The major purpose of this study was to determine the needs for environmental friendly materials for building construction. The population of the study consisted mostly of big constriction firms in Anambra State that have had more than five years of active construction experience the sample for the study was 10 reputable construction firms which were drawn using simple random sampling. Four research questions and two hypothesis were formulated, which guided the study. A 30-item structured questionnaire was developed for data collection. Frequency count / percentages and weighted mean (likert scale) were used to answer the research questions, which chi-square was used to test the hypothesis at 0.05 level of significance. It was concluded among others that environmental unfriendly building materials has serious negative impacts on the environment. Which needs an urgent attention in other to save the environment from global warming and other negative effects. Based on the findings and conclusions drawn from the study recommendations were made for Anambra State government to take a legislation that will help for effective use of environmental friendly material for building construction in Anambra State.




In recent years more and more attention is being paid to the environmental impacts of building materials. The constantly increasing cost of energy and raw materials force the construction industry to think about alternatives such as renewable energy sources and raw materials and the reduction of wast.

Climate change and environmental pressures are major drivers for the promotion of environmental friendly materials.

Furthermore, this trend is spreading fast and the international document stating intent of being more environmental friendly one as presented. The Kyoto protocol, the energy performance of building directive of the EU, Eneergy Efficiency Directive. In line with the desire for environmental friendly materials, some government have change their legislation setting targets for the sustainability of public and residential buildings. On the other hand, statistics show that an important factor for the well-being of the inhabitants is the choice of building materials, “unhealthy” materials cannot only cause environmental problems but can equally cause asthma and cancer and therefore it is extremely important to choose low emitting building materials. We spend most of our times indoors and building materials influence the “health” and safety of the indoor environment.

The building industry in Anambra state is rapidly changing-new building materials are all the time emerging on the market and new construction techniques are being developed and more and more challenging designs are being developed to be built it in the expectation that the next building generation will be of low energy and sustainable building materials. The first step towards environmental friendly construction is the appropriate choice of building materials. This is a challenging task and which this research intends to investigate to ascertain the environmental impacts of the chosen materials before the design and construction phases.


The use of environmental unfriendly materials in building construction is a major environmental problem that significantly needs attention. When environmental problem arises as a result of impacts of toxic construction materials the effect of those materials to the environment must be immediately assessed, which outcome depends upon a number of factors.

1)      Why is one material environmentally friendly and another not?

2)      Life cycle assessment of a material and its characteristics.

3)      How every phase of the life of a material influences the environment?

4)      The impacts of construction materials like concrete, block and timber to the environment.

5)      The rating of embodied energy of a material.

6)      The criteria that determine the sustainability of a building materials in a given environment.

The effects and consequences of using environmentally unfriendly materials have posed the challenge for the development and use of alternative materials that are friendly to the environment in the building construction industry.


The aim of this study is to examine the need for the use of environmentally friendly material for building construction in Anamba State.

With the following objectives.

1)      To identity the negative impacts on the environment by the use of unfriendly building materials.

2)      To evaluate the effects of using environmentally friendly materials for building construction.

3)      To ascertain the characteristics that determine the environmentally sustainability of a given building material.

4)      To articulate the benefits in using environmentally friendly materials for building construction.


The findings of this study will largely contribute to and influence the use of environmentally friendly materials for building construction.


1)      Use of environmentally friendly materials will promote conservation of dwindling non-renewable resources in Anambra State.

2)      Environmentally friendly materials when used will help to increase the energy efficiency in construction and reduce negative impacts on human well being.

3)      Will define systematic approach, where by use of environmentally friendly material will ensure environmental sustainability.


1)      What are the negative impacts on the environment by the use of unfriendly building materials

2)      What are the effects of using environmentally friendly materials for building construction.

3)      What are the characteristics that determine the environmental sustainability of a given building materials.

4)      What are the derivable benefits in using environmentally friendly materials for building constructions.


The following null hypothesis was formulated for the study to be tested 0.0.5 level of significance

Ho:   Environmental unfriendly building materials does not have any significance impacts on the environment.

Hi:    Environmental unfriendly building materials has a significance impacts on the environment.


This study was carried out in Anambra State, South-eastern Nigeria.

It boundaries are formed by Delta State to the West, Imo State and Rivers State to the South, Enugu State to the east and Kogi State to the North. A coordinates: 6.20N 7000.E with a total Area of 4,844km2 (1.870semi) population (2006 census) 4,055.048 (Anambra State-Wikipedia).


Environment: The natural conditions in which people, animals and plants live (Oxford Dictionary).

Environmental friendly materials: A product that has been designed to do the least possible damage to the environment. (Oxford Dictionary).

Embodied Energy: The sealer total to energy input required to produce the product including transporting them to the building site.

Biodegradable: Materials ability to change to a harmless natural state by the action of bacteria (oxford Dictionary)


Anamariya Kozarova, Building material and environment November 13, 2012.

Berge B. 2000, The Ecology of Building materials, the Bath Press,

Bath Kim JJ & Rigdon, B 1998, sustainable Architecture Module: Qualities, use and examples of sustainable Building Materials, National Pollution Prevention Center for Higher Education, Ann Arbor (USA).

Denison, J & Halligan, C. 2010, The Stephen George & Partners guide to: Building materials and the environment, 2nd edn, available to download at: k2&view=item&layout=item&id=119&itemid=99