Environmentally Friendly Construction
If you are involved in a home projection, whether it is new construction or renovation, you have undoubtedly been considering sustainable products. When the right “green” building supplies are chosen, the project will pay for itself in time. A green home will not only provide you with energy-efficiency, it will also have a higher resale value than a home without sustainable materials.
So many companies out there claim to sell “energy efficient products”, but do they really? How do you know which materials are truly sustainable?
Here are a few factors to consider when selecting green building products for your home:
- Make sure you choose materials that are recycled. Just about any building supply or product can be made from recycled materials. You can choose recycled doors, trimming, flooring materials, lumber, window glass, cabinet doors, insulation, etc.
- To maximize the resource efficiency of the materials you plan to use in construction, ensure that you are shopping from a manufacturer that isn’t too far away. The transport of materials to and from the construction site is associated with emissions as well.
- You will want to choose pervious surface materials as much as possible. These types of materials include pavers, gravel, pervious concrete, etc. They enable water penetration, which reduces runoff problems.
- Proper insulation is extremely important in any home or office building. Cooling and heating account for at least half of a home’s energy consumption. Air leaks around doors, windows, and duct work is responsible for a significant amount of heat loss. If you don’t have proper insulation in your home, cooling and heating will go to waste. Use energy efficient insulation materials in construction, and make sure there is proper sealing.
- Consider using materials that reduce the consumption of wood products, such as engineered flooring, structurally insulated panels, etc. Engineered wood flooring is available in many appealing shades and styles.
- Think of ways to conserve water when renovating or building a green home. Even the small things, like fixtures, should not be neglected. There are a number of products that will help with the preservation of water: low flow faucets, shower heads, energy efficient toilets, washing machines and dishwashers with Energy Star ratings, etc.
- If your project requires interior panels, be sure to choose panels with recycled content. Ideally, they should be formaldehyde-free. Use finger-jointed trim made from recycled scrap lumber for interior trimming.
- Use roofing materials made to last for a long time, such as spruce wood. Spruce is a sustainable material and not considered an “at risk” tree. It’s also highly resistant to rot and decay, as it is of the heartwood variety.
- Determine if solar panels would be a worthwhile investment in your area. There are a number of factors affecting the price of solar panels: the type of panels, the number of panels you can fit on your roof, the type of inverter(s) used, etc. Even the initial investment is costly; solar panels can pay for themselves in the long run – just as long as they are installed properly.
Keep these factors in mind when shopping for building supplies in Toronto.