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Close up of a wooden beamed roof
Marraum Architects17-Oct-2023 22:30:212 min read


Planning a house extension is an exciting time, giving you the chance to mould your living space to your unique vision, choosing the materials to compliment your imagination.

Sustainable architecture in Cornwall is becoming more prevalent as we continue to reassess our impact on the natural world. The construction industry has historically been responsible for a hefty level of climate upset – which makes the popularity of sustainable building practices all the more important. Take a look through our projects to see how we have incorporated sustainable materials in our past work.

Here’s a few of Marraum’s building material picks:


1. Wood -  an adaptable construction classic

Let’s start with an ancient but obvious one. When harvested responsibly from properly maintained forests, wood is a renewable resource that can be harnessed to bring your home closer to nature.

Use striking wooden features as focal points in an open plan area, or as exposed supports to add a rustic aesthetic – the choice is yours. A couple of our favourites include:

  • Larch – tough and waterproof, great for external cladding
  • Oak – Oak is a true ‘all-rounder’; highly available, beautifully textured and often the wood of choice when used as a building material

Take a look at our Piggery to Pavilion project to see how we incorporated striking wooden features into an open plan, resulting in an addition of personality and class.


2. Glass - maximising natural light

Like wood, glass is a classic and indispensable building material, and wise usage is crucial for awakening your space to new possibilities.

Well-placed glass portals like windows and skylights will root your space more firmly in the surrounding landscape, capturing natural light and using it to enhance your space.

We focused on maximising natural light in our Seeing Clearly project.


3. Bamboo - functional, lively and full of character

A very trendy building material, bamboo has long been popular in many regions of the world. It’s fast-growing and highly sustainable, and while it might not provide the robust support of more heavy-duty materials, it’s more than capable of adding light support and accents to structures.

Despite its light weight, bamboo is surprisingly sturdy when layered. This makes it ideal for creating attractive frames with its unique aesthetic.


4. Recycled plastic - an alternative to landfill

Structures that make use of recycled plastic are growing in popularity as an alternative to landfill. A popular example is the use of ground plastic waste as a replacement for sand in concrete.

According to a report in Construction and Building Materials, sand-sized particles of used plastic bottles have been found to result in structural integrity similar to that of regular concrete. It’s a fascinating step forward as we continue to look towards a more sustainable future for our living spaces.

For more sustainable architecture tips, see our blog on 5 ways to make your architectural design sustainable.


Sustainable architects Cornwall

Looking to create a sustainably designed home extension? Take a look at our projects to gain some inspiration, or if you are ready to go, get in touch to set up a consultation today!



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