The Top 10 Natural Building Materials

Natural Building Materials

Natural building materials are ideal for any construction since they help in reducing the use of human-made materials and products that require intense energy in manufacturing. This means that there is a guarantee of reduced damaged to the environment since there is no fossil fuel consumed, which is one of the leading causes of environmental pollution. The good news is that people continue to give the material preference up to today. This article focuses on the top 10 list of natural building materials you need to consider during your next project.


Adobe is sun-dried bricks made out of the mud and continues to get preference in various places. On some occasions, constructors add straw as additives to create a better mixture. Constructors use wooden forms to make small bricks that will be left out in the sun to dry.

This kind of material is quite ancient and can date back to 6000BC. However, it is quite ideal since its thermal mass can keep a house warm during winter and cool during summer.


Cob is quite close to adobe, but the main difference is the technique of construction. It also features mud, water, and additive of clay and straw. Cob does not use any bricks but is a spherical unit that builds a continuous structure. It can take any form, and this plays a significant advantage and disadvantage of cob construction.


Wood is one of the most common natural building materials used nowadays. It features different building purposes, such as framing, flooring, and trimming. Wood is available in both hardwood and softwood, and you can choose either type depending on the climate and region.

However, the best choice is the hardwood since it offers excellent durability compared with the softwoods. Apart from that, wood has unique thermal properties and can sustain high temperatures. It also has excellent acoustic features that make it ideal in absorbing sounds, excellent mechanical and electrical properties, as well.


Cordwood is what is considered as firewood. However, in this case, you can use the firewood to construct a house. The construction involves setting up the wood in an organized structure that makes the wall.

Constructors can use mortar to hold the wood together or use the wood without any additive. You can use mud or cement to plaster the wood to create a good finish. Wood has excellent thermal mass, making it ideal for modern construction.


Masonry includes natural stones and bricks, which have been used over time. It marks the best form of natural material used in construction due to its extreme durability and ability to survive the harsh climate. It holds the best position over time since there is nothing else better that has been invented yet.

Earth Bags

Earth bags have been a popular military form of protection for quite some time. The military usually uses earth bags to create a protective barrier against flooding and other elements that come along with harsh weather. It can also be ideal in creating a substantial wall needed for temporary use.


Bamboo is among the fast-growing natural building materials used in construction, due to its excellent durability and light-weight. Constructors can use bamboo in different building purposes or making small temporary structures.

Reclaimed materials

In construction, there is a lot of materials produced, and some will go to waste. Such waste, although not all of it, can be suitable for building purposes, although they might seem unusable. All that one needs to do is constitute the materials and reuse in different construction purposes, such as making pavements and walkways.

You should, however, ensure that the respective material suits the place of need. Also, ensure the reclaimed materials are ideal for use and will not result in a negative effect.

Rammed Earth

Rammed earth uses soil mixed with clay and sand, which are compressed together to make a vertical surface. Agreeably, the process is quite labor-intensive and might take a lot of energy compared with other materials. However, rammed earth proves to be fireproof, durable, and has excellent thermal mass, making it ideal for constructions in both warm and cold regions.

Modern rammed earth usually uses cement as the binder to make a form that is similar to concrete, making it more durable.


Straw bales have become a rising type of material used in the Southwestern Part of the U.S. It is a renewable energy material with remarkable insulation properties and an added benefit of fire-resistance. It is also used as infills for buildings with timber frames.


The above-stated top 10 list of natural building materials are ideal for your consideration. Your choice depends on different factors, such as availability, what you are constructing, and cost. Therefore, before you make up your mind on one of them, make sure that you do a thorough evaluation of the material to make the best choice.