Natural Building Materials: What are Your Choices for an Eco Home?

a self build home made entirely using cork, one of many natural building materials
(Image credit: Ricky Jones c/o RIBA)

Natural building materials are widely used in construction already, but while some are commonplace for self builders and the housebuilding industry alike, other construction methods and uses of naturally occurring materials in building are more niche — the preserve (at present anyway) of those looking to create an eco house with holistic green credentials. 

However, as interest in building an environmentally friendly, healthy home grows, so do the reasons to look at the sustainable alternatives to traditional building materials. 

Hugh Metcalf

Hugh is editor of sister title and former digital editor of He has worked on a range of home, design and property magazines, including Grand Designs, Essential Kitchens, Bathrooms, Bedrooms and Good Homes. Hugh has developed a passion for modern architecture and green homes, and moonlights as an interior designer, having designed and managed projects ranging from single rooms to whole house renovations and large extensions. He's currently renovating his own Victorian terrace in Essex, DIYing as much of the work as possible. He's recently finished his kitchen renovation, which involved knocking through walls, and landscaping a courtyard garden, and is currently working on a bathroom renovation.