Materials

Things like caulk and insulation are certainly not the sexiest things to think about when you’re building or renovating, but it doesn’t make them any less important. Every material you use – from green roof systems to eco friendly foundations – has an impact on the environment and often your health, as well. Plus, despite what you might think, there are some very interesting, wow-worthy eco friendly house building materials to consider these days. Here are some examples:

  • Recycled denim insulation – Better for the environment, better thermal performance, better acoustics control, better for indoor air quality, and easier to install since it’s doesn’t irritate skin or your respiratory system. Why would we let any denim end up in a landfill when it’s such an incredible resource?
  • Solar shingles – These little guys harvest energy just like solar panels, but they’re easier to install. Just like their bulkier big brothers, they’re tax-subsidized, they protect the roof, and they can potentially be profitable (if you capture more energy than you need).
  • Bark siding and shingles – This material is truly amazing. When processing lumber, the bark is typically discarded as debris, burned, or in some cases used to make mulch. Using bark as sustainable building materials rescues it from this fate and provides a highly sustainable alternative to traditional siding and shingling materials. Bark siding can last 75 to 100 years without any painting, sealant, or regular maintenance. (Unbelievable, right?) The absence of paint or stain means there’s never any chemical runoff. Plus, the kiln- drying process sterilizes it against fungus and pests (meaning no pesticides or other harmful chemicals are required). Also, bark that is kiln-dried will never warp or shrink upon installation. Incredible!
7 Simple Steps to Decarbonize Your Home

7 Simple Steps to Decarbonize Your Home

With the climate crisis accelerating, we must minimize the carbon load of our buildings. This means reducing the embodied carbon that is used to create the materials that go into our buildings as well as the emissions of the buildings in operation.

10 Eco Building Materials Revolutionizing Home Construction

10 Eco Building Materials Revolutionizing Home Construction

Want to hear some good news? According to the World Green Building Trends 2018 report from Dodge Data and Analytics, green building is officially a “global trend” and energy conservation is a top priority for people all over the planet. There are many choices of new (and old) materials which are being used in revolutionary ways.

7 Green Building Trends Home Buyers Are Helping To Set

7 Green Building Trends Home Buyers Are Helping To Set

“Eco-friendly” is getting a chic makeover. From innovation in materials to major curb appeal to biophilia and bringing the outdoors in, these sustainable trends are leading the charge when home buyers are hunting for their next home.

How to Choose Materials for a Sustainable Landscape

How to Choose Materials for a Sustainable Landscape

This article was originally posted on Landscape for Life. Every material or product in a garden or landscape has environmental, economic and human health impacts. Landscape materials can cause environmental damage even before they are installed in a garden. Harvesting...

Sustainable Home Gyms: How to Set Up Your Own

Sustainable Home Gyms: How to Set Up Your Own

Setting up your own sustainable home gym lets you keep fit while staying environmentally friendly. Focus on where your equipment and furnishings came from; what’s in them; and flexibility and efficiency in how they’re used. You’ll be surprised at how great you can feel about feeling great.

I.M. Pei’s Modernist Legacy Lives On In This Eco Renovation

I.M. Pei’s Modernist Legacy Lives On In This Eco Renovation

I.M. Pei and Araldo Cossutta’s modernist architecture extended to Hyde Park, Chicago in 1961 with the design of the now-historic University Park Condominium. Elemental Green enlisted local architect Richard Kasemsarn to help give one of the penthouse units a green makeover while staying true to its modernist beginnings.

Elemental Green Founder Sheridan Foster Dishes on #EcoRenovate

Elemental Green Founder Sheridan Foster Dishes on #EcoRenovate

Are you planning to renovate your home? The product choices you make can have a huge impact on your health and the planet. Elemental Green’s Founder and CEO Sheridan Foster gives us some such examples as she walks us through our first branded renovation in Chicago’s Hyde Park.

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