7 things you need to know about eco-friendly homes

TF1694477 things you need to know about eco-friendly homes

Improved practices in the construction industry reflect the greening of building codes across America. This proactivity is highlighted by advancements in window daylighting, insulation, air infiltration, and new wall-building materials. HereÕs everything you need to know about choosing methods and materials, such as insulated concrete forms, that are even more energy efficient than the minimums required by building codes.

1. YouÕll save money. ÒA huge step forward is to replace the traditional wood framing of your house with what we call ICFs Ñ insulated concrete forms,Ó says Keven Rector at Nudura, a leading name in this technology. Building the envelope of your house with concrete instead of wood delivers an energy efficiency rating as high as R-50 (compared to an average R-20 in wood structures), saving you up to 70 percent on utility bills.

2. YouÕll be protected from natural disasters. Homes built with ICFs are disaster-resilient, offering you the safety of fire resistance and hurricane wind-resistance of up to 250 miles per hour.

3. YouÕll be more comfortable. Say goodbye to mold, cold spots and drafts. Green homes with this concrete system are far less prone to these problems.

4. YouÕll get in your new home sooner. ÒICF construction assures the adherence to American building codes, takes up less shipping space, requires less manpower at the site, and the assembly is faster than wood framing,Ó explains Rector. ÒTime-strapped builders and eager homeowners benefit equally from this efficiency.Ó

5. YouÕll achieve higher property value. Remember that high-quality materials will stand up to the test of time. For example, reinforced concrete as the main structural element is more durable and requires less maintenance and repair over its lifetime compared to wood structures that require regular maintenance over their limited life span.

6. YouÕll hear less unwanted outside noise. A home that uses ICF construction dampens sound vibrations, sheltering you from noisy neighbors, traffic and trains.

7. YouÕll help the environment. With the concrete option, countless trees remain untouched. And with reduced energy consumption and less tapping of natural resources every day, just imagine the contribution your house will make towards achieving a sustainable environment over the years.