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The life cycle of a building is pre-building, building and post-building stages. Each stage of building should be such that they help conserve the energy. These three stages indicate flow of building materials through different stages of a building.

Pre-building stage mainly consists of manufacture which is subdivided in processing, packing and transport. The building phase mainly consists of construction, operation, maintenance and disposal last the stage where the material can be recycled or reused.

Manufacturing of building materials should be environment friendly. Efforts should be made to study and revise the technologies for producing good quality, efficient building materials and should improve the waste generation during manufacturing. These results in reduction of pollutants to environment.

The wastes which can be recycled can and used in masonries whilst as wooden wastes can be used in manufacture of plywood or soft boards. (Courtesy-BMTPC)

The total energy required to produce a material is called embodied energy. The greater a material’s embodied energy; it requires a greater usage of non-renewable sources. It is therefore advantageous to use materials or composite materials prepared from the wastages.

The natural materials such as stones, wood, lime, sand and bamboo can be used in ample wherever possible. The natural materials impact more sustainability to structures as well as they are friendlier to environment.

The use of local materials reduces the dependence on transportation whose contribution to the building material cost is high for long distance. Use of locally available building materials not only reduces the construction cost but also are suitable for the local environmental conditions.

Use of toxic building materials can significantly impact the health of construction people and the occupants of the building. Thus it is advisable to use the non-toxic building materials for construction.

There are several chemicals including formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, resins, chemicals in insulations, ply boards which are present in furnishings and building material. The effect on health of these toxic materials must be considered while their selection and they should be used only where-ever required.

Higher air cycling is recommended while installation of materials having volatile organic compound such as several adhesives, paints, sealants, cleaners and so on.