10 Energy Efficient Materials That Architects Should Know About

Energy efficient homes are a thing of the future and an increasing number of people now prefer to design their home to reduce their energy waste. Many houses in this modern age are built to be energy efficient, without compromising on their durability. This is a welcome change and more people should be educated about why energy efficient buildings are a future that we should embrace fully. One way is to make the architects more aware because they are the ones who are going to design the house in the first place.

Why Energy Efficient Materials?

Architects should start thinking about the different ways they can do their bit for the environment and start educating more home owners to make that much needed switch to a more eco friendly house. The one easy way to make this change is by looking over at energy efficient building materials that are available now in the market. Bricks and mortars are no longer the only building materials that can be used for construction. There are many options available and you only have to take that first step towards a more green and efficient environment. To help you get started, here are some energy efficient materials that both architects and home owners should know about:

1. Steel That Is Recycled

Instead of using materials like wood to build homes, a more durable and sensible decision would be to use recycled steel. This material can be a good replacement for wood and because it is malleable, it can easily mold to any design of your choice. To put things into perspective, steel from around six scrap cars can replicate wood from as many as 50 trees. Recycled steel is particularly more helpful in areas prone to earthquakes and high speed winds.

2. Concrete Forms That Are Insulated

This material is not new but there has been a sudden interest in insulated concrete forms in the recent years. This is because they are more energy efficient than normal concrete. Here, 2 insulating plates are taken and concrete is poured between them. There are many ways this material can be used in the construction but it is most commonly used in standing walls.

3. Engineered Wood

This is a relatively newer material and therefore they are not widely used. CLT or cross laminated timber have many advantages over their wood counterparts like energy efficiency. They are also stronger and more durable than materials like recycled plastic. They are also flexible and therefore can be used in different capacities by the architect.

4. Polyurethane Foam That Is Plant Based

Insulation is important for energy efficiency and if you have heard of fiberglass insulation, we have another option that is even better. Plant based polyurethane foam is not only safe but also offers high insulation and protection from unwanted conditions like heat, moisture, pests and molding. It also eco friendly as it is made from natural products like hemp, bamboo shoots etc. For people looking for a natural replacement for all those artificial insulation, this material is the best bet.

5. Bales Of Straw

This may seem very primitive but is actually very effective and not at all medieval when it comes to resilience, strength and versatility. Straw bales have been used for a long time now because of their excellent insulation properties but unlike what most people believe, straw bales still have their many uses in the present day too! Because of their great insulation property and good plaster bonding, they can be used as an additional material to increase insulation in your homes.

6. Insulated Panels

These panels are a type of foam insulation that is placed between cement panels or ply woods. They are a great material to use because of their efficiency in saving energy and resistance to fire. You can use these panels for a variety of uses like in basements, foundations and floors. Apart from plywood and cement panels, there are a multiple number of things that can be used.

7. Plastic Lumber

This is a composite material that involves both wood fiber and plastic scraps. It is also eco friendly because they are usually maintained from waste materials. The advantages of this material are that it is handles cold weathers better, is resilient to rotting and molding. You can use it on decks outside or in your bathroom floorings.

8. Low-E Coatings on Windows 

Instead of using the normal type of glass on your windows, make your house even more energy efficient by using high performance coatings like Low-E. They will help your wood stoves installed by wood burning stove installers in Glasgow  work more efficiently and also block those harmful infrared rays in the process. This coating had a metal oxide and helps keep your house toasty warm during winters by reducing the heat flow from inside by up to fifty percent, in comparison to normal glass.

9. Vacuum Panels That Are Insulated

VIP or vacuum insulated panels are a futuristic material that is currently only used in commercial refrigeration but with a little bit of innovation could be an excellent energy efficient material for building residential properties. This includes a core panel that is enclosed in a silver textured rectangle and an air tight chamber. The heat loss is kept to the minimum and this is the reason why this material is an excellent material for insulation. Research is still pending and therefore it will be quite a few years before this material can be used profitably as an insulation material.

10. Green Roofs

A vegetative roofing system is becoming popular because of its water resistant properties. These roofs also last longer, are more energy efficient and are eco friendly because of the materials used in these roofs. They are efficient against UV rays and are therefore becoming popular.

Some of them have been installed for more than thirty years now, without any major problems.
So the above were some energy efficient materials that you everyone should know about to take a more responsible path in the future.

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