Sustainable Construction Tips for Custom Home Owners
Custom home building allows future homeowners to get the most out of their homes. Modern sustainable construction methods allow for higher durability, increased energy efficiency, and reduced need for maintenance, saving homeowners money over time as well as increasing property values.
Insulating concrete form (ICF) construction is made from reinforced concrete, typically manufactured with rigid thermal insulation. ICF construction can be used for floors, walls, roofing, and home exteriors and is expected to last over 100 years, which is four times the life expectancy of standard walls.
ICF Construction boasts a number of benefits over traditional building methods:
Better insulation - many homeowners choose ICF construction because of its superior insulation properties, which saves property owners money on energy bills over time, as well as helps to regulate the temperature inside the home.
Higher durability - ICF construction is known to be wind-resistant, making ICF a popular choice for home builders in climates where tornadoes and hurricanes pose a risk.
Easier maintenance - ICF is relatively easy to care for, typically only requiring high-pressure washing to remove debris.
Pest resistant - Being made of concrete, ICF buildings are pest resistant, meaning that there is a low risk of a termite (or other insect or pest) infestation.
Improving your home’s drainage will help protect the integrity of your home. Insufficient drainage puts your home at risk for standing water, pest infestation, flooding, and even foundation damage. One of the most popular sustainable construction methods is the use of permeable paving, which allows for rainwater to soak into the ground, rather than pooling, like standard concrete. Permeable paving is just as durable as asphalt, concrete, or compacted gravel, yet is more environmentally friendly, allowing the ground to absorb water.
Many home and business owners are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and invest in net zero building methods that use natural resources while reducing waste. One popular way to achieve net-zero building to the installation of an efficient HVAC system, preferably one which has earned the Energy Star label.
No matter how new or modern your HVAC system, your system regular maintenance:
Routine inspections - it is essential to have your HVAC system inspected yearly by a professional company using high-tech equipment to detect any components of your system that may be in disrepair.
Sealing leaking ducts - your ducts may be leaking up to 40% of the air that is supposed to come through the vents in your home! Proper maintenance of your HVAC system includes fixing any leaking ducts, saving you money, and well as reducing wasted energy.
Keeping air ducts clean - dirty air ducts circulate pollen, dust, and other allergens in your home. Having your air ducts cleaned maintains the efficiency of your HVAC system and the quality of your air.
Updated Doors & Windows
Updating the doors and windows in your home is one of the best ways to increase your home’s property value and curb appeal while reducing energy bills. Old, outdated windows may be leaky due to being manufactured with insufficient materials. As well, your window seals will likely degrade over time, allowing conditioned air to escape. This makes your HVAC system work harder, increasing energy bills. Replacing old doors and windows is imperative when the goal is net-zero energy.
Another benefit of installing brand new windows and doors to increase insulation is noise reduction. If you live in a busy metro area, replacing your doors and windows may even help you get a better night’s sleep!
With advancements in technology, custom home building allows homeowners to choose the most energy-efficient home design possible, reducing wasted energy, saving money, and increasing the lifespan of the home.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Construction and Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.