4 Green Building Materials – Selection and Criteria

Green building materials help homeowners save on energy, resulting in tremendous savings in the power bills. Apart from increased energy efficiency, home owners also benefit from increased flexibility on count of maintenance costs too. Improved design flexibility is also another reason why people go for green building materials for their homes.

Here are 4 criteria for you to choose green building materials for your homes:

1. Resource efficiency – Resource efficiency can be targeted by making use of the products that meet the below mentioned metrics.

  • Natural and renewable – Basically, preference is given to materials that come from sustainable managed resources and are certified by an independent third party body.
  • Manufacturing processes’ efficiency – The products that are produced with the help of resource and energy efficient process, take precedence in the final choice.
  • Local availability – One of the main benefits of using green building materials is that they are and should be locally available.
  • ยท Durability – The materials used in constructing such buildings must last longer than other conventional materials used for construction purposes.

2. Improvement in air quality – Products or materials that meet the below mentioned criteria, should be used.

  • Non-toxic content – When used, the materials shouldn’t emit any toxic wastes, either in solid, liquid or gaseous forms.
  • The products should also have minimum emissions of volatile organic compounds. Such materials should be able to maximize or optimize energy efficiency and in the process, should also reduce chemical emissions.
  • The products and the materials should be able to resist moisture or any unforeseen moisture attacks.

3. Energy efficiency is an important metric to look out for, which can be fulfilled by selecting building materials that help in the reduction of water consumption in buildings and other associated facilities.

4. The building materials used in green buildings construction should be able to reduce water consumption in buildings.

Constructing green buildings is clearly a good idea for developers and home owners to work with, especially if they wish to save a lot of energy. These buildings will definitely help in conserving energy and improving health and productivity, but that can only be achieved if the right building materials are used. By following the criteria mentioned above, developers could look forward to selecting the right building materials for a green building design.

What Is the Selection Criteria For Green Building Materials

The concept of a green home doesn’t rely solely on how a homeowner implements ways to make it more eco-friendly. Its whole concept covers sustainability of green building materials from planning, construction, and all the way when occupants are dwelling. You may want them on your house, but the availability of many green construction materials makes the selection process quite difficult. Here are the basic selection criteria to guide you when choosing green home building materials.

Resource efficiency

Resource efficiency is best explained when construction materials used are of known recycled contents. Natural resources like forests are conserved because fewer raw materials like wood are needed. The purchase of recycled construction materials is also a great step in reducing the energy consumption required during the manufacturing stages.

To maximize the resource efficiency of materials for use in construction, ensure that you are purchasing from nearby local manufacturers. This will also help reduce greenhouse emissions associated with the transport of materials from manufacturer to construction site.

Apart from using construction materials with recycled content, you can also make use of salvaged materials from nearby junk yards. There are also hardware stores that supply second hand construction materials. It can save you money while helping reduce garbage accumulation because the materials are saved from being totally junked.

Contributes to improved indoor air quality

Green building materials should be contributors to improved air quality inside the house. This means that they should pass standardized tests to prove they are nontoxic. Materials like paint should have reduced emissions of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). They should be health-friendly particularly to the respiratory system. Look for wall, roof, and other building materials that are less-resistant or fully resistant to moisture. These materials have the highest capacity to prevent the growth of biological contaminants. They can lessen the chances of mold and mildew growth inside the house.

Helps in water conservation

Earth’s water supply is said to be depleted fast if we will not conserve water properly. In fact, there are nations around the world which are already experiencing the effects of water wastage. Your choice of green building materials should help in water conservation efforts. The fixtures you should use in the kitchen, bathroom, comfort room, and laundry area should all have the WaterSense label by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). With this label in your faucets, flush, and showerheads – you are very sure that you are indeed conserving thousands of gallons throughout the lifetime of each fixture.

Green building materials help protect the nature. But they also establish appealing overall aesthetics of a green home. A refreshing and beautiful house is the true key to a comfortable living enjoyed by all family members!

Alternative Building Materials Like Straw

In this next conversation about alternate materials used to build a home, straw is definitely be a viable option. Straw, an agricultural byproduct, is the dry stalk of cereal plants left over once the grain and chaff have been removed. Aside from producing half of the cereal yield, straw is used for fuel, livestock bedding and fodder, as well as basket making and thatching. When stored in bales, straw can take on a whole new use. More specifically it can be used to make straw bale homes. Straw that is used for this particular purpose is usually covered with an earthen plaster and stacked in rows and held together by a cement mixture.

Straw bale homes have been gaining popularity due to the benefits the homes provide to homeowners. The use of this particular resource provides homeowners with better living conditions. Straw has many advantages when used as an alternative building material, including its renewable nature, its low cost, high insulation value, it is easily available, and is naturally fire retardant. The fact that straw has a relatively low cost makes it an ideal option when comparing prices to more conventional building materials. Being able to save money will help, especially in the cost of building a house.

Straw is also a very readily available resource that is easy to acquire. Natural resources are very important to the environment and using them for projects such as home building make its acquirability even more important. The fact that straw is readily available and is by no means scarce makes it a top choice when making an effort to be environment friendly.

One big upside to using straw as insulation or as actual walls is that straw is naturally flame retardant. Any homeowner would love the idea of a flame retardant home. Many people could rest easy knowing their home has added protection against unexpected fires due to the material from which it is built.

Lastly, straw has a the ability to provide exceptional insulation. Quality of living is important for any home. There are certain standards a home should be built by and quality insulation is a main factor in achieving that end. Whether you need insulation to protect you from the heat or cold, straw will help regulate the temperature that would be best suited for its homeowners’ location and climate. Straw has been used in the process of building homes dating all the way back to the Paleolithic era and also used in teepees as insulation during the winter. Straw is a readily available resource that has many properties that could help make your house a home.

Green Building – The Challenges Towards Widespread Acceptance By Home Builders

Energy savings, higher productivity and less waste. These are but a few of the many attributes towards implementing green building concepts and practices. These days, because of programs like the U.S. Green Building Council’s landmark LEED rating system for buildings, the ideas and concepts of green building have now entered the mainstream.

Currently, sustainable development analysts have noted that there are around 500 million square feet of green buildings under design, development, and implementation, and there has been a lot of success in LEED applications in different industries and sectors.

The Challenges Toward Widespread Acceptance of Green Building Ideas

Despite the rising acceptance in the concepts of sustainable building, there still remains a large challenge toward widespread acceptance and long-term practice, and despite the growing awareness in sustainable practices, green products, and high-performance technologies in building design and construction, many worry that there continues to be a lack of accurate, thorough, and quantifiable information regarding the financial and economic impacts of high-performance buildings within the construction and home building industry. In addition, there are also hurdles when it comes to the perception of cost, which has become a stumbling block in the quicker acceptance of green building concepts.

According to some sustainable development purveyors, there’s a consistent disconnect between capital costs and operating costs, as for instance, a building owner knows there is a return on investment of 40 percent going into a green building, as the investments are taken from capital; however, the year-to-year, the operating budget isn’t linked, and that poses a real stumbling block. For the past years, many entities have discussed and analyzed what it actually costs to build green and the ultimate value that results from constructing an environmentally responsible, high-performing facility in hopes of convincing the facilities industry to rethink construction budgeting and financing.

The Attributes Of Green Building Designs

Home builders and developers who have embraced the concepts of eco-friendly building, say that the four attributes of green building design, which are increased ventilation control, enhanced temperature control, enhanced lighting control, and increased daylighting, have been clearly and significantly correlated with increased levels in productivity.

Many note that indoor air quality also has been linked to potential productivity and health gains in workplaces and educational facilities, which helps to explain that the greatest advantages of green building come in the form of benefits to the occupants. The other financial benefits of green buildings are more than 10 times the average initial investment required to design and construct a green building. Construction industry insiders say that for energy savings alone, these exceed the average increased cost associated with going green, and the benefits and savings mark the true value of sustainable construction.

In these times where cost-efficiency, productivity and concern for the environment need to go hand in hand, home builders and property developers have a choice between a building designed to be healthy and efficient or one that is not. According to experts, with a 50-year life-cycle investment, green buildings are increasing at a rate of around 40 to 50 percent each year, and as global energy costs also soar up, the risks of simply doing conventional design are increasing, as well as the risk of going obsolete has fast become a large phenomenon too.

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Green Building – Sustainable Materials For Home Construction

There are prominent issues in the contemporary society especially those that tackle the massive impact of things in the environment. In the real estate industry, preferring technologies and systems that cater to the preservation of the environment is becoming a trend. One of the concerns prevalent today is on the use of sustainable materials for home construction.

There are innumerable criteria you can actually consider when talking about sustainable materials and how such items are qualified under this category.

One of the main properties that sustainable and green buildings must be eligible with is its less environment impact. Since such real property entities account for many effects on the use of land, water and energy consumption as well as the alteration in the air and the atmosphere, buildings must primarily reduce its consumption of natural resources which are slowly depleting and eliminated without chances of renewal.

Sustainable materials are the ones that are recycled and reused in order to build or renovate homes and buildings. This way, you are not contributing to the exhaustion of the natural resources in order to answer the demands for new materials and items to use for construction and renovation of your property. There are numerous industries in the world of real estate that cater to the notion of recycling and refurbishing materials instead of producing new ones for constructing new properties or improving old ones.

In general, bear in mind that the process of building construction is definitely producing a lot of wastes. Hence, the materials that are recycled and reused must have the ability to reincorporate whatever scraps or wastes are made and remixed or reused it for other building construction purposes.

Another important criterion to consider is to look into the sustainability features of the material and to know if it is truly sustainable from the very moment it was harvested or gained as a raw material up to the time of its eventual disposal.

The material must have very minimal impact to the environment especially in terms of the waste, emission, energy consumption and its capacity to replenish itself in order not to deplete the resources taken from nature due to its production. The energy consumption especially in terms of the harvesting process of the material, its actual processing and the transportation required are all considerable qualities to tag a material that is truly not hazardous to nature.

There are different types of resources which are not recyclable however are still considered sustainable because these primarily have the capacity to highly replenish. Examples of such materials are straw, hay, bamboo, cork, adobe and clay among others. They are tagged with this kind of quality because they can quickly replenish and renew their quantity after they have been harvested. These materials also have low or very minimal rates on emission and are highly deemed for energy conservation.

Hence, if you want to build an eco-friendly and healthier property, you must consider using all natural materials which are sustainable and renewable in nature in every corner and foundation of your home.