If you're in the market to build your very first home, chances are you want to spend the least amount of money as possible. Back in the old days, energy efficient building materials were seen as too expensive and not as effective when it came to keeping the structure of a home sound. Fortunately, things have changed over the years and energy efficient building materials are becoming the industry standard. Not only are they cheap and sturdy, they will save you a lot on energy costs down the road. Here are 5 energy efficient building materials that you should consider for your new home.
Insulating concrete forms are becoming more and more common these days because they offer it all. Basically, the process involves pouring concrete into beams inside the home and then surrounding the beams with more insulation. This means that the forms become a permanent part of the home.
The forms are also great for disaster prevention. They are extremely sturdy and will ensure that the home's structure is not compromised when nasty weather hits. Part of their structure ensures that energy costs will go down, as the extra insulation prevents the outside temperature from infiltrating the inside of the home.
Steel buildings are extremely environmentally efficient. The metal has reflecting properties, so the sun's beams do not affect the temperature inside of the home as much as traditional materials. Recycled steel is great because it gives you everything you want out of a metal building without the need to waste energy producing brand new steel. The material itself is also extremely durable and easy to install.
In fact, 65 tons of steel is recycled every single year. That means that recycled steel is not only going to save you money on energy costs, but will be very cheap to purchase.
Spray Foam Insulation
The traditional method for insulating a home is fiberglass insulation. This process is not only costly, but not very energy efficient. Spray foam insulation immediately foams up and covers more space that fiberglass. Essentially, this means that less air inside of the home is able to leak out or seep in.
The added environmental bonus to choosing spray foam insulation is that, unlike fiberglass, it does not release emissions into the environment when it is produced. The material is also waterproof, so you won't have to worry about your insulation breaking down if a bad storm comes through.
Cool roofing is probably the most energy efficient material for builders. The roof itself is constructed out of a material known as albedo. This material has an extremely high reflectance rate, causing less sunlight to be absorbed through the roof. This keeps the temperature inside of the home cooler, thus reducing energy costs.
Cool roofing is seemingly more expensive than other roofing options, but the price can be deceiving. For example, the average price of about $1.50-$3.00 per square foot may be steep, but it pays off in the long run with reduced energy costs.
Plastic lumber, or composite lumber, is becoming a preferred method for a lot of builders because of its durability. What this material also adds is a great impact on the environment. Have you ever thought about where your plastic bags go when you trash them? Well, a lot of the time these bags go to construction sites and are turned into lumber.
Typically, builders will use wood fibers in combination with the plastic to ensure that the material is both weather resistant and durable. In fact, this composite lumber from places like The Cedar Shop Building Materials is more durable and even less toxic than your typical treated lumber. It may be a bit more expensive than traditional lumber, but it pays off in the long run.
As you can see, you can build the home of your dreams while doing your part to help protect the environment. What's more, all of that money that you would have been paying for energy costs will be drastically reduced over time. What reason could you have to not choose the energy efficient path?