The simplest of things have never failed to inspire most architects. Health and Materials one is exposed to share an unbreakable relation impacting majorly how one feels and responds in his/her environment. The inevitable part is today materials have with technology also made themselves vulnerable to uncountable chemicals. Yet there exist some simple, affordable, and easy-to-use materials that are way more healthy alternatives to spending pennies for good AQ indices, termites, productivity, etc.

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Health and Environment_©

1. Bamboo Charcoal

The versatile material is an affordable must-have. It is made through the pyrolysis of bamboo plants and is more eco-friendly than various other coal products. The material is believed to be first used during the Chinese Ming Dynasty.

Bamboo Charcoal helps in adsorbing odor-perfect matches for your bathroom or bedrooms shared with toddlers. It helps absorb the smell and is an amazingly healthy alternative to chemical-based odor. Not only this, but the material also helps in reducing excessive moisture which makes it very friendly for humid and coastal regions. Apart from being architecturally healthy, it has many uses in various forms like teeth whitening, skincare, or even eating. It has recently been a growing popular material in Malaysia. The material is sold in various forms- raw/liquid or packed in bags and can be used for various purposes. A patented material, Bamboo Charcoal Paint, also finds its place in the world of architecture.

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Bamboo Charcoal_©

2. Areca Palm 

Plants make sure to enliven indoors, especially when it comes to Areca Palms. The plant, native to Madagascar, has been ranked as the top plant to purify air improving air quality. Yet being a living entity, the plant needs indirect light and moist water to grow perfectly. It can grow up to a meter or a little higher and hence needs that perfect location. It also adds humidity, best for prominently hot and dry climatic regions.

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Areca Palm_©

3. Neem 

This outdoor plant or rather a tree is a multi-tasker for landscaping your greens with several benefits. The plant grows as much to provide natural shade. It is well known for several medicinal uses and also makes sure to keep insects away. The leaves of neem in powdered sprinkled form are believed to be good anti-termite natural alternatives.

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4. Clay Wall Plaster

In times of simple and classy finishes, clay plaster is one of the best options to be offered. Clay plasters not only finish with a plain look, but also give a soothing feel to the interiors. It is made of a mixture of clay and sand and is an eco-friendly alternative to conventional plaster and paint. Free of any VOCs, the alternative is non-toxic and durable. The pigments used for coloring the plaster are also natural and non-fading. Besides its look, it also helps moderate humidity and helps in better air quality and acoustics.

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Clay Wall Plaster_©

5. Carpet Flooring

When it comes to flooring, hard flooring seems the most convenient material to clean and maintain. But with a little more effort, a healthier option is to go for carpet flooring that helps capture particulate matter and dust particles, helping clean the indoor air and improve its quality. Some recently developed products in this niche act as an air filter wherein the structure and surface area of the carpet helps adsorb particles and clean air better.

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Carpet Flooring_©

6. Upcycled Furniture

Waste has been a matter of concern since the industrial revolution. Plastic is one such menace being tackled all over the world. Upcycled items, especially furniture of plastic wastes is one such solution that seems relevant. It helps reduce the use of wood-based furniture and offers equally strong products. These days the idea of upcycling is taken up by many startups helping use what we already have, but in a better way.

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Upcycled Products_©

7. Cork

Lightweight with an eco-friendly production process, the material offers various uses ranging from flooring to wall finish. Being a natural material, the look blends with any style of existing interiors. It is fire and waterproof and also resists insects. It can be applied in the form of panels on walls or as flooring. The material is also a good thermal and acoustic insulator which makes it a perfect choice for homes/workspaces.



 ELLE Decor. 2021. These Plants Will Transform Your Home in an Instant. [online] Available at: <>

Little Botanical. 2021. The Astounding Areca Palm – The Little Botanical. [online] Available at: <>.

Simple Construct. 2021. what is clay plaster? – Simple Construct. [online] Available at: <>

Wellbeing and design: materials for healthy interiors. [online] Available at: <> 


Shivani Chandra,a student of Bachelors in Architecture,is an eager reader and observer. The variety of users and perspectives,& the fact that architecture has solutions for all is what intrigues her. She firmly believes in the strength of healthy architecture in making the world a better place to live in.