Energy efficiency isn’t just a trend in architecture and construction, it’s a requirement. Architects and contractors now regularly implement sustainable methods into their projects, and housing is no exception.
In fact, residential construction in particular is seeing an increasing demand for sustainability. Because energy-efficient housing has proven to be cost-effective, the high demand for green buildings has made its way into the housing market.
One thing to consider is the energy efficiency of the materials you use during construction. Materials that are energy-efficient are not only good for the environment, but help homeowners save money in the long run. Using these materials will make your business that much more attractive, because customers will want a sustainable, resilient facility that increases in value over time.
There are some great materials available that will not only make your residential project stable and secure, but turn it into a model for sustainable construction.
ICF – Insulated Concrete Form
If you are building a home from scratch, you should consider the type of foundation and walls you want. Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) are a different kind of concrete form than the traditionally poured concrete.
ICF are hollow foam blocks that are stacked into the shape of the exterior walls and filled with reinforced concrete. The concrete between the panels support the infrastructure while the ICF form provides a dual layer of insulation, plus the air barrier and vapor barrier.
According to a study of 58 single-family homes in the United States and Canada, ICF walls require 44% less energy to heat and 32% less energy to cool than a wood-frame house. These energy savings help homeowners save money while equally helping the environment, which is why ICF is a great idea for professionals who want to maintain sustainable design.
There is a preconceived notion that steel can only be used for high-rise buildings or large industrial buildings. However, steel is an attractive option for any building because of its sustainability and durability.
Steel can also be a money-saving option because it can be recycled from materials like scrap car parts. Additionally, steel has the option to be molded and applied in almost any shape. Its versatility makes it perfect to stabilize your project.
So what’s the catch? Some say that steel does not have the aesthetic appeal of traditional wood beams, but with the right design, you can make steel beams have the look and feel you desire.
Cool Roofing is an invention that wasn’t always aesthetically appealing or available to the residential buyer.
A cool roof reflects the heat from the sun, so the heat will transfer less into the building. The long-standing problem with this solution was that the reflectors were made of light colors instead of traditional dark constructed roofs, which didn’t appeal to a lot of homeowners.
However, technology has developed and there are new treatments that allow consumers to choose a darker material that will also reflect the heat of the sun.
Lastly, we cannot forget about the incredible environmental impacts Cool Roofs have on society. The reflectors directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by conserving electricity, which leads to less CO2 into the atmosphere from power plants.
These roofs can also directly decrease the air temperature in urban communities by reflecting solar radiation back into the atmosphere.
Low-e Windows stands for “low emissivity.” This type of window is coated in a microscopic layer of metallic oxides that protects your home from UV rays.
UV rays can burn your skin, as well as fade your carpets and hardwood floors. However, the more exciting thing about these windows is that they help control radiant heat as it enters and exits a room. This means that they keep the home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
These windows come with several environmentally friendly benefits. Because the metallic oxides prevent UV rays from reaching your space, they reduce the heat flow through the glass by nearly half. This helps homeowners by reducing their heating costs.
The cost effectiveness of these materials drives the value and demand for sustainable construction. Using these products in your residential projects will brand your company as an innovator in energy efficiency, which will increase your sales and number of projects.