In recognition of Earth Day, we thought it would be great to repost this blog about some of the products and materials we use in every home we build that are considered eco-friendly or “green”. The building industry has come a long way in offering homebuyers a variety of materials, styles, and options to choose from for almost every product that goes into building a new custom home. In addition, building techniques can add to the overall environmental friendliness of your home, so even though you may not see it, what goes on between the walls and under the floors can make a big difference not only to your wallet, but also the environment. Here are some of our picks for the best environmental friendly building products and materials in our Earth Day Edition: The Best Environmental Friendly Building Products and Materials for Custom Homes
- LED Lighting – Lighting is one of the biggest culprits affecting energy efficiency in a home, so much so that incandescent light bulbs are no longer being produced in the United States. By upgrading your new custom home to ENERGY STAR-qualified LED lighting, you will use only 20%-25% of the energy and last up to 25 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulbs. For a seemingly small product, and compared to everything else that goes into building a home, this one change can make a big impact not only on our planet, but on your monthly utility bills!
- Insulation – There are a couple different energy efficient trends for insulation that are becoming more popular with homebuyers building new homes. There are insulations made of foam board that go in between the exterior sheathing and siding that are made of at least 8 percent agricultural oil, reducing the amount of nonrenewable resources used in the manufacturing process. This insulation also uses real aluminum-foil facings, not Mylar, for maximum heat-blocking performance. This board has an R-value of 5.4 per inch and will increase your home’s energy efficiency. In addition to exterior insulation, the type of insulation used between the outside walls and inside sheetrock is evolving too. Polyurethane spray foams are highly efficient insulators, and now there is a more sustainable ingredient for the LD-R-50 open-cell polyurethane: the castor bean. Castor-oil plants are easy on the environment—they require no irrigation, pesticides, or fungicides—and yield 23 percent more oil by weight than soybean plants. Yet the foam made from it is virtually indistinguishable in appearance and performance from other foams. Stonehenge installs insulation throughout the entire home, exterior, interior, and between the floors as a standard, but check with us on available options for insulation.
- Sustainable flooring products – Unlike homebuyers of a few decades ago, who had fewer options when it came to saving trees, today’s environmentally conscious don’t have to sacrifice the look, feel, and durability of quality flooring. Many flooring manufacturers are now offering many types of eco-friendly flooring suitable for any residential application. Among the choices are wood made from sustainable sources, cork flooring, bamboo flooring, and even natural and recycled carpets are now mainstream choices for custom homes. Stonehenge can help you select the right flooring, whether it is our in-place sanded product or an upgrade to a prefinished hardwood in a sustainable material.
- Tankless Hot Water Heater – Super-efficient condensing gas burners can create an endless supply of hot water for your custom home. Because condensing burners extract 98 percent of the heat from the gas flame, operating costs are less than one-third of traditional tank heaters. And the exhaust is so cool that the heaters can be vented with plastic pipe. And because they only provide hot water as needed, they don’t produce the standby energy losses associated with storage water heaters, which is how they save money and energy. Stonehenge installs Rinnai Tankless Water Heaters as a standard in all of our homes.
Using eco-friendly, or green products to build your new custom home on Long Beach Island doesn’t have to bust your budget before you even break ground. By researching products and materials that are comparable to their traditional counterparts and conferring with us on available choices ahead of time, you can plan for those energy efficient features that work best for your home. Utilizing a few of these small, yet efficient options you will be making a difference for your family and the environment. For more information on building a custom home on Long Beach Island, or the energy efficient products and materials we utilize in every Stonehenge Built home, contact us today.