8 Most Energy-Efficient Building Materials

Energy Efficient Building Materials

If you are lucky enough to have the resources for building your own home from scratch, you have the chance to make it as energy-efficient as possible. There are far-reaching and extensive tax incentives available to homeowners from manufacturers as well as local government agencies that make it possible to build affordable and eco-friendly homes. You need to talk to your architect about building maximum eco-efficiency for the foundation, insulation, and building envelope of your house so that you can choose the best materials. Here are a few that you should consider:

1) Recycled steel:

Two out of three tons of new steel are usually recycled from old steel. This means that steel is the most recycled material on earth. Steel emits fewer unsafe CO2 emissions than most building materials and uses less energy, making it the ideal green choice. Steel buildings can stand the test of time because no other material comes close to steel in terms of durability. A steel building can also withstand earthquakes and unfavorable weather conditions, offering strength that you cannot get from traditional building materials.

Recycled Steel
Image by Flickr

2) Spray foam insulation:

The best alternative to fiberglass and cellulose insulation is spray foam as it traps more conditioned air within your home, allowing less leakage. This means that you will use less energy in your household all year round. Spray foam insulation does not usually produce toxic emissions and is shrink and waterproof, meaning that it will undergo zero framing distortion over time. This is a huge plus in construction.

Spray Foam Insulation
Image by Flickr

3) Thermostat radiant barrier sheathing:

This material is used for the walls and roof. The buffer zone that it creates protects against the penetration of heat, resulting in a reduction of energy use and a lower attic temperature.

4) Bamboo plywood:

This material is used for internal design elements like flooring, cabinetry, and covering. It is a zero-VOC and sustainable resource. Bamboo plywood is also aesthetically pleasing, and it adds a touch of elegance to any home. Aside from being non-toxic and all natural, the material is as easy to work with as laminate and hardwood.

5) Insulating concrete forms:

Insulating concrete forms are created by pouring concrete between several layers of insulation material. The material is locked into the home structure permanently, resulting in durability and a high level of strength. Its energy efficiency levels are also able to meet high code requirements. This disaster-resistant material also prevents rotting, mold, and mildew.

Insulating concrete forms
Image by Flickr

6) Straw bales:

Although it seems like a medieval building material, straw bales are very resilient. They have been used for hundreds of years as roofing and bedding materials. Nowadays, the material is useful for its excellent insulation properties. If kept dry, straw bales last for centuries and bond well to external render and plaster.

7) Plant-based polyurethane foam:

Almost everyone has heard of fiberglass insulation. However, there is an even better option in the market. It is made from natural products and 100 percent safe. This material is made from materials such as hemp, bamboo, and kelp. When used for insulating, it offers high moisture and heat resistance and protects against pests and mold. Plant-based polyurethane insulates better than polystyrene and fiberglass. It is not that surprising that nature has provided us with a better option for insulation than artificial science.

Plant based polyurethane foam
Image by Flickr

8) Cool roof:

This technology has been around for more than 15 years. It lowers the temperatures and improves heat dissipation in your home during summer. Moreover, cool roofing technology is safe for the environment because it lowers the heat in the atmosphere. The roof reflects sunlight, keeping your home cool.

Featured Image by Pexels

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