The breakdown of Mother Nature has become a major cause for concern in recent years, and as environmentalists and humanitarians continually work to spread awareness, people all over the world are being called to take responsibility. Many may think that nothing they can do will really help, but every action counts and oftentimes you don’t even have to step outside your house to make a difference. By using energy efficient building materials, there are several ways to improve the home you’re living in now, or the one you plan to build, that will make a real effort towards a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Metal Roofing for Sustainable Building
Metal roofing is commonly known as cool roofing, and is used for the very purpose of cooling down your home, office, school, etc. by naturally absorbing less heat. By reflecting the sun’s heat, metal roofing is generally 100 degrees cooler than a traditional roof made with asphalt shingles and can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 50 percent. Being energy efficient is just the beginning of the benefits a metal roof provides. They are completely recyclable once torn down, resistant to seasonal elements and need little maintenance.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps are an all natural source of central heating and cooling for your home that comes directly from the earth. The consistent warm temperature beneath the ground’s surface allows the geothermal system to transfer heat inside during the winter months through a ground source heat pump. The pump can also achieve the opposite effect in the summer months by extracting heat from inside the home and delivering it back into the ground.
Homeowners love the idea of cutting their utility bills as an added bonus to promoting green living, and using structural insulated panels as a building material is one great way to do that. The panels are made with foam insulation that lies between two surfaces, such as plywood, cement panels or strand boards and can be used in foundations, walls, roofing and ceilings. Structural insulated panels provide temperature control and better air quality, as well as a substantial savings in energy costs, resistance to water and fire, can be treated for pests and can be given aesthetically pleasing finishes.
Rigid Polyurethane Foam
The use of rigid polyurethane foam in construction is another option for insulating your home that will have an impact on environmentally friendly endeavors. This type of insulation is flexible and helps to reduce energy waste by easily filling gaps around windows, doors and plumbing pipes. The material can withstand extreme weather temperatures, maintain shape, reduce energy transfer and resist moisture. Rigid polyurethane foam also provides a higher thermal resistance and better overall insulation quality than many other choices.
Becoming more aware of the need for greener living will help you make the choices that are best for you, your home and your environment. While some of these more sustainable types of building materials will drive up the cost of renovations or construction, in the long run homeowners will see that money coming back to them as they save in other areas and will also have the peace of mind that they’re doing their part to preserve the earth.