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Bio-based and geosourced materials: renewable products used in construction


Biobased and geosourced materials: renewable products for sustainable construction

Biobased materials or MBS are materials originating from organic materials, that is to say from biomass, whether animal or vegetable. These living organisms (wood, straw, cork, hemp, linen) but also recycled textiles or cellulose wadding, including goose feathers, sheep wool or cereal husks, among many others . Raw earth, although natural but considered not to come from life, is not part of the MBS.

Renewable products from nature

This organic matter is renewable in essence. However, you should know that a so-called bio-based material is not necessarily 100% natural. It is indeed possible that it has undergone a transformation, a treatment, and that it contains chemical additives. It may also have traveled great distances during its transport. Consequently, a bio-based or geosourced material is not necessarily completely without any impact on the environment.

List of bio-based and geo-based materials

There are a multitude of materials that meet biosource requirements, we mainly find:
  • Wood
  • Hemp : France is the leading producer.
  • Straw
  • Cellulose wadding
  • Cereal bales
  • Miscanthus
  • The cork
  • Linen
  • Sheep's wool
  • Goose feathers
  • Cereal bales
  • Thatch
  • Etc.

Biobased and geosourced materials for sustainable constructions

Biobased materials can be used as construction material for a new building or for the renovation of an old building. They are also used as raw material for construction or decoration products. They are thus the subject of multiple applications: they are used to manufacture mortar and concrete , to produce plastic composites, to obtain paints and glues or as insulators.
They have certain environmental qualities, such as the storage of CO2 and the preservation of natural resources. They also offer serious technical advantages to ensure a higher quality of life for occupants of housing. They have a significant thermal phase shift , that is to say a strong ability to slow down the penetration of heat or cold inside the home, or conversely the escape of heat or coolness to the outside. Their breathable properties allow better management of humidity in the air and in the building. These qualities make MBS very efficient materials in terms of thermal and acoustic insulation and hygrometric comfort, and significantly reduce the energy consumption of a home.

Biobased and geosourced materials in France

In France, their implementation is encouraged by the State, under construction and renovation, both to improve the environmental footprint and reduce energy consumption and to develop the economy of the territories. Indeed, certain bio-based materials are already available in large quantities in France for the construction industry, such as straw, hemp or even recycled textiles.
In a process of sustainable construction and less impact on the environment, it is of course preferable to use biobased materials of local production and having undergone a minimum of transformation.