Energy-efficient construction is a huge concern for many homebuilders and constructors nowadays. In most cases, the idea is to use recycled, renewable material while being able to end up with a structure that is as strong as it could be.
Every single year, a slew of brand new energy efficient products are hitting the market. Unfortunately, most of them are not so great because of the fact they have high associated costs. For instance, just one specially glazed window layer of insulation would bring up material costs by around 25%. However, most of the well-known and reputable builders like Excel Builders agree that energy conservation with the use of efficient materials eventually leads to lower cooling and heating costs, thus making homeowners recuperate the extra investment in a few years. With this in mind, here are some of the materials that can be considered right now.
Low emissivity windows (Low-E for short) will keep heat inside homes during winters and outdoors during summers. This is because of the addition of a metallic oxide coating that can be soft or hard, based on the weather conditions the window needs to withstand. Such a window normally costs around $80 each. Despite being around 15 percent more expensive, regular clear glass storm window allows around 50 percent reduction in terms of heat flow, and bring heating costs down by around 15 percent.
Vacuum Insulation Panels
A VIP (vacuum insulation panel) is capable of offering 7 times more insulation than regular products with a thickness of just 1 inch. That is why this is seen as the ultimate possible insulation panel. The problem is that it is currently available just for specialized container and commercial industrial refrigeration systems. Such a panel has a Sci-Fi look and can be created by the manufacturer in practically any possible size.
The only problem occurs during installation since the panel has a fragile surface. It has to be put in a covering that protects it. However, in near future, we should see VIPs available for homeowners as interest is growing and research is done to see how the insulation can be put into future residential buildings.
This is one of the most impressive of all the materials that can be used by the homeowner interested in energy efficiency. You can build walls with adobe or rammed earth and the big advantage is that you do not even need to transport this free material to a site. The only big downside is that it is really hard to find some craftsmen that can build something really good out of it.
In countries like New Zealand, Peru and China, there are some strict codes associated with using earth in construction but this is not the case with the US. Since it is hard to find the builders, construction costs can go over $80 per one square foot. This is so much more than when using regular concrete we all are used to.
Article Submitted By Community Writer