Environmentally Friendly Building Materials building-materials

 materials13Building materials have changed a lot over the past 50 years.  In recent years the term "green" has been coined for the use of building materials that are better for the environment.  There are many different ways that things can be better for the environment, there are materials that used recycled products, there are things that use less energy to run then they used to, and there are things that have been introduced into the building community that basically uses no resources from the environment at all.


Sandbag Shelter from Brandon University

Recent Brandon University Applied Disaster and Emergency Studies graduate, Jennifer Brinkworth, has built an Eco-Domeas part of her practicum project at the Riverbank Discovery Centre.


An Eco-Dome is a dome-shaped shelter or home built out of soil-cement or lime stabilized earth. These dome-shaped homes have generated a lot of interest in disaster and emergency management as they have proven themselves to be earthquake, flood, fire and hurricane sustainable.

The Eco-Dome is the FIRST of its kind built in Canada and will remain at the Riverbank Discovery Centre for two years. For more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Basic Sandbag Shelter

emergency-earthbag-shelter1The house exists out of very simple materials: sand bags, rope lines, tape and available isolation materials.· The construction process begins with filling the sand bags with fine and heavy materials, as much as is possible. It is important to make sure that the inner wall is higher then the outside wall.


Benefits of Living in an Underground Shelter or Home

earth_lodge_64You don't have to be a hobbit to live in an underground home.In fact, the environmentally-conscious living trend is as hot as it is cool!

Using the natural insulating properties of soil, people who build their homes underground can save a substantial amount in heating and cooling.


Green Features of Underground Homes and Shelters

SANY0215There are a number of green features associated with underground homes. Instead of using wood for construction, earth-sheltered homes generally rely on concrete. Perhaps more importantly, the insulation of the ground allows for significantly reduced heating and cooling costs.

Lest you worry about feeling like a mole - the experience is nothing of the sort. Many earth-sheltered homes are constructed with large, south-facing windows to let in natural light. If that is not enough, you can implement skylights and solar tubes.


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