5 Sustainable Materials for Your New Construction Home
Building a new construction home can be a lot of fun, especially if you're focused on innovation that can improve your quality of life. For homeowners who prioritize sustainability, there are many materials available that make minimal impact on the environment and make excellent building materials. If you would like to build an eco-friendly new construction home, these tips can help. Picking the right material can help reduce your home's carbon footprint while at the same time improve your quality of life.
Reclaimed wood has been around for a long time, but it's still one of the top sustainable materials that homeowners can use in their new construction homes. For starters, it requires no destruction of renewable or natural resources. All reclaimed wood comes from existing structures.
Additionally, though you can buy it through commercial suppliers, some homeowners get their reclaimed wood locally from demolition sites and other homeowners who are tearing out old structures that no longer serve a function. Sold like this, it's often inexpensive and easy to acquire.
Reclaimed wood has character. With indentations, marks, scratches, stains, and other surface textures, this type of wood makes interesting material to use for wooden floors.
Cork flooring is becoming more popular with time. It's a natural material made from the bark of cork oak trees. As a flooring material, it's naturally somewhat soft, spongy and almost rubbery in texture, which makes it a safer and softer surface. Cork must be sealed in order to be protected from dirt, grit, and stains.
When properly swept on a regular basis, and if kept sealed, cork is an excellent flooring material with an interesting texture and appearance that makes it a good fit in many modern homes. Homeowners appreciate the appearance of cork, which is almost like wood, and the fact that cork is easy to maintain.
Dark-colored rooftops have been popular for years, with many homeowners installing dark gray or black roofing on their home. Unfortunately, these dark-colored rooftop materials can heat attics and upper floors of homes and buildings during summer months. Dark-colored roof materials tax HVAC systems trying to keep homes cool in the summer.
Cool roofing material is just white or light-colored roof material that reflects sunlight back at the atmosphere, thus keeping the home cool. Cool roofing material can keep an attic up to 50 degrees cooler in summer months, depending on the conditions outside. If the attic is not properly insulated, this can lead to constant presence of warm air near the ceiling of any home interior, causing the HVAC system to run constantly.
Low-flow plumbing fixtures help homeowners save water. In recent years, low-flow fixtures have become so effective that toilets of today may use as little as 1.28 gallons per flush, while toilets of the 1950s and 1960s used as much as 7 gallons per flush. For a standard family of four, that amounts to thousands of gallons saved per year, every year!
In addition to low-flow toilets, there are other types of low-flow fixtures that can help homeowners save money. Low-flow faucets and shower heads also reduce the amount of water that homeowners use, and of course, ENERGY STAR appliances like dishwashers can also save money.
At one time, low-flow fixtures had a reputation for not working as well as their full-flow counterparts. Today, most low-flow fixtures work just as well if not better than their older appliance counterparts, and they save homeowners money by reducing household water usage.
Rammed Earth Brick
Rammed earth brick is a natural brick made from earth, binder, and pressure. Rammed earth brick is an excellent insulator, plus it's fire-resistant and strong. Some of the oldest structures on earth have been made by rammed earth. Though it is not widely available, some construction companies are starting to specialize in rammed earth brick.
Contact a Builder with Expertise
Are you building a new home soon? Using sustainable construction materials can make your home worth more while reducing your utility bills as you live in the home.
Work with a builder who has expertise and a background in building with sustainable materials. As you interview builders, find out what their experience is with green building materials, and prioritize builders who have experience with this material. Hiring builders who have expertise can help make your home building experience a success.