If you’re fired up about saving the environment, and reducing your own energy bill at the same time, you’ll be excited to learn about these building materials. They cost a little bit more than other materials up-front, but they do pay for themselves over the years going forward.
If you’re considering building a new home, or if you’re just ambitious to do this yourself, here’s a few energy-efficient building materials you may not be aware of:
Recycled steel from scrapped cars (just 6 of them) can be used to construct your home. Now, compare that to the 40-50 trees it takes to provide the wood beams for your home.
But, believe it or not, that’s not where the real energy savings come from. It takes 75% less energy to recycle steel beams versus producing them from scratch. In high winds, steel holds up far better than wood beams too.
Bamboo, hemp, and kelp create this foam. The foam then goes to make insulation…or even your furniture. Its ability to insulate actually is much higher than manufactured fiberglass or polystyrene.
You’ve probably taught your kids how white shirts reflect sunlight and heat and black shirts absorb sunlight and heat, causing them to be hotter. Well, companies are transferring that same concept to your roofing materials. Some companies are starting to offer more roofing materials that are lighter in color. But, you should also be on the lookout for darker materials, as some are being constructed with different material that reflects heat better than before.
Structured insulated panels (SIPS), have a layer of foam placed between two pieces of plywood. Believe it or not, these SIP panels can give you up to 50% more energy savings than traditional insulating materials. While they’re not slightly, that doesn’t matter. You can install stone, brick, or siding right onto them so you don’t have to see them.
Give ‘em a look if you’re considering upgrading your home’s insulation.
At first, you might get a little sticker shock with these. They cost 10-15% more than standard clear glass. But, they reduce heat flow through their glass by 50%, which leads to 10-20% energy savings for you.
Not bad if you’re considering upgrading your home’s windows anyway.
Keep your eyes on the lookout for innovations in building materials like these. They’re likely to continue because of the high demand across the US for environmental-friendliness.