With the threat of climate change looming ever greater over us, we all must do our part in saving the planet. Unfortunately, the construction industry is a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Between the extraction and delivery of raw materials and the use of heavy machinery, the construction industry accounts for more than a third of all emissions in the world. But Top Rated General Contractors LA believes there is a better way. With the help of sustainable building materials, we can bring that number down significantly in 2021. Green practices will help us all in the long run so let’s focus on them while we still have the time to make the necessary changes!
Why choose sustainable building materials as a homeowner?
If you’re someone who’s considering investing in new home construction Los Angeles, you should definitely ask the contractors you hire to use sustainable materials. The obvious benefit is that they are, of course, sustainable which makes them better for the planet. But even if that doesn’t matter much to you, eco-friendly building materials come with other great benefits too. Because they are more energy-efficient, living in a house built with them will be less expensive.
You won’t spend as much on electricity, water, and other bills. Additionally, you will earn more when you eventually decide to sell. Building with sustainable materials adds value to your home so you’ll be able to sell at a higher price than you might expect otherwise.
Why choose sustainable building materials as a construction business?
If you’re running a construction business, you should definitely consider working with eco-friendly materials. They do tend to be more expensive than their traditional alternatives. But in addition to being better for the planet, they pay off in spades.
First of all, they’ll open up a whole new market to you – environmentally conscious people who otherwise wouldn’t even consider hiring you will now be more open to paying for your services. Not many ADU builders Los Angeles have this on offer so you’ll definitely stand out. Secondly, it’ll give you an opportunity to provide clients with more valuable cost-efficient homes in the long run. Finally, using sustainable materials will make you a pioneer in the industry – you’ll be setting trends and leading into a better future which is always good for business.
Sustainable building materials to consider in 2021
Some materials we use in construction are already sustainable. Others, we haven’t been able to replace thus far. But there are many things you can try for the first time in 2021 instead of traditional building materials if you want to start building in a sustainable way. Here are some of the most popular and widely accessible choices:
Insulated concrete framing
Concrete framing isn’t a new invention in construction. In fact, commercial and residential projects both can opt for either wood or concrete framing even today. If you want to build a more environmentally friendly and sustainable home, however, you’ll opt for ICF – insulated concrete forms. Where wood leaves small gaps that allow air and moisture to travel freely, concrete is an airtight barrier. It’ll prevent unwanted energy transfer between the inside and the outside. This keeps the temperature in the home constant.
Any insulation in the home is sustainable in that it lowers the need for and expenses toward heating or cooling. However, not some batts, fillers, and sprays used for insulation are less than green. Consequently, people are turning toward more natural alternatives. One of the popular options is hemp. It has all the same properties as fiberglass or cellulose and can even be compressed for additional insulation. Other insulation materials include sheep’s wool, earth wool, and even some types of mushrooms. Who knows, in the future, landscaping companies Los Angeles may even grow their own insulation materials!
Although wood is a natural resource, bamboo is a more sustainable alternative. It takes less time to grow and thrives under different conditions. Using bamboo instead of wood would also help slow deforestation. So if you’re feeling brave, opt for bamboo flooring. It looks remarkably similar to wood, can be an interesting aesthetic choice in certain rooms, and can even be as durable as wood when treated properly.
Alternative uses of natural materials
People have been building with natural materials for literally thousands of years. Today, we don’t typically think of stone or earth as building materials. We think of them as primitive. But with modern treatment, they can be a cheap and sustainable alternative to concrete that doesn’t even lose out on the aesthetic. Rammed earth, stone, and timber are all making a comeback while wood is being used in innovative new ways such as bark siding. Don’t write these options off!
Composite roofing shingles
Instead of sheet metals, you should consider composite shingles for your roof. They are made of recycled paper products, fiberglass, and asphalt which makes them sustainable in and of themselves. But that’s not all! They are also highly durable, fireproof, windproof, impact-resistant, fade-resistant, and less susceptible to moisture. So you won’t need to put in nearly as much into maintaining or replacing them which makes them a good investment.
Solar energy has long been considered a good alternative to non-renewable sources. So if you want to be less dependent on the electricity provided by your city and county, you can install solar panels on your roof or as freestanding structures in the yard. While these wouldn’t be very effective in, for example, Seattle, they are perfect for LA where most of the year is warm and sunny. In some states, they are even tax-subsidized – the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency can provide you with more information about your specific region and the incentives they offer for using renewable energy.
Sustainable building materials are the future – be there first
Whether you are personally a fan or not, there’s no denying it: the future of the construction industry lies in sustainable building materials. The trend of using them has only been growing stronger in recent years. So if you’re in the business, you want to make the jump sooner rather than later. That way, you can become a leader in the industry early on. And if you’re a prospective homeowner, consider your future. When everyone is looking for a more eco-friendly home, you’ll have one to sell. That’s well worth the investment that green construction requires.