There are a number of valid ways to proceed when it comes to building an environmentally-friendly new home. From choosing a passive design that works with the climate to using repurposed or recycled materials to having rooftop solar panels included in the design, some aspects of environmentally-friendly home design are logical. Your choice of building materials can play a huge role in the eco credentials of a new home, and some of these materials can be surprisingly innovative, with what you might consider to be a waste product now forming something that can be shaped into a new home for you and your family. When consulting with your new home builders, there are a few items you might want to discuss in order to find out if they suit your building product.
Bricks made from waste products are becoming increasingly commonplace. When it comes to the availability of bricks in the quantity you need, recycled bricks will be a viable option. It's fairly straightforward in that old bricks are broken down and made into new bricks or even into a concrete aggregate that can be used during construction. Reclaimed bricks in a suitable condition can also be incorporated as is under certain circumstances, such as building a feature wall. Other types of recycled bricks might not yet be widely available, but it's possible to build bricks from unlikely source materials, such as old cigarette butts. It might not be a building material you'd go crazy over, but it's also possible to make bricks from human urine.
Those bricks would fall down without a frame, and in terms of the framework for a new home, wood and/or steel are still the most likely candidates, with basic dimensional wooden beams to shape the house and engineered beams adding structural support. Of course, if your home is being built with its environmental credentials in mind, the framework (whether structural steel, wood or a combination of the two) can be recycled or repurposed.
Something that could be highly beneficial to new home construction in Australia is light-emitting cement. It's not as though you would want to construct an entire dwelling out of it, but it could have some useful, electricity-saving applications. The cement (which is made from recyclable materials) absorbs light and then releases it at a subtle level. This could cut down on electricity usage, with those long sunny days essentially charging the cement, meaning that pathways, patios and even driveways have a continual light to help people navigate by.
There really are a number of surprising materials that can be used in home construction, so be sure to discuss them with your builders.