Integrating Natural Building Materials into Mainstream Construction
The built environment must meet the highest demands of human habitation, resource management, and community enrichment. To achieve these goals, modern built environments should adopt a restorative environmental design with natural building materials that are locally available, minimally processed, and waste-free. When implemented in a hybrid manner, natural materials offer excellent thermal and hygrothermal properties that result in passive cooling and solar heating. Despite their advantages, natural materials still face challenges for comprehensive implementation. First, their technical data vary significantly, making it challenging to quantify their true performance for different climate and environmental contexts. Second, people mistakenly perceive these materials as low-tech and poor in their performance. Lastly, building codes and standards do not comprehensively represent these materials worldwide.