Why should we consider eco-friendly building materials?
Having an eco-friendly house / building is about the way your home is designed, constructed and operates to reduce its impact on the overall environment while creating a healthy and enjoyable environment to live in. Key green building strategies include water and energy efficiency, sourcing sustainable products and materials and using renewable energy. There are so many ways in which to achieve environmentally friendly and sustainable building results, and our expertise is on the wall cladding, insulation and internal lining.
Brick veneer is not the most eco-friendly building material for your home. Making bricks demands a lot of energy, and brick veneer provides poor insulation, meaning more energy, to heat and cool your home. Bricks are heavy which requires a much thicker building slab and bricks are also difficult to recycle. Now there are much smarter ways to build.
At The Wall Store our focus is providing Eco Friendly building alternatives. The most appropriate choice for your home will depend on your location, climate and even your block. For instance, lightweight materials cost less to transport, they require much less concrete in slab construction and make more sense for an elevated home on a sloping block. NRG, QT and Hebel provide many answers to these considerations as do BGC Fibre Cement and Weathertex. Call our store to discuss your requirements and then employ an architect or building designer to help you decide on a building material that will work for your home and for the environment. With such an amazing array of alternatives that are now available, why would we use environmentally irresponsible products?
If you are thinking of using weatherboard or just want make a stylish statement, Fibre cement alternatives offer the perfect choice. Considering the availability of the raw resource, its freedom from maintenance, excellent product lifecycle and minimum environmental impact, fibre cement building materials contribute to some of the most energy efficient and environmentally responsible building systems available. Their thermal values far outweigh traditional weatherboards too. Our range of BGC fibre cement planks offers perfect alternatives at www.thewallstore.com.au.
What makes an eco-friendly building material?
The key points are whether the material came from a sustainable source, such as timber from a sustainably managed plantation, how much energy was used to make it (its “embodied energy”). Whether it contains a component of recycled materials, such as QT with its high component of polystyrene being 100% recycled. Transport fuel is part of a product’s embodied energy so for remote locations, lightweight materials may be more eco-friendly. Builders and developers are now starting to heavily advertise the sustainability of the building’s construction as well as the final, outwardly visible result.
Materials with good insulation properties are more eco-friendly because less energy will be needed to heat and cool your home. NRG, QT and Hebel provide perfect solutions here. Hebel is Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) which is basically concrete with a lot of air pockets, making it about a fifth the weight of concrete. It is long-lasting and provides good insulation and thermal mass and its embodied energy is much less than normal concrete, making it a relatively environmentally friendly choice. Also consider spending a few extra dollars on upgraded insulation batts in your ceiling & walls. We can save 45% of our heating and cooling costs by insulating our ceiling. A further 20% with wall insulation and save a further 5% of our heating and cooling costs with Sub floor insulation.
The longer-lasting it is, the better for the environment – and for you. Products manufactured by Hebel, QT, BGC, Weathertex, are prime examples of long lasting, Eco friendly building materials. Consideration is given to water resistance, mould & rot inhibition and general endurance. Using these building materials means you won’t be troubled by toxic and carcinogenic emissions such as those given off by some plastic-based building materials and asbestos.
4. Disposal and recycling
Is the material easy to dispose of in an environmentally friendly way? Better still, can it be recycled? BGC plasterboard is the first plasterboard manufacturer that has achieved the very high standards set by the Good Environmental Choice Australia commission. This certification was offered due to strict criteria set out by GECA. Other plasterboard manufacturers have achieved this accreditation on one certain board in the range and incredibly are charging a premium of up to 40% more than the BGC range!
What does an eco-friendly building mean for us?
For green building to succeed, it has to be mutually beneficial: there has to be something in it for consumers as well as for the environment. And now there is. The win for consumers is a more modern, healthier home with lower energy bills. A well-designed home can, without any change in occupant behaviour, reduce energy use by about 60 per cent.
Research indicates homes that incorporate environmental initiatives now sell more quickly and command higher prices than those that don’t. The objection that building green is too costly has been overstated for far too long. Achieving the energy and water savings cited above need add no more than 5 per cent to the cost of construction.
An eco friendly home is simply a better house to live in. Studies show that indoor air quality is usually about five times worse than outdoor air due to the pollutants given off by everyday household furnishings and products. By using eco-friendly building materials you create a healthier indoor environment for you and your family.