Improved practices in the construction industry today reflect the greening of building codes across North America. This proactivity is highlighted by advancements in window daylighting, insulation, air infiltration, and new wall-building materials. However, many say that our eco-responsibility can do even better than this.
Why not choose methods and materials, for instance, that are even more energy efficient than the minimum demanded by building codes? If you want lowered energy consumption, more conservation and increased property value, be sure to choose a builder who has a demonstratable record in eco-responsibility.
"A huge step forward is to replace the traditional wood framing of your house with what we call ICFs, insulated concrete forms," says Keven Rector at Nudura, a leading name in this technology. "If, for instance, you build the envelope of your house with concrete instead of wood, the energy required to heat and cool it will be significantly reduced, a plus for the environment, and along with reduced energy bills, a plus for you."
Severe storm resilience
The compact ICFs (nudura.com) are delivered to the construction site, where each form interlocks with the next to quickly assemble one strong monolithic wall.
"Our advanced design combines two panels of thick (EPS) foam with the structural strength and thermal mass of concrete," Rector explains. "The resulting envelope immediately gives your house hurricane wind-resistance up to 250 miles per hour. Concrete walls also deliver an energy efficiency rating as high as R-50 (compared to an average R-20 in wood structures), saving you up to 50 percent on utility bills. With the concrete option, countless trees remain untouched, and with lowered energy consumption and less tapping of natural resources every day, imagine over the years how much of a contribution your house will make to recapturing a sustainable environment."
As importantly, he says, a home built with this concrete system is also fire resistant and sound resistant, and is far less prone to mold, cold spots and drafts.
"Builders receive workplace benefits too," Rector points out. "ICF construction assures the adherence to building codes, it takes up less shipping space, requires less manpower at the site, and the assembly is faster than wood framing. Time-strapped builders and eager homeowners benefit equally from this efficiency."
If you want your builder to use ICFs, be sure to discuss it early in the plans.