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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > May 2019 > Building materials: Sustainability & maintenance

Building materials: Sustainability & maintenance

For a building material to be truly green, it needs to offer more than simply being lowcarbon to produce. Nigel Griffiths looks at why longevity is a big part of the equation
Build It reader Pamela Crawford’s modern home features a raft of natural and ecofriendly materials, including hemcrete walls finished with a Baumit base coat and decorative sponged lime render from Limetec, which provides a flexible, breathable finish (
Scotlarch is a natural, durable and characterful timber cladding that can be left untreated to silver to a pleasing grey hue – making it an excellent no-maintenance option. It is available from Russwood (

When you’re evaluating and deciding between different construction products, the whole life cycle (including manufacture, maintenance and disposal) should be a critical piece of the sustainability puzzle. So, if eco credentials are a top priority for your project, then the solutions you specify need to be durable and relatively low-maintenance if they’re to make a real contribution to achieving your goals.

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About Build It

Build It is Britain’s longest running self build magazine. Each issue is packed full of inspirational and informative readers’ homes, as well as expert advice on issues from budgets and planning to project management and design. This month: - Beginners guide to extensions - Energy efficient masonry - Renovating a Victorian house - How to maximise your self build budget - Dealing with planning conditions