Earth-friendly building materials – A Moment of Science

A Moment of Science

We know, and hopefully do, the various things to make our daily routine better for the environment- recycle, don’t use single-use plastic, carpool more, the list continues. For this special Earth Day “Moment of Science” we’re not exploring those green lifestyle choices – but the choices you may not know about- namely how natural materials can be used to make one’s home more sustainable.

We know the typical materials used when building and renovating a home – sheetrock, fiberglass, concrete. Most of these are derived from petroleum or plastic – not a great choice for those who are looking for their home to be better for our global home. Instead of looking to the future for a solution, some are looking back: using older building methods such as rammed earth – using dirt to create a solid structure.

April Magill teaches Sustainable Architecture at the American College of Building Arts in downtown Charleston and has a company, RootDown Designs, that utilizes the natural earth to create a better, greener, and breathable home. I do mean that last part- a workshop on an alternative to insulation called “hempcrete” is being taught at ACBA this week. The end product is natural, sustainable, and mold and rot resistant- very important for homes here in the Lowcountry. But the biggest benefit is that this, and other natural building techniques- don’t add extra emissions to the atmosphere by storing more carbon than it emits.

If you’re interested in doing your part to create or design a more sustainable home that can help our environment – be sure to check events this week on both Wednesday and Thursday evenings that Magill is putting on with Chris Magwood – an expert in sustainable architecture. More information can be found on

Have a great Earth Day!

Storm Team 2 Meteorologist David Dickson

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