5 Eco-Friendly Benefits Of Using Fiber Cement Materials

benefits of using fiber cement
Check out the inexpensive and eco-friendly fiber cement siding on this new exterior wall. Credit: Charlie Vinz, flickrCC

The materials builders use are what bring a structure together, from simple sculptures to apartment complexes. Some of these items aren’t sustainable, though, and can end up hurting the environment. Fiber cement is a greener alternative.

Fiber cement rises to the top among its competitors due to its eco-friendly benefits and cost-effectiveness. Wood, regular cement, vinyl and stucco are only a few examples of materials fiber cement outperforms.

When creating a home or building of any kind, construction workers will opt for the most effective path. Choosing a more sustainable route with fiber cement will yield the best results from that path. Here are the main benefits:

1. Lifespan

When comparing fiber cement to other siding materials like wood or vinyl, one of the first things you’ll notice is the lifespan. Fiber cement goes above and beyond what other resources can provide by outlasting the competition. It can last for up to 50 years.

The longer lifespan means residents won’t need to replace and repair their siding as often. Instead, they can save money and produce less waste over the years. Routine checkups and repairs won’t need to be done as often, resulting in cost savings.

Fiber cement is low maintenance, too. There’s no need to continually toss out old parts like you’d need to with rotting wood. Investing more now will yield a better return on investment (ROI) with fewer costs over the years.

The Casa CM house in Italy is a testament to how innovative and modern fiber cement can be. This structure will be long-lasting and a beacon of progress to come.

2. Sustainability

Sustainability is a key factor when it comes to eco-friendliness. It’s the main reason why fiber cement is becoming so popular. Regular cement requires a lot of water during production, while fiber cement relies on recycled materials and consumes fewer resources. With water crises in certain areas throughout the world, using materials that reduce water usage is necessary.

Cement, sand, cellulose and recycled wood are the main components of fiber cement, making it a standout for sustainable building materials. Of course, natural siding materials like wood are eco-friendly, too, but only to an extent. Once they start breaking down, they’re harder to recycle. In fact, the pieces are better off becoming part of the fiber-cement mix.

The Lighthouse from Room11 Architects demonstrates living in creative ways — through smaller living quarters made with more sustainable materials.

3. Versatility

If someone is hesitant about using fiber cement because they want to work with other materials, there’s good news here. Fiber cement is the chameleon of siding materials. It can mimic other resources like stucco or wood, including grain patterns that look like the real thing.

You can get them in a variety of designs, including panels, shingles or boards. Further, fiber cement works well with paint — both in the factory and on a building.

The versatility then benefits the environment. Builders use fewer resources and instead focus solely on using fiber cement. This impact adds up — with more people using fiber cement, there’s less of a need for mass manufacturing natural resources.

Bel Air Middle School exemplifies this versatility through elegant and modern paneling. The colors and sleekness work well to make it stand out as an architectural site of progress.

4. Resistance

Eco-friendly typically refers to how materials benefit the environment. In another sense of the term, though, fiber cement can help prevent weather-related damage. It can better withstand hail, storms, natural disasters and fires.

Fiber cement is strong, sturdy and resistant to anything life throws at it. It can protect against even the harshest conditions, which leads to less out-of-pocket expenses for the homeowners. Bugs and animals that gnaw through materials like wood won’t be an issue here — fiber cement resists it all.

Different environments and locations throughout the world have various weather conditions and threats to endure. These residential living units in France give residents peace of mind that their homes can withstand the elements.

5. Health

One subtle benefit of fiber cement is the neutral components that make it up. Other materials like vinyl may have volatile organic compounds (VOCs) due to their synthetic nature. These toxic compounds come from paints, sprays, preservatives, cleansers and plenty more products and materials that are common in households. These VOCs can affect human health negatively.

For instance, VOCs can cause issues like headaches, nausea, asthma and ear irritation. Reducing materials that use VOCs is then necessary to create a safer environment. Avoiding these compounds altogether is key to good health, making fiber cement a good option.

The Livsrum Cancer Counseling Center in Denmark used fiber cement to create a modern, healthy treatment location. Here, residents can feel at peace knowing their health is not at risk from harmful materials while they recover or get assistance.

Eco-Friendly Progress

In more ways than one, fiber cement is sustainable. Environmentally, financially and health-wise, this material helps consumers save money while reducing their impact on the environment and protecting their own health. As fiber cement solidifies itself as a viable option for buildings and siding, other materials must become more sustainable. If not, fiber cement will pull ahead as a beacon of progress for eco-friendly materials.

These five benefits prove it’s a leader in the field and shows the direction construction must go to benefit consumers and the environment.