Environmentally Responsible New Home Construction

New homes today clearly show that environmental responsibility, energy efficiency and healthy indoor living go hand in hand with comfort, convenience and great design.

Below are some environmentally responsible materials, products and technologies that home builders are working with today. Not all are brand-new ideas; some are improvements on old products and ideas, but given new life.

Structural

  • Sustainable building products, like certified lumber, are produced from renewable resources.
  • Composite beams and joists used in framing are made from fast-growing trees.
  • Waste from building materials is processed and incorporated in siding, sheathing and under-sheathing. 
  • Steel studs containing a significant percentage of recycled metal are used in framing, in particular interior walls. 
  • Insulation is made from an array of natural and recycled materials, from newspapers and waste glass to volcanic rock, steel slag and cotton.
  • Insulated concrete forms used in foundations and exterior walls provide high levels of energy efficiency. 
  • Slate-look roofing shingles are made with recycled plastic and rubber materials.
  • Windows offer different technical characteristics suitable for all areas of your home and all elements of exposure.

Mechanics

  • Integrated heating systems combine space heating and hot water heating in one system.
  • High-efficiency furnaces vent exhaust gases through a pipe, eliminating a chimney.
  • Radiant floor heating provides warming comfort and even heat distribution by pumping hot water through coils in the floor.
  • Zone temperature control allows different temperature settings in different areas of the house, which allows energy savings and increased comfort.
  • CFC-free air conditioning provides inside summer comfort without harming the environment.

Interior Finishes

  • New home buyers can choose from an abundance of environmentally responsible flooring options: 
    • Hardwood new or reused, with a low-toxicity finish
    • Ceramic tiles composed largely of waste glass
    • Countertops made from natural stone such as granite and marble
    • All-natural products such as linoleum, cork and bamboo
  • Trim and mouldings are made from sawmill wood wastes.
  • Totally solvent-free paints are available.