“Green” is a huge buzz word these days, and it permeates all aspects in our lives from what car we drive to how we water our garden. The construction industry is no exception. There is a wide range of eco friendly building products on the market that are available to contractors as well as consumers. Before discussing the products themselves, let’s talk about what goes into defining green building products. A green product is one that aims at preserving environmental quality by being recyclable, recycled, natural, non-toxic, biodegradable, or non-polluting. If the product uses virgin raw materials, then they should be harvested in a sustainable and responsible manner. EcoFoil radiant barriers are an excellent green building product because they enhance your home’s efficiency by radiating 97% of the sun’s rays out of the home, thereby keeping it cooler in the summertime and warmer in the winter.
Eco Friendly Building Materials: Responsible Wood Uses
Many stages of building a home can be made with green construction materials. The walls, for instance, can be constructed with recycled lumber that has been reclaimed from an older structure. This wood is re-worked so that it is ready for new construction. When it comes to the OSB sheeting, one of the eco building materials you could choose is poplar OSB. OSB (Oriented Strand Board) is made from small, fast growing farmed trees such as poplar. Traditional plywood is not considered one of the green building products because it requires large diameter trees from old-growth forests.
Green Construction Materials: Insulation Options
In a sense, all insulation is an eco friendly building material because its sole purpose is to increase the efficiency of your home. That being said, some are more environmentally friendly than others. One important thing to look for is how much recycled content does the insulation contain. The traditional insulation materials such as fiberglass and rigid polystyrene vary greatly in this respect. Cellulose and rock wool insulation contain a very high amount of recycled materials. Some options for insulation that is consistent with other eco friendly building materials are sheep’s wool and straw bales. All of these “mass” types of insulation only protect your home from conductive and convective heat transfer. Whichever insulation you choose, make sure you pair it up with EcoFoil’s radiant barrier products to maximize the thermal protection of your home or business.
Flooring Options and Green Building Construction
There are many options for flooring when building and eco friendly home or business. If you are going for a wood floor you can choose woods that are grown in a sustainable manner, such as bamboo. Another option for wood flooring could be using reclaimed lumber. Eco friendly house materials for floor coverings can also consist of tiles made from recycled glass or metal, as well as reclaimed products such as roofing slate. Green building products for flooring can also include products made from wool or plant fibers. EcoFoil’s under concrete insulation is designed for under concrete slabs and is a class I vapor barrier. EcoFoil’s under concrete insulation is also a radiant barrier that reflects the heat from your radiant floor back up into the living space where it belongs. This will increase the efficiency of your radiant heated floors.
Eco Friendly House Materials
Even if you aren’t building a new home, you can increase the efficiency of your home by replacing some of your existing fixtures with new eco friendly house materials. Some of these eco friendly housing materials include items such as: efficient plumbing fixtures, window treatments, high efficiency light bulbs, energy star appliances and electrical devices. Ecofoil’s radiant barrier can be installed in the attic of an existing home as well as in new construction. If you are remodeling, or finishing your basement for the first time, you can use EcoFoil for added insulation as well as for your vapor barrier. EcoFoil is a perfect addition to to your set of green building products.
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