5 materials used in civil construction considered sustainable

Products such as the corrugated HDPE pipe, used in sanitation and drainage works, prevent leaks and soil contamination and are considered sustainable.

Civil construction is one of the activities that most impact the environment. In Brazil, for example, approximately 35% of all materials extracted from nature (wood, metals, sand, stones, etc.) are used in civil construction.

Making the materials reused, defining alternatives for the exploitation of natural resources and finding new ways to generate and save energy are attitudes that reduce the impacts of construction on the environment. In addition, they play a key role in making processes economically viable.

In addition to the ethical and environmental issue, sustainability is a demand on the part of end customers that has been growing more and more. A good part of society has been changing its harmful habits to the environment and with that the need for more sustainable constructions arises.

For this reason, companies and researchers are increasingly investing in the creation of sustainable materials that seek a balance between construction and the environment. Use of LED lamps, reuse of containers and clay mortar are already some examples of materials that have emerged for this purpose.

Discover now 5 other materials that are helping to transform construction into a technological and sustainable space:


Used in the construction of drainage, sanitation, rainwater retention and retention networks, the HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) pipe is a chemically inert material and does not contaminate the soil or groundwater.

By resisting the chemical action of sulfuric gas and effluents with a pH between 1.5 to 14 and having a tip / bag connection, the HDPE tubes guarantee the system’s watertightness, preventing effluent leakage and preventing soil contamination. Widely used in the United States and Europe, this solution has been replacing traditional materials such as concrete and PVC with great efficiency.


Created by researchers at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, the bioconcrete, or live concrete, is capable of regenerating its own cracks through the presence of bacillus pseudofirmus bacteria – a bacillus that lives in extremely inhospitable environments, such as volcano craters in activity or places with a pH above 10.

When incorporated into the concrete mixture, the bacterium produces calcium carbonate, capable of sealing the existing cracks. According to the researchers, this material intends to prolong the useful life of bridges, streets and tunnels, in addition to giving a completely new perspective to the production of concrete.


The green roofs are applications of a vegetable layer on a waterproofed base with a PVC blanket. As plants reflect more sunlight than ordinary tiles, green roofs offer excellent thermal and acoustic insulation for buildings.

The technology is especially useful in buildings in very hot cities, as it is possible to dispense with the installation of air conditioning units and save resources and electricity.


In place of solvent, ecological inks are water-based and produced from natural pigments. Thus, there is no increase in petroleum-based inputs or the use of synthetic components. Some inks are also free of VOCs – Volatile Organic Compounds – which are aggressive to health and contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer.


Produced from the compression of plastic waste removed from the oceans, the replast brick is molded into different shapes and fittings. Therefore, fixing does not require the use of glue, adhesives or any type of mortar. In addition, the brick making process emits 95% less carbon dioxide and is non-toxic to the environment.

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