Unusual Construction Materials

Buildings are generally not the same but there are a certain few that were clearly built to stand out from the crowd. So, why not build whatever you want from whatever you want, after all in a world of construction, there are no rules.

Typically buildings are built using materials such as concrete, brick, stone, logs, wood and even glass. But it has been known for constructions to be made from things a little more unusual. Materials that you’d probably never associate with building have been used to make more than one construction; unusual materials don’t just mean the mud used to build huts in Africa, it’s literally anything and everything including tyres, cardboard and glass bottles.

Tyres have been used in construction since the 1970s by famous Mexican architect Mike Reynolds. More recently, tyres have started to be used in the UK and the construction of tyre buildings has been featured on programmes such as Grand Designs. Tyres are packed with dirt and used to build the walls of buildings. Using tyres is not only an unusual construction method but it is also an eco-friendly way of building. The idea is that buildings built using tyres will not use much energy when it comes to heating and cooling the inside. This is because the tyres act as a thermal store, meaning that they absorb the light from the sun and it transfers into heat on the inside.

Cardboard is another odd material to associate with building but it has been used to support frames and as insulation. Most people would think that cardboard would be a fire or flood hazard if used in the construction of a building, however this is not the case. Cardboard has been used to support wooden frames of buildings along with being used as insulation in the roof and walls.

Another uncommon building material is straw bales. Due to the shape of a straw bale it allows construction to progress quickly and gives the building extremely thick walls – again allowing it to retain heat. In order to use straw bales in building the straw has to be treated in a certain way to help with fire risks etc.

Building Materials

Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pstainthorp/7986500333/

Glass bottles are another odd one and as a material may not appeal to everyone, due to the fact that they are so visible. Unlike cardboard, when glass bottles are used in construction they are visible to those that are inside and out. Although the look of them is quite unique the use of glass bottles as a ‘green’ construction material is great, other than the fact that a lot of heat is lost through them. A way to solve this if you are thinking of building with glass bottles is to fill the bottles with a dark liquid that is used to absorb the light, trapping it as heat.

This article was written by Jeremy Grange, a construction specialist, on behalf of www.nordman.ie, suppliers of top quality building materials.

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