This paper presents a comprehensive survey of the latest international publications (2012–2017) regarding innovative and environmentally sustainable materials that reduce the production of pollutants. It is recognised that world construction is responsible for substantial amounts of harmful emissions.

In particular, the survey collected data on new sustainable solutions and innovative materials, such as cement, wood, glass and ceramics that are essential to minimize the environmental impact of buildings on the ecosystem and to reduce the consumption of natural resources.

Therefore, the paper's intent is to give an overview of the current state of the art and research in the field of bio-building, gathering information on the environmental impacts of these innovative materials and listing the benefits that can be obtained with their use.

The findings of this study support the growing importance of green building as a component of the whole construction market and provide a benchmark against which to measure future changes in the industry over time.

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Author notes

1. Department of Ingegneria per l'Ambiente ed il Territorio ed Ingegneria Chimica, University of Calabria, Rende, Italy

2. Department of Ingegneria Civile, University of Calabria, Rende, Italy