The benefits of building with sustainable materials.
Sustainability has become a buzzword in the construction industry, and for a good reason. Building with sustainable materials not only helps to preserve our natural resources and minimize environmental impact, but it also brings many other benefits to both homeowners and builders. We understand the importance of sustainable materials and encourage the use of such materials in all our projects.
In recent years, individuals have become more aware of the impact of their actions on the environment, especially concerning a homes influence. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) report titled “What Home Buyers Really Want” states that while 78% of house-hunters express concern for the planet, only 15% are willing to pay extra for a home that is marketed as environmentally friendly. This is an indication of the static interest in sustainable materials and construction practices. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), buyers are more willing to pay extra for a home if they are aware that it will result in yearly savings on utility costs. The report indicates that 57% of buyers are willing to pay an additional $5,000 or more, in addition to the cost of the home, to save $1,000 a year in utility expenses.
One of the benefits of building with sustainable materials is that they are long-lasting and require minimal maintenance. This can save homeowners a lot of money in the long run. For instance, using metal roofs instead of traditional asphalt shingles can save up to 40% on energy costs. Also, metal roofs have a longer lifespan, which means they require fewer replacements, saving money on repairs and exchanges. Internally, during the 2021 fiscal year, 30% of our clients requested metal roofs for their homes or structures to capture these long-term savings. Metal roofing in its versatility can be used as roofing, its intended purpose, or as siding. Many structures that utilize metal roofing as siding experience better heat deflection as opposed to other materials. The metals ability to reflect heat operates as a shield to the home’s sub-structure moreover that of the abilities of asphalt shingles. Comparably, on a 90° summer day, painted-metal roofs can reach a temperature of 105° to 115°, whereas asphalt shingle roofs can reach temperatures of up to 168° or more depending on color. The temperature deviation exists because of painted-metal’s ability to deflect the sun’s rays far more effectively than asphalt shingles.
Another benefit of sustainable materials is their energy efficiency. Sustainable materials such as insulated concrete forms (ICFs), for example, have a higher insulation value than traditional materials.
Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) are a construction technology that uses rigid foam insulation blocks as a form for poured concrete walls. The blocks interlock to create a continuous insulated concrete wall that provides excellent thermal insulation, soundproofing, and durability. ICFs are an energy-efficient and sustainable construction method that has gained popularity due to their ease of construction, durability, and energy-saving benefits. ICFs can reach R-values from R-22 and beyond.
ICFs can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 47%, making them an attractive choice for homeowners who want to reduce their energy bills. Although, all this information taken lightly could result in sticker shock when inquiring of a project estimate.
In addition to their benefits for homeowners, sustainable materials are also good for the environment. For example, using materials such as bamboo, reclaimed wood, and recycled steel reduces the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere during the manufacturing process. Sustainable materials also promote sustainable forestry and responsible sourcing practices.
Recent data shows that sustainable materials are becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry. According to the 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study conducted by Booz Allen and released by the USGBC, the green building industry contributed over $134.3 billion in labor income to American workers. The study indicated that the growth rate of green construction surpassed that of conventional construction and was projected to rise significantly, resulting in over 3.3 million U.S. jobs by 2018, generating $190.3 billion in labor earnings. The study also estimated the industry’s direct contribution to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would reach $303.5 billion from 2015-2018.
The use of sustainable materials is also becoming more common in our every-day, residential construction. According to the NAHB, over 80% of home builders use energy-efficient windows, and 53% use energy-efficient appliances in their projects. The use of solar panels is also becoming more common, with 29% of home builders incorporating them into their designs.
Despite the growing popularity of sustainable materials, many people are still not aware of their benefits. The NAHB survey found that only 9% of homebuyers are familiar with sustainable materials, and, in the same study, that only 2% are willing to pay more for them. This highlights the need for more education and awareness about sustainable materials and their benefits.
Xtreme Builders is committed to using sustainable materials in all our projects. We understand that building with sustainable materials not only benefits the environment but also brings long-term benefits to homeowners. By using sustainable materials, we help to reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to a better sustained future for all.
In conclusion, building with green materials is not just a trend, but a compulsory step towards a more sustainable product and future. The benefits of sustainable materials go beyond just energy efficiency and cost savings; they contribute to a healthier living environment and a more sustainable planet. As the construction industry continues to embrace sustainable materials, it is important for homeowners and builders alike to recognize their importance and act accordingly.
Quint, R. (2021). What Home Buyers Really Want – National Association of Home Builders. What Home Buyers Really Want. Retrieved May 8, 2023, from https://www.nahb.org/-/media/NAHB/news-and-economics/docs/housing-economics-plus/special-studies/2021/special-study-what-home-buyers-really-want-march-2021.pdf