struck areas or with cheap construction options. Plus, its renewable nature means it is an excellent alternative to concrete.

 5 Building Material Alternatives to Concrete


Steel is a product which can be separated systematically and recycled, meaning it won’t come to the end of its life and can be used again and again. Stainless steel carries raw items which are perfect for recycling.

Steel as a material provides easy construction and lower costs, and there is great adaptability. Company Steel Building Kits shows this by providing a variety of steel buildings. This material can be used to construct structures such as workshops, garages, and storage containers.


Wood on principle is environmentally sound due to the fact that trees take in carbon dioxide. Unlike materials such as concrete, wood doesn’t need as much of a forceful process method when turning it into construction material and products. It means wood as a material has a significantly smaller carbon footprint.

 5 Building Material Alternatives to Concrete


This one isn’t necessarily applicable to building a structure, but it is relevant in terms of outside space.

Grasscrete is the process of ensuring there are enough space and enough of a gap to allow plant life and flora to grow around concrete slabs which have been placed. Examples of this could be a driveway, a pathway, or concrete flooring. By permitting enough space between the concrete for more grass and flowers to grow, you’re helping the environment by making room for more of Mother Nature – as well as creating more plants to absorb carbon dioxide.

Another key benefit of this is that the gaps in the concrete provide a drainage system for excess stormwater.

Straw Bales

This may seem a bit of a throwback, but there’s a reason building with straw occurred as an original idea.

You can create a wall in a building by using straw bales inside the frame, and the straw would provide an alternative to concrete, fiberglass, or stone, to name a few. If preserved and used correctly, straw bales can also be wonderful insulators for your home, as well as an utterly affordable option.

Straw is an increasing renewable resource, too.