Green Building Materials Continue Popularity Trend
February 11, 2012Keywords Meta-Tag
With nearly a 50% increase of respiratory disease in the last decade, indoor air quality has become a major health concern. This, coupled with changes in energy consumption, have prompted many to seek greener options when building or remodelling.
Many products used in construction can have an adverse effect on indoor air quality and children are especially prone to problems related to indoor air contaminants. Products like furniture, shelving, cabinets and counter tops are often made from particleboard that is glued together with a suspected human carcinogen, formaldehyde. The harmful vapour gets released into the environment of a home and remains for years. Floor finishes and most paints also contain toxic chemicals. That 'smell' of a new house is actually the odour of volatile organic compounds that contain other carcinogens. By paying attention to the building products you select and the paints and finishes you use, you can eliminate many of the conventional products which may negatively impact your indoor air quality and health.
Resource-efficient building materials have evolved in response to the rapid depletion of natural resources over the last decade. For example, twenty years ago the average old growth tree harvested from National forests was 24 inches in diameter, while today the average is about 143 inches. Engineered lumber products are an innovative alternative to harvesting the last remaining old growth forests. Laminated or glued lumber products use fast rowing farm trees as a way to reduce the harvest from older forests. These products are stronger, straighter and lighter and use only 50% of the wood fibre to perform the same structural functions as solid sawn lumber.
The use of recycled content building products has grown out of the increasing stockpiles of recycled material. Today, Americans recycle seven times more than they did a decade ago. Building materials are a perfect application for recycled materials. Many recycled building products are of higher quality and more durability than those produced with conventional materials.
Even as the low cost of energy over the last decade has made it easy to pay utility bills without issue, energy use does affect human health and our environment. Take time to explore green building options for new builds and remodeling projects to ensure a healthy and energy efficient home.