March 10

10 Sustainable Building Materials for Home Construction

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10 Sustainable Building Materials for Home Construction

Homeowners have become more environmentally conscious which has led to potential buyers looking to build homes with sustainable building materials.  Eco-friendly homes not only increase the value of a property; they can also help save on maintenance and energy costs as well.

What to Use for Your Green Home

Using recycled materials has less environmental impact than using new materials and promote sustainable energy. Sustainable, green buildings naturally insulate homes from both heat and cold, resulting in less energy consumption. Fewer natural resources are consumed with homes built with sustainable materials in their construction.  Some of these materials are listed below.

1. Composite Roofing Shingles

Continually having to repair or replace building materials is a major drain on resources. Roof tile types like asphalt shingles and wood shakes can crack and fade which leads to moisture inside your home.  A sustainable solution is to use composite roofing shingles that are just as durable as traditional roofing materials but require less maintenance.

2. Large Smart Glass Windows

Another sustainable material option for homes is the use of large windows to allow more natural light flow. These reduce the need for electric light consumption. The benefits of these windows can be compounded by using smart glass as the windowpane material.

Smart glass changes its heating properties based on how heat and air conditioning are applied in the house. During the summer months, the glass turns translucent to block any heating wavelengths that may require your air conditioning to work overtime. In the winter, the glass becomes transparent to allow the sunlight to help heat your home.

3. Bamboo

Bamboo is increasing in popularity as a building material. It has lots of tensile strength and can be used in walls and flooring. Bamboo flooring is a good sustainable living option that can be used in add-on rooms or mudrooms. Bamboo has a similar appearance to traditional wood. But unlike wood from other trees, bamboo trees grow much faster, with the harvest cycle being every three years.

4. Insulated Concrete Framing (ICF)

Not only does framing help determine what kind of renovations your home can withstand, but it is a fundamental element in controlling heating and cooling costs. Using ICF in home construction provides an airtight barrier that prevents unwanted energy transfers. It also provides thermal mass to help maintain a consistent temperature inside your home.

5. Solar Panels

The inclusion of solar panels on the roof and in the yard is increasing as technology designs improve. Both solar panel tiles and mounted structures are effective ways to reduce a home’s dependence on nonrenewable energy.

6. Eco-Friendly Insulation

Insulation cuts down on energy used for heating and cooling. Insulation is even better if it is sustainably sourced or does not include toxic chemicals in binding it.  An alternative material is hemp insulation. It contains the same properties of fiberglass insulation while having the ability to be compressed, resulting in better insulation.

7. Recycled Steel

Producing and smelting steel consumes a lot of energy. Recycled steel is a green building material that utilizes steel already in existence for structural uses such as beams or girders. It has become an enormously popular green building material. Recycling saves 75 percent of the energy costs utilized in making the steel.

8. Precast Concrete

Concrete is a natural material that can be recycled, making it a great choice for green homes. Precast concrete is eco-friendlier than concrete poured on-site. It is poured into pre-made molds over rebar or wire, then cured. Once the concrete has hardened, it can be shipped and placed into multiple structures.

9. Reclaimed or Recycled Wood

Reclaimed or recycled wood has much less of an environmental impact than harvesting new timber. Many homes and buildings have used wood for several years, so it’s easy to reclaim those structures for new home buildings. Reclaimed and recycled wood can also be used to make unique floors or exposed beams.

10. Plant-Based Polyurethane Rigid Foam

Rigid foam is often used as insulation material. It’s made from kelp, hemp, and bamboo. The benefits of using this sustainable material include protection against mold and pests, sound insulation, and heat resistance. 

Ready to Build Green?

The trend of eco-friendly homes will increase in popularity in the future. If you are in the market for a home or are considering a renovation, choose sustainable construction materials.

Although choosing the right materials matters, choosing a good construction company is just as important. RT Construction can bring your sustainable home to reality. Our experienced team can guide you in which materials work best for your design.

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