Green Home Construction – Part 2Posted
Green Home Construction Wrap-up
This is our final segment on Green Building for your next home construction project, and we’re going to discuss how to choose materials and some examples of recycled materials available. We will also recommend ways to double check your decisions with some useful software and some helpful guidelines.
There are a lot of “green” products or materials choices floating around out there on the market for home construction. So how do you know which claims are accurate so you can make an informed choice in green building materials? Salvaged materials are things like bricks, windows, lumber, windows, sinks, tubs, marble – all are considered salvageable materials. And there are many uses for these materials than the obvious ones. Take for instance, using some of these materials as insulation.
Salvage wood – It’s lightweight and doesn’t create radon or static electricity and is an excellent thermal and hygrometric regulator. As such, it can regulate ambient humidity.
Load bearing Clay Brick – Monomur, or load bearing brick, is a self-insulating load-bearing brick. The insulation is achieved by multiple air holes extending the thermal path crossing the wall. It is also a durable heat regulation system and humidity barrier. Brick is also a natural temperature – in winter the brick absorbs heat from the heating system and redistributes it, reducing energy consumption by about 10. In summer, brick regulates the temperature and retains the coolness created by nocturnal ventilation.
Cellular concrete – A lightweight concrete that is a combination of water, siliceous sand, cement, lime and air. It is 100% and offers exceptional resistance to fire and is great sound proofing. Cellular concrete is water tight, can breathe, and is a real humidity regulator. It has an excellent capacity to accumulate heat and return it. This can help reduce the amount of time heating is used and can even offer natural cooling in summer.
Life Cycle Assessment
Before home construction begins, consider having an LCA – Life Cycle Assessment – done. The LCA will evaluate how various products will impact the environment. There are many benefits from doing this.
• It helps make more informed decisions during the design and building process.
• It promotes innovation for manufacturers to improve product efficiency and quality.
• Contractors can prevent or resolve environmental problems related to project management and improper waste disposal.
• Home Builders can explain how green building materials yield energy savings
Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) is an automated approach for measuring the LCA, plus environmental and economic performance of a building product. The BEES software analyzes all stages in the life of a product, including raw-material acquisition, manufacture, transportation, installation, use, recycling and waste management. Economic performance is also measured and combined into the overall performance. Even plastic products used in building and construction have been added into BEES, allowing for the opportunity to evaluate plastic as part of a design. Other federal agencies are helping in the funding of BEES (e.g., U.S. EPA, HUD’s Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing Program), and some manufacturers are adding their products to the ecoprofiles.
We hope the information on Green Building we have featured this month has inspired you to consider an alternative way to build your new home or when considering a renovation. Contact us today to talk about how we can get started on your own custom built green construction project.
If you’d like more information to help you along your Green Building journey, please visit usgbc.org.