Every year, there are more and more sustainable building materials are introduced to the construction industry. Contractors and architects have a difficult job of staying up to date on the latest trends. Sustainable building practices save money, protect the environment, are healthy for the community and add value to the building owner’s investments. Three sustainable building materials for 2019 that stand out are the TRUEGRID® Permeable Pavers, Fox Blocks and Bamboo.

Why Sustainable Building Materials are Important

Sustainable building materials strive to minimize the construction industry’s impact on the environment by reducing carbon emissions and conserving natural resources, like land, water, energy, and raw materials.  Reducing carbon emissions is vital to good air quality. Unfortunately, there is a link between premature deaths and poor air quality in many urban environments. Reducing the use of natural resources will help keep the earth’s delicate ecosystem in balance and ensure the survival, existence, and stability of the whole environment.  

Since the mid-1990s, builders and architects have turned to the United States Green Build Council (USGBC) for information on sustainable practices in the construction industry; often relying on USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system for sustainability.

Important Elements of Sustainable Building Materials

3 Sustainable Building Materials for 2019 -2Sustainable building materials improve the energy-efficiency and indoor environmental quality of a building or home. Manufacturing of sustainable building materials also takes into account resource conservation techniques like purchasing products close to the job site and using recycled building materials, sustainably harvested lumber, and more durable-long-lasting products.

Three Sustainable Building Materials for 2019

1. TRUEGRID® Permeable Pavers

TRUEGRID® is an affordable and maintenance-free stormwater permeable paving system that is more durable than asphalt and less costly than concrete. Truegrid pavers are strong with a compression strength of 120,000 lbs per square foot before the addition of rockfill; which makes the final product even stronger. Truegrid is an excellent paving product for parking lots, well sites, roadways, residential driveways, pathways, heavy equipment storage truck yards, muddy event parking, emergency vehicle access and more.

Notably, TRUEGRID® has many features that make it a sustainable and eco-friendly building material.

Ten Reasons TRUEGRID® is a Sustainable Building Material

1. Composition of TRUEGRID® is with post-consumer1 high-density polyethylene   

2. The manufacturing of TRUEGRID® is in the USA, which lessens transportation costs and reduces carbon emissions

3. TRUEGRID® is non-toxic and does not harm the ecosystem: the plants, animals, and microorganisms

4. The manufacturing of TRUEGRID® is groundwater neutral, which means TRUEGRID® returns an equal amount of clean water to the community as it uses in its production

5. TRUEGRID® is durable and long-lasting because it contains ultraviolet stabilizers and is dimensionally stable in hot or cold extreme environments

6. TRUEGRID® is durable and long-lasting because it is not chemically or biologically reactive and will not decompose

7. The TRUEGRID® system design utilizes naturally occurring microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and yeast, to degrade hazardous substances into non-toxic or less toxic substances (bioremediation)

8. TRUEGRID® improves air quality in areas and roadways where gravel pulverization  and dusting is a problem

9. TRUEGRID® is greenspec listed and may be eligible for LEED certification points

10. TRUEGRID® production creates less CO2 emissions over concrete and asphalt production. In fact, concrete production is responsible for nearly 7 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions

TRUEGRID® Provides Excellent Stormwater Management Over Asphalt and Concrete

A significant advantage of TRUEGRID® over concrete and asphalt paving methods is that TRUEGRID®, along with six-inches of recycled sub-base and fill, is 99 percent stormwater permeable. Notably, TRUEGRID® retains stormwater at a rate of 4 inches per hour and is dry on the surface. With TRUEGRID® there is no runoff or flooding, and it eliminates the need for expensive drainage systems and retention ponds. TRUEGRID® also allows bioremediation to remove pollutants before they get into the natural aquifers natural.

The use of concrete and asphalt leads to flooding during excessive rain. Furthermore, pollutants from gasoline and petroleum products stream off the concrete lots and roadways, directly into nearby aquifers.

The Unique and Patented Design of TRUEGRID®

Sustainable Building Materials for 2019 3– The grid cells provide immense vertical crush strength of a cylinder

– The flex links pliable elements allow expansion and contraction with the seasonal movement of the earth, which prevents the cracking that often occurs with concrete and asphalt

– The X anchors allow the weight of the rock or soil fill to hold the Grid in place without staking

– The three-point locking tabs easily connect the entire grid installation, with no required tools  

2. Fox Blocks Insulated Concrete Forms

3 Sustainable Building Materials for 2019 -3Fox Blocks insulated concrete forms (ICF) create structures that are disaster-resistant against strong winds, fire, and earthquakes. Also, Fox Blocks save building owners money because they are fast and easy to install. Of importance, Fox Blocks have many components that make it a sustainable and green building material.

Ten Reasons Fox Blocks are a Sustainable Building Material

1. Fox Blocks, with high-thermal mass and an R-value of 23+, are energy-efficient and surpass ASHRAE/ANSI 90.1 energy code requirements; which contributes towards lowering the carbon footprint.

2. Fox Blocks are non-toxic and contain little to no VOC.

3. Fox Blocks contain a minimum of 40 percent recycled content by weight.

4. Fox Blocks do not off-gas and are not manufactured using any gases that deplete the ozone or are harmful to the ecosystem.

5. Fox Blocks require low embodied, or total energy, to manufacture.

6. Fox Blocks are durable and long-lasting because they do not contain materials that promote mold, which can degrade the integrity of a building.

7. Application of Fox Blocks is efficient, which lessens the amount of construction waste, dust and air pollution in the building process.

8. Fox Blocks have many benefits that can enable, enhance or directly contribute toward LEED points for the project.

9. Every Fox Blocks structure, when tested by an Energy Rater, met and exceeded the Energy Star home standards and achieved a five Star Rating.

10. Airlite Plastics, the parent company of Fox Blocks, practices ZERO plastic landfill contributions.

3. Bamboo

3 Sustainable Building Materials for 2019 -4Bamboo strips are woven together or laminated to make beautiful bamboo panels, floors, countertops, and furniture. Home builders are increasing using bamboo as a substitute for hardwood because it is extremely easy to install and of superior quality than hardwood.

Several features of Bamboo make it an excellent sustainable building material.

– Bamboo grows fast; some species can grow three feet in 24 hours.

– High-quality bamboo building products are formaldehyde-free.

– Bamboo is durable and will last a long time because it has a higher compressive strength than wood, brick or concrete and a higher tensile strength than steel.

– Bamboo is lightweight, so it uses less energy to transport than other building materials of comparable durability.

Contractors, architects, and building owners are constantly looking for sustainable building materials to save money, protect the environment, are healthy for the community, and add long-term value to their investments. TRUEGRID® pavers, ICF blocks, and bamboo are 3 sustainable materials that any building owner would be proud to feature.

Today’s architects, contractors, and homeowners are increasingly recognizing the benefits of modern concrete home design using ICFs. Notably, the North America ICF market is predicted to grow 15.8 percent during the forecast period of 2018 to 2023.

Why Architects and Designers Choose ICF Construction

Modern Concrete Home Design Using ICF 2

Architects and designers appreciate the strength and flexibility of ICF, which allows it to accommodate all modern concrete house designs. ICF is also easy to shape and cut into customized designs, such as custom angles, curved walls, large openings, cathedral ceilings, long ceiling spans.

Why Builders and Homeowners Select ICF Construction

Importantly, modern concrete home design using ICFs creates a house that is energy-efficient, disaster-resistant, durable, and produces good indoor environmental quality (IEQ).

Six Benefits of Using ICF for Modern Concrete Home Design

Modern Concrete Home Design Using ICF 3

ICF construction is flexible, strong, and easy to apply. ICFs construction also creates a modern house that is energy-efficient, disaster-resistant, durable, and has good IEQ. For all these reasons modern concrete homes using ICF is quickly becoming the construction method of choice for many architects, designers, contractors, and homeowners.

1. Energy-Efficient ICF Home Design

ICF homes are more energy efficient and less drafty than either wood or steel homes, which saves money and improves comfort to the occupants. Additionally, the thermal mass of ICFs creates a tight thermal building envelope. Consequently, ICF houses require smaller-capacity equipment for the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning than wood and steel homes; which further saves the homeowner money. Modern concrete home design using ICFs is an ideal option for creating an energy efficient home.

2. Disaster-Resistant ICF Home Design

Modern concrete house design using ICFs are disaster-resistant against severe wind, flying debris, and fire.

3. Wind-Resistant ICF Home Design

ICF wall systems, with steel reinforced concrete, contribute towards a continuous load path. ICF walls also stop penetration into the wall system of airborne debris. A continuous load path holds the roof, walls, floors, and foundation together during a dangerous wind event by moving the force from the roof, wall and other parts toward the foundation and finally into the ground. A continuous load path is vital to the continuous load path to the short-term survival of a home’s occupants after a disaster.

4. Fire-Resistant ICF Home Design

ICF walls inhibit the spread of flames during a fire event. ICF walls also do not burn, bend, or soften like steel. Concrete home design using ICFs is a superior design option for a fire resistant home.

5. Durable ICF Home Design

Concrete houses using ICFs are durable because they are not prone to termites because they lack organic material, which termites eat.

ICFs are also durable because they include a solid continuous monolithic concrete wall system with a perm rating of 1.0, which controls moisture accumulation in the wall systems. Moisture in the wall system can lead to the growth of mold, which will degrade the integrity of a home.

6. ICF Home Design Creates Good IEQ

ICF walls create good IEQ because they are moisture-resistant, which stops the growth of mold. Mold is unhealthy and can damage the integrity of a modern home.

ICFs further create healthy IEQ because they do not contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are harmful because they cause nose, eye, and throat irritations, headaches, nausea, and damage to the kidney, liver, and central nervous system.

Fox Blocks ICFs – An Ideal Choice for Modern Concrete Home Design

Modern Concrete Home Design Using ICF

Fox Blocks provide all the benefits for a modern concrete home design.

– Fox Blocks ICFs provide flexibility in design for a modern concrete house. Fox Blocks are also fast and easy to construct, which saves money and time.

– Fox Blocks, with steel reinforced concrete, are sever-wind-resistant and can withstand winds of over 200 MPH, and projectile debris traveling over 100 MPH.

– Fox Blocks achieve a fire-resistance rating (ASTM E119) of four hours for the six-inch blocks and two hours for the four-inch blocks.

– Fox Blocks create energy-efficient commercial buildings. Fox Blocks have an R-value of 23 and exceed ASHRAE/ANSI 90.1 energy code requirements.

– Fox Blocks are durable because they have a perm rating of below 1.0, which controls moisture intrusion. Preventing moisture is vital to preventing the growth of mold, which can lead to rot and expensive repairs.

– Fox Blocks create good IEQ because they control moisture intrusion which stops the growth of unhealthy mold. In addition, Fox Blocks contain little to no VOC.

Modern concrete home design using ICFs is gaining popularity for its flexibility, strength, and ease of application. Also, ICFs construction creates a modern house that is energy-efficient, disaster-resistant, durable and has good IEQ. For more information on modern concrete home design using ICF, please visit Fox Blocks.

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