Are you looking for a way to reduce your carbon footprint? Are you already recycling and doing all of the other eco – friendly things yet still feel that you can do more? You are right. You can. You might be getting ready to buy a home, build a home, or add on to your existing home. There is a green way to do that. Metal buildings are not just eco – friendly, they are also cost effective.
Not Your Dad’s Steel Buildings
Back in the day, steel buildings were very easy to spot. They pretty much all looked the same. They were also pretty much used for the same things – as a warehouse, garage, or barn. Not anymore. Well, they are still used for those things, but they look much different and can be used for so much more! They have a sleek and modern look that is hard to match. And the cost?! A metal building cost, when compared to what a traditional building costs, is much less.
When it comes to being green, the manufacturing process for steel buildings is one that is greener than you might think. Also, solar panels can be easily installed on a metal roof and look great up there too. Also, the cost of going solar can be offset by the low cost of the steel building itself.
Other Green Building Materials
There are other building materials out there that are touted for being eco – friendly. Some of them seem like they have come into existence right from a children’s fairy tale. Think hemp and straw here. These are also quite risky. These risks include the biological degradation of the materials as well as the chance of infestation. Moisture can affect them, too and this can lead to a degradation of the structure itself. Also, a big, bad wolf might come and blow it down.
Speaking of green building materials, if you are building using traditional materials, consider using recycled lumber for the wall studs. You can use insulation that is made from recycled material from jeans. Materials that will last for a lifetime will reduce the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills. It also saves the resources that will be needed to replace them. Other items of this nature include things like stand and seam metal roofing, brick and stone and siding made from cement boards. You might also look at other materials that do not release toxins into the environment.
Inside the Home
Once you get your home or building erected, you will need to heat and cool it somehow. Did you know that your thermostat is responsible for as much as half of your annual energy bills? You can make your home more cost efficient and eco – friendly with a thermostat that is programmable. Most of the time, the energy companies will recommend setting your thermostat to 68 degrees when it is cold outside and 72 when it is warm. You can program any thermostat to remain at these temperatures. However, you can add 2% savings to your energy bill for each degree above 72 and below 68 you keep it.
No building is complete without plumbing. There are quite a few low flow plumbing fixtures that you might add to your building to cut down on the cost of water. These include toilets, shower heads and faucets. The most obvious place to start would be with the toilet because they are responsible for about 26% of the water that is used in homes. Now, old fashioned toilets used up to 3.5 gallons for each flush. The standard today is 1.6 gallons per flush. However, there are higher efficiency ones that use only 1.28 gallons per flush. This can save as much as 3,000 gallons per toilet on a yearly basis. That is both cost efficient and eco – friendly.
These are a few things that you might not have considered in your quest to be more eco – friendly with the design of your home. Which ones of these had you already considered? Have you considered things that weren’t on this list? Which ones did we miss?