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The best sustainable materials for your custom home

Wooden house icon on green leaves

Are you thinking of building the perfect home in Winthrop real estate? Before you get into the features and amenities of the property, you need to think about the basics – your building materials.

Custom homes provide homeowners the ability to design their homes with the least impact on the environment. One way to do this is by using sustainable materials.

Rutgers University’s Center for Sustainable Materials defines the term as materials “that can be produced in required volumes without depleting non-renewable resources [e.g., fossil fuels, metallic mineral resources such as copper, gold, silver, etc.] and without disrupting the established steady-state equilibrium of the environment and key natural resource systems.”

Sustainable materials include:


Bamboo, one of the most popular building materials, is a good alternative to wood because it grows at a rapid pace (up to three feet within 24 hours) and can thrive in different parts of the world.

Sought-after because of its aesthetics and durability, this material has a high strength-to-weight ratio with compressive strength and tensile strength that rival typical building materials like brick, concrete, and steel. Bamboo is also versatile; it can be used for flooring, cabinetry, countertops, trim, and more.

Reclaimed wood

Reclaimed or recycled wood has become a common material for furniture, but it can also be used to build your custom home. Use reclaimed or recycled wood for structural framing, flooring, cabinetry, and accents to give your home a unique aesthetic.

Recycled steel

Steel is among the most recycled materials in the world, so it won’t be hard to find. Recycled steel is long lasting and has many of the same properties as new steel, giving you the same advantages while providing you a greener alternative.


Cork is another alternative to wood. It grows just as rapidly as bamboo and can be harvested from living trees. It is durable and resistant to wear. Cork is commonly used as flooring and insulation because it absorbs noise and shock. It’s also fire- and water-resistant and provides thermal insulation.

Precast concrete

Precast concrete is concrete pre-made from molds. Instead of pouring concrete on-site, precast concrete slabs are created on a massive scale and shipped to multiple sites, which makes them much easier to produce and assemble. And because of the process, precast concrete slabs are less likely to have cracks or structural faults.

Sheep’s wool

The insulating property provided by sheep’s wool is 10% higher compared to common insulating materials like fiberglass, mineral wool, cellulose, and polyurethane foam.
It can retain heat better and releases moisture during the warmer months.

Sheep wool delivers many more benefits. It improves the air quality inside the home. It’s non-toxic, flame resistant, and has sound-cancellation properties. It can be regrown quickly and needs fewer resources to manufacture. Thus, sheep’s wool is one of the most sustainable materials out there.

If you’re ready to build your custom home, get in touch with us Coldwell Banker Winthrop Realty. Work with top Winthrop Realtors and find your own piece of land in northwestern Washington to suit your homebuilding needs perfectly.

Give our team a call today at 509.996.2121 or send a message to info(at)cbwinthrop(dotted)com. You can also leave us a message here. Our team will be more than happy to assist you.