Green options in home siding

 

If new siding is on the list of must-do home projects this year, there are many factors to consider. Though it’s a transformative renovation, replacement siding is a significant and potentially expensive undertaking. Therefore, careful consideration must be given to the materials used and their maintenance, longevity, insulation factor, and cost. Many homeowners also want siding that is eco-friendly.
Sustainability is an important consideration for many homeowners. Data from the National Association of Home Builders’ “Green Multifamily and Single Family Homes 2017 SmartMarket Brief” indicates that at least one-third of single-family and multifamily home builders who were surveyed said that green building is a significant portion of their overall activity (more than 60 percent of their portfolio). By 2022, this number should increase to nearly one-half in both the single-family and multifamily sectors. Green building has become an important and established part of the residental construction sector.
Where siding is sourced, the materials that go into its fabrication and how well that siding insulates a home are key aspects of its “green factor.” The following are some of the more sustainable options in home siding.

Reclaimed timber
A house sided with clapboard, or a log cabin-inspired look, is iconic. These types of siding are typically made from insect-repellant pine, cedar, cypress, or redwood. While lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council is environmentally friendly, homeowners may want to seek out reclaimed lumber. This wood has history and causes very little environmental impact. Plus, timber salvaged from old buildings or fallen trees may be superior to new wood because it likely came from slow-growing, old trees with dense grain.

Brick
Avoid any negative environmental impact by choosing locally produced or reclaimed bricks — or those made from post-consumer content. The longevity of bricks can often offset the energy expenditure in their manufacture. Plus, many bricks are made from natural clay, which can be an excellent insulator.

Stucco
HouseLogic says traditional stucco is made from sand and Portland cement mixed with water to make a usable plaster. It’s tough and durable — often lasting the life of the house. Eco-friendly variants include stucco made with an earth-and-lime mixture, offsetting the CO2 emissions associated with cement production. Stucco can reduce air infiltration that causes drafts in a home.

Fiber-cement
Fiber-cement is similar to stucco in that it is made from sand, Portland cement, clay, and wood pulp fibers. It can be fire-resistant and insect-proof and will not rot. It’s a stable material that can recover almost 80 percent of the initial cost, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Stone
This nonrenewable resource can be beautiful on a home and durable, but mining it can impact the environment. If homeowners can use reclaimed or displaced stone, those are more sustainable options. Manufactured stone, which is cement and other materials molded to look like stone, is also aesthetically appealing and more eco-friendly.
Replacing siding is a significant undertaking. Homeowners can consider sustainability when selecting replacement siding materials.