Go Green with These Construction Materials

by: BMA Editorial Team A

With the number of “green” housing options continuing to expand, you will be happy to learn that you don’t have to give up your personal style or taste in order to have a more eco-friendly home. In fact, here is a look at some of the green products you might want to consider using when building a new home or when remodeling an old one.

Recycled Products

As more and more items are being recycled, the number of products that are made from the recycled materials also continues to grow. Not only do these products provide a green option to other products, many provide other benefits as well. Rubber and polymer roofing, for example, imitates slate roofing but weighs less and requires less maintenance. Countertops made with recycled glass and concrete, on the other hand, offers a beautiful look along with exceptional durability.

Lumber Options

Wood flooring, doors and cabinetry can add a beautiful touch to your home, but you can reduce the environmental impact of using these products if you choose your lumber wisely. Rather than purchasing products that are made with old growth timber or from endangered tropical hardwoods, look for those that are made from wood grown in certified and managed forests. Or, better yet, use wood that has been recycled or reclaimed from old buildings or riverbeds. Composite products such as hardwood-veneered MDF is another good option for cabinets and doors. Yet another option is to purchase products that are made from fast-growing wood, such as bamboo. Not only is bamboo quite attractive, it is very durable as well.

Decking and Railings

The variety of materials available for outdoor projects has also grown substantially. For example, you can now purchase treated lumber that doesn’t use arsenic. As such, the lumber is still preserved, but far less toxic for you and for the environment. Composite decking and railing, which is made from resin and fiber, is also a good option. Not only is it easy to install, it will never rot and it does not require painting.

High-Performance Windows

Windows containing low-emissivity (low-E) glazings cn help reduce your energy costs for both heating and cooling your home.

Water-Saving Appliances

Appliances with an Energy Star rating will help reduce your energy waste significantly, but Energy Star-rated front-loading washing machines and dishwashers will also help you reduce water waste. You can further reduce water waste by installing a new toilet that uses only 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Or, you can install a toilet that uses even less water. In fact, there are some toilets on the market that use just .8 gallons per flush. In one year, a toilet that uses .8 gallons per flush will typically save a family of four 60,000 gallons when compared to a 1.6 gallon model.

Photovoltaic Panels

You can generate power from the sun with the help of photovoltaic panels while also enjoying tax credits and rebates from your utility company.

The bottom line is that there are plenty of eco-friendly options for those who are building a home or who are remodeling a home that already exists. By exploring your options thoroughly, you will be sure to enjoy great results.