New infographic on the value of green alternatives to building materials

  • 20 Nov 2014

Green Alternatives

Green buildings are a great alternative to conventional buildings as they are designed and constructed in a way that makes it sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Although conventional buildings are very common, according to the World Green Building Council they consume approximately 30-40% of global energy, this is a particular problem for countries such as the UK where buildings represent about 50% of energy use. Hence the need for green buildings in the UK are ever increasing.

Reduced CO2 emissions

The main advantages of green buildings in comparison to conventional buildings are that they reduce CO2 emissions by 35%, are cost effective as they only cost 3-5% more than conventional buildings to construct, they reduce water wastage by 40% and require low maintenance.

There are a range of green building materials that can be used as an alternative to conventional building materials, but were just going to cover a few materials in terms of insulation, structural and flooring.


Most conventional buildings use foam boards or thermawrap as insulation. However a perfect greener alternative is wool and wood fibre, for example wool is breathable so it absorbs and releases moisture without reducing thermal performance, and wood fibre has high thermal and acoustic properties. Whats more, they are both non-toxic which means they are recommendable for those conscious of their health.


Buildings are well known for being traditionally built from bricks and concrete. However, they use up a lot of energy to manufacture compared to eco- friendly materials such as straw bale and stone which are sustainable because they are natural occurring resources.


Concrete, wood laminate and tile floors may seem like the only materials available when deciding what kind of flooring to install. However there are many sustainable materials to use e.g. bamboo, corkwood, hardwood and stone which require little maintenance and are durable.

Open the infographic from Able Skills on Green Alternatives to Conventional Building Materials

Able Skills is an accredited centre securing approval to deliver qualification training from City andamp; Guilds, EAL, CITB and BPEC, for Electrical training. They are also an IET Centre of Excellence.



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