Choosing the Right Materials for Green Building

Green building principles are being adopted by an increasing number of architects and contractors, fueled by the demands of more environmentally conscious consumers. One primary focus of green building principles is the choice of the raw materials used in the construction of new houses. Timber harvested by selective cutting from sustainable forests, the use of woods salvaged during the demolition of old homes and outbuildings, and other materials from easily renewable resources are hallmarks of an ecologically sound building.

Materials used in finishing work can meet the standards of ecological housing design while adding a sense of aesthetics to the home. Flooring and cabinetry made from exotic materials including bamboo and palm wood add a unique design element while meeting the requirement of renewable materials.

Choosing the right insulation for a new building can contribute to the enjoyment of the home in two ways. First, insulation that doesn’t result in “outgassing,” or the release of toxic fumes into the air, enhances the air quality within the home. Also, sufficient insulation can make a huge positive impact on the energy efficiency of the home, for an increased level of comfort and substantial energy savings-great for the wallet and the environment.

As green building techniques evolve, new materials are developed and old materials are used in new ways. The result is increasingly sophisticated designs that minimize the industry’s impact on the environment while providing safe, comfortable, and enjoyable living and working space for their inhabitants.

Aldene Fredenburg is a freelance writer living in southwestern New Hampshire. She has written numerous articles for local and regional newspapers and for a number of Internet websites, including Tips and Topics. She expresses her opinions periodically on her blog, http://beyondagendas.blogspot.com

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