Building a new home, or renovating your old one? Here’s your chance to implement eco-friendly designs and materials that reduce energy consumption and greenhouse emissions. Sustainable homes are not only great for the environment, but for your pocket as well in the long run. An efficient sustainable home is one that uses minimal energy to heat, cool, light and run appliances. In order to make a home ‘sustainable’, you need to make an informed decision and choose from the various types of building materials available and their utility as well as function. At present, there are numerous misconceptions of how ineffective or expensive eco-friendly building materials are, and through this article, we will address these misconceptions.
Structures For Which To Procure Eco-friendly Building Materials
The choice of building materials that are used to make one’s home is crucial for its overall sustainability and energy efficiency. While building or redesigning, basic building materials are used for structures such as walls, roofing and internal facades. By using appropriate eco-friendly and green building materials, taking into account the location and heating/cooling requirements, you can reduce your consumption of electricity to counter the natural heat/cold temperature outside.
Walls form the outer and inner shells of the home, and are crucial for insulation and structural integrity. If you use Porotherm Vertically Perforated Clay Bricks as load bearing bricks, then you reduce the dependency on RCC (Reinforced Cement Concrete) columns for the structure, as well as allow better insulation for the insides. These particular type of bricks have exceptional thermal insulation, sound insulation and are manufactured using natural materials thereby reducing the adverse impact on environment further.
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You could also use Porotherm Thermo Bricks, designed specifically to reduce electricity bills for heating and cooling. These bricks by Weinerberger are a specifically designed walling solution which allows the insides to remain cool when it is hot outside and warm when it is cold outside by acting as an insulator. By using these types of insulated walling materials, you don’t need to spend additionally on insulation materials once the walling is done. More advantages, in addition to excellent insulation are:
- healthy living due to natural materials;
- light-weight, aiding in faster construction due to easy handling;
- high compressive strength adding to structural safety;
- fire resistant and longevity due to minimal maintenance requirements; and
- eco-friendly and accredited by the Indian Green Building Council.
Walls forming the outer shell of your home are likely to take up the maximum building material required. Choosing the bricks with care and utility in mind, such as Porotherm products mentioned above, can be the difference between a sustainable build which offers comfort as well as energy savings through insulation.
Roofing materials can help in insulation or heat dissipation, based on your requirements, thereby reducing electricity usage for cooling or heating, as the case may be. However, the most important aspect that roofing materials need to address is waterproofing, in addition to aesthetics.
In this context, Koramic Roof Solutions, which is available in a wide variety of color and texture options, offers the complete package. With added advantages due to technological know-how that Wienerberger has acquired over the past century, these clay roof tiles are made from naturally occurring materials thereby even reducing the impact on nature during the manufacturing phase. There are several advantages of using clay tiles versus other materials, namely:
- Clay tiles offer superior water protection as they tend to absorb far less water than concrete and even lower than other materials;
- They are better for health since low water absorption implies lower chances of developing mold and mildew, further reducing the chances of allergic reactions;
- They are lightweight, easier to handle and therefore require lesser reinforcement to the supporting structures, reducing construction time and cost even more;
- Due to their light weight and propensity to absorb lesser water, clay roofing materials require lesser maintenance as well; and
- Clay roof tiles are known to have a longer life than concrete tiles, lasting for up to 100 years.
The biggest advantage, besides being long lasting and extremely durable is that clay tiles have natural insulating properties. Therefore, especially in a tropical country like India, it will keep the inside of your home cooler when it’s warm and disallow heat loss in the cold season.
For any sustainable building, the design and building materials used for the façade have a major impact on achieving the sustainability goal. Façades, intelligently designed and built from sustainable materials, have a direct impact in energy consumption for lighting as well as heating or cooling. Products such as Argeton and Aspect Clay Ventilated Façades are examples of façades constructed from naturally occurring materials which are purpose built for aiding insulation and utilization of natural lighting. Advantages of clay built façades, similar to clay roof tiles are:
- Lightweight and easy to handle;
- Better for health and use of non-toxic materials in construction;
- Low maintenance requirements than compared to glass, wood or concrete, and longer life span;
- Lastly and most importantly, a clay façade has greater insulating properties than other comparable materials.
How Are These Building Materials Environment and Pocket Friendly?
All of the clay based building materials mentioned above, as is evident, are made from clay which is a naturally occurring material. The manufacturing process for clay products does not use or release any toxic fumes or produce any toxic waste, as all that is needed is water, heat and pressure. While it may seem too simple, the tiles produced by Wienerberger are manufactured using a process that has been perfected over the greater part of a century. These products are even recyclable, if required at a later date, since clay is a natural substance.
As far as economy is concerned, due to the insulating properties of clay products, it reduces energy consumption for heating or cooling, and therefore, reduces the expense on the same. Manufactured with highly specialized technology, the clay tiles and bricks have a very long lifespan and need little to no maintenance during their lifetime, making them even more pocket friendly in the long run.
Sustainable building is not just about building a home which uses lesser energy and costs less to heat/cool, but also about the materials used for building the home and their impact on the environment. By removing the need for concrete, steel and RCC, one can effectively reduce the environmental impact of the construction phase as well as after it. By using products made in a sustainable manner, such as those by Wienerberger, one can construct their dream home in a sustainable manner, to last longer, with little to zero maintenance and even reduce energy cost for heating and cooling.
Speak to our construction expert today to know more about sustainable and energy efficient home construction.