A lot goes into creating environmentally friendly structures — location, building style, and most certainly, materials. If you’re searching for optimal products to incorporate into your next green building endeavor, check out these three examples.
- Structural insulated panels
Structural insulated panels (SIP) are growing in popularity among people building environmentally friendly roofs, walls and floors. According to Better Homes and Gardens, these panels are created from expanded polystyrene and oriented strand boards. These boards, which are produced using wax and wood cut from fast-growing trees, are then pressed with the polystyrene and molded into SIPs. The source explained that this method of production is time and energy efficient.
- Reclaimed materials
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, construction projects are the largest users of raw materials in the U.S. In fact, new buildings account for about 60 percent of the country’s fresh material use. While it makes sense that many construction companies seek out brand new products, this practice is actually extremely wasteful. The source explained that salvaging materials from old buildings helps save energy and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions created during the production of new items.
While many people associate poor quality with the term “salvaged,” this is a great misconception. In fact, salvaged items are often extremely durable, rare and even valuable. Additionally, these aren’t items you pick up off the side of the road – you can seek them out through professional designers and building companies. Pieces like marble mantles, bricks and antique fixtures are also great for adding a unique vintage flair to your space.
- Recycled-content products
Of course, using materials created from recyclables is an excellent choice when it comes to building green structures. The EPA noted that using this type of material reduces the amount of raw materials being created and ensures that recycled items are put to good use. Some examples of items that can be created using recyclables include steel pieces, landscaping products, carpets and carpet pads, plastic lumber, bathroom and kitchen tiles, countertops, drywall and insulation.