Biomaterials technology and policies in the building sector: a review

Lin Chen, Yubing Zhang, Zhonghao Chen, Yitong Dong, Yushan Jiang, Jianmin Hua, Yunfei Liu, Ahmed I. Osman*, Mohamed Farghali, Lepeng Huang*, David W. Rooney, Pow Seng Yap*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Traditional building materials have some drawbacks in the construction industry, particularly in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. Biomaterials derived from renewable sources are a promising alternative, significantly reducing the greenhouse effect and enhancing energy efficiency. However, traditional materials still dominate the construction sector, and there is a lack of understanding among some policymakers and developers regarding biomaterials. Here, we review building biomaterials and their policies and life cycle assessment through case studies. Bio-based materials have the potential to reduce over 320,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. They also exhibit advantages like decreasing water absorption by 40%, reducing energy consumption by 8.7%, enhancing acoustic absorption by 6.7%, and improving mechanical properties. We summarize recent advancements in mycelial materials, bioconcrete, natural fibers, and fiber-reinforced composites. We also explore the contributions of nanotechnology and microalgae technology in enhancing biomaterials' thermal insulation and eco-friendliness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-750
Number of pages36
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry Letters
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • Climate change
  • Energy-efficient construction
  • Green building materials
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Recycling biomaterials
  • Renewable building materials


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