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 Definition of a Green Home?

The term green home is being used more and more often in the residential building industry, but what does it really mean. According to the Green Building Council of Australia a green house is “a high performing home that is energy and water efficient, has good indoor air quality, uses environmentally sustainable materials and also uses the building site in a sustainable manner”. A green home also requires a holistic approach, beginning at the design stage and continuing on through the construction process and the eventual day-to-day running of the home. The main goal of these characteristics is to reduce the environmental impact a home will have over the course of its lifetime.

As mentioned above, a green house should begin at the design stage. Incorporating green design elements at the initial stages of a home construction will ensure the home can take advantage of the surrounding natural environment. By utilising the topography of the site, sunlight and breezes a green home can significantly reduce its dependence on additional heating and cooling sources. This saves the occupants money on their energy bills and reduces the production of greenhouse gases.

Choosing recycled and environmentally friendly building products is another important element of a green home. The type of materials used can affect the homes’ environmental impact and the health of the homes’ eventual residents. A green home utilises recycled timber or sustainable harvested plantation lumber for its structural and cosmetic components. It is also possible to use a range of other natural products in the construction of a green home, such as straw, mud, hemp and dirt. Although some of these materials are not conventional building products, it does not mean a green home has to look very different from a regular home. Many of the materials and finishes in a regular home contain formaldehyde and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). Once installed in a home they continue to release gases which can be harmful to the people living in them. A green home uses materials and finishes with low or no VOCs that ensure good indoor air quality.

A green home also minimises the use of energy and water by using efficient materials and products. Water saving devices in the bathroom, toilet and laundry significantly reduces water consumption. Collection of rainwater and the recycling of grey water can further improve water efficiencies. Insulation in walls and ceilings helps maintain a constant indoor temperature reducing the need for mechanical heating and cooling. Energy and water efficient appliances can also be found in this home. They reduce environmental impacts and keep running costs down for the occupants.

Consideration of these factors and the inclusion of sustainable building techniques and materials make a green home use energy and water efficiently, provide a healthy environment for the occupants and reduce the environmental impacts over the lifetime of the dwelling.

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!

A Green Home Buyer’s Guide On Choosing An Eco-Friendly Home

Eco-friendly living is the way forward, and it is currently the best time for you to follow this trend. So go ahead and own a green abode that reflects your personality. Below, are a few points that you should consider on your pursuit to acquiring a green home.

Building A Home Vs. Buying One: How Do They Compare?

Every house is energy efficient and eco-friendly one way or the other, which usually saves a considerable amount of money. But buying a home does not give you the freedom to use your own ideas on the house from the ground up, as opposed to building a house according to your plan.

Renovation Can Do The Trick

If you have a non eco-friendly house and you want to convert it into an eco-friendly unit, you can spend money on modifying the house based on your ideas. For instance, you could replace an old light bulb with the latest LED ones, which are proven to consume less energy. Note that reworking on your house could cost a significant hole in your bank account, but in the long run, it is definitely worth it.

Other Important Priorities

Living green will likely be next to impossible, if you are on a budget and looking to stay close to popular hubs. The same could be said, if you want to have restaurants and other recreational facilities around your neighbourhood.

Be Ready To Relocate If Necessary

Is living in an eco-friendly house a top priority for you? If the answer is yes, then you need to consider relocating to a location where it is possible, I.e, a place where there’s plenty of sunlight and a place that suits your budget. But most times, this would mean that you would have to relocate to another region. You would have to settle in an entirely new location, where you will need start all over again, which is a bad idea if you are not looking forward to change.

Get Hold Of A Green Agent

Now that green living is becoming more and more popular, there is a rise in the number of real estate agents specialising in the scouting process of such houses. Get in touch with one of them to get a tour of affordable alternatives that are available.

Although eco-friendly living is a great step towards a self-sustaining life, it also requires you to invest a lot of time, effort, and money that is usually not a sound alternative for working-class families. You should go for this lifestyle, only if you are absolutely sure it is a serious decision, and not just a hobby.

What Makes a Home Green?

Many are promoting green living. This is due to the destruction that Mother Nature is undergoing. We may not know it but simple activities at home can contribute to the deterioration of our environment. The movement to go green has been repeatedly promoted. But what makes a home green? And why is it important to support such movement?

A green home does not literally mean having green walls and gate. It simply means that your home was built using eco-friendly materials. The primary objective of building a green home is to uphold what is good for the environment by choosing the right materials and the right manner of home building.

This does not stop in the building of the property as it continues to the other items in the house. This continues to the choices of devices and appliances used by the property owners. So what else are the characteristics of a green home? First and foremost, a green home is a property that utilizes less energy. In addition to that, it also utilizes less water and natural resources and most importantly, it discharges fewer waste, making it a healthier place for its occupants.

How will you achieve a green home?

It is about time to have a green home, but how will you achieve that? Here are some ways to do that:

1. Replace your old appliances with a more eco-friendly devices. The old appliances use up more energy. If you change it with a more energy efficient device, you can save up more in your energy consumption. Such appliances include refrigerator and air conditioning unit.

2. Mind your heating and cooling expenses. This is normally among the biggest energy consumers. During the winter, heating expenses are high, while cooling expenses skyrocket during the summer. There are different ways to deal with this. One is to improve the insulation of your home. Attend to the drafts of your property as well.

3. You should also be mindful of your water consumption. There are simple ways to save water. You can use low-flow toilet, use glass when brushing and repair the leaks or drippings right away.

4. Use energy efficient light as well. In fact, you can also use devices that allow you to benefit from the natural light. You can also make adjustments in your window, to let the natural light in. Moreover, there are bulbs that produce brighter light while consuming less energy. These bulbs do not emit a lot of heat as well. They last longer too.

5. Make sure that you choose products that are environmentally friendly. Check the labels of the cleaners you pick. They may contain toxic materials that can put you at risk. Choose cleaners that are eco-friendly.

You can apply various ways to make your home greener. Other examples include planting trees and growing an organic garden. The use of organic product can also help you achieve a greener home. Although these are simple ways, it can greatly help improve the condition of our environment.