Energy Efficient Building Materials

Using the right energy efficient building materials in new or remodeled homes can help preserve the environment and save homeowners money in the long run. It’s become more important to the industry to have less of an impact on the environment through more sustainable manufacturing processes, and recyclable materials.

Whether you’re building a new home from the ground up, or remodeling an existing structure, using energy efficient building materials can save the homeowner hundreds, even thousands of dollars, not only in energy savings, but also in tax incentives, grants and rebates.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, more than $2.6 billion in grants are available to state and local governments under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) program. Because of this $2.6 billion cash injection, many people are now able to afford energy-efficient building materials for new homes and existing structures.

With so many energy-efficient building materials on the market, where can you, as a contractor begin? Just as a home is built, you start from the ground up with the foundation. Across the internet, you will find links to federal grants, LEED certifications and an energy-efficient checklist for the homeowner that can give you a great starting point for installing energy efficient building materials in your next project.

Foundation.

If you have a crawl space under your home, energy loss through outside air vents can really add up. By installing a crawl space vapor barrier, you can close off your crawl space, allowing your heating and cooling ducts to work more efficiently. This plastic vapor barrier installed with a crawlspace door and dehumidifier can also stop mold, mildew, rodents and energy loss.

Sheathing.

Plywood, OSB and paneled siding are typical structural coverings used for roofs, walls and floors. These products are made from veneers of wood, oriented strand and pressed pulp. Radiant Barrier Sheathing is a radiant barrier roof sheathing that takes a conventional piece of plywood and adds a layer of aluminum foil/craft paper laminate to the underside. This can reflect up to 97 percent of the sun’s radiant energy, which prevents it from entering your attic, and keeps the attic cooler in the process.

Insulation and penetration.

Proper Insulation provides a home with a thermal blanket that keeps it warm and cool, depending on the season. Penetrations are the exact opposite. Penetrations in the home’s walls, ceilings, roof and floors cause significant air loss. Air leakage can account for nearly 50 percent of a home’s heating and cooling system’s energy loss. Sealing any penetrations in the home can be easily accomplished using an insulating foam product to seal large and small penetrations around ventilation especially. Using a sprayed foam insulation to insulate attic space is a great alternative to using conventional fiberglass insulation. Sprayed foam consists of a modified urethane polymer and a foaming agent. As the foam is sprayed onto the stud walls, trussed roofs and attic floors, it expands and hardens. It is then covered with conventional drywall. Because of its covering ability, spray foam insulation can truly eliminate most penetration issues.

Siding

Home exterior siding as a product category has actually received quite a few innovations in the last ten years or so. With siding, its vital that it has a tight installation, but not so tight that it can’t expand and contract with normal weather patterns. Nevertheless, with new, energy efficient siding options emerging seemingly every season, siding is quickly becoming an integral part of a homes energy efficiency strategy. Learn More About Our siding offerings.

Shingles.

When you install shingles with the Energy Star label, the homeowner is eligible for a 30 percent rebate on the costs of installation up to $1,500 from the federal government. This is good news for homeowners who want to offset the cost of their re-roofs and new home construction. Many shingle manufacturers have Energy Star-rated products that qualify for a government rebate. BPGAF and Certainteed have some of the best Energy Star-rated shingles on the market.

With all of the energy-efficient building materials that are out there today, it should be no problem finding affordable and quality materials for your next building project.

What about Metal Roofing?

For quite a while now the roofing industry has been dominated by asphalt. The trouble is that asphalt has all the disadvantages of a toxic and degradable material. That’s why a lot of homeowners have been turning to metal roofing when it’s time to choose a roof. More on Fox’s Metal Roofing Options

At Fox Brothers, we chose high performance deep draw steel, especially designed for a residential roof. That steel is key to why people are increasingly choosing metal roofing for there new construction and remodel jobs. First of all, a metal roof is uniquely durable, standing up to hail, wind, fire, snow, water, and sun. Metal roofs typically last 2 to 4 times as long as asphalt.

Secondly, a metal roof has incomparable value, which stems from its long life, as well as energy efficiency. A cool metal roof is proven to reduce the roof’s temperature on hot days, and that can mean energy savings of up to 40%.

A third main benefit of a metal roof is for the environment. With asphalt shingles, most will end up in a landfill within a few decades. Steel is recyclable – 100%.


Sources
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www.eecbg.energy.gov