Residential Home Construction with Energy Efficient Features

To attain an energy-efficient and green home, you do not have to change your house design significantly. You just have to incorporate several features or change some of the materials used in your residential home construction.

Some of the materials that you can use are wood composites and recycled plastic lumber. You can use these for porches, decks, trim and fencing so you can reduce your usage of chemically treated lumber and hardwood.

Another is the use of oriented strand board, which is an engineered wood material manufactured with less amount of wood taken from trees. It can be used to sheathe walls and roofs and is being used in roughly 75 percent of newly-built homes. This type of material is resource efficient and its durability has been proven.

For prehung doors and trusses, you can use factory-built components because these have been built with more efficient usage of raw materials. Factories have the equipment and processes to make the most out of every part of lumber. Wood waste is prevented because wood need not be cut at the jobsite.

For your floor covering, you can use carpets made of low-volatile organic compounds which improve indoor air quality. Other good choices are laminates that look like hardwood and linoleum materials which are available in natural-look designs.

For the roof, use fiber cement and steel because these materials reduce the number of times you have to replace your roof. There are also solar roofing products that incorporate asphalt shingles, slate, concrete tiles or standing-seam metal roofs. Choose lighter colors as these absorb less heat and reduce cooling costs during the hot season.

When evaluating windows to buy, choose energy-efficient windows that integrate advanced technologies such as low-emittance glass coatings, composite framing materials and gas filling between layers. These windows keep heat inside the house during winter and outside the house during summer.

You also need to increase the R-value of your insulation to reduce cooling and heating costs, which typically comprise over 50 percent of energy usage in homes. You can use sprayed insulation made of cellulose, foam or wool.

Vinyl siding is also recommended for exterior walls because it can cut installation and maintenance costs. Another is fiber cement siding, which is resistant to termite and water. This product has been guaranteed to last for 50 years.

Additionally, other features that you can incorporate are large south-facing windows, covered entry areas for exterior doors and use of native plants. These reduce lighting and maintenance costs.

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