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!
A Tête-à-Tête With Women Leaders In Sustainability

A Tête-à-Tête With Women Leaders In Sustainability

With gender equality listed as one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we’re highlighting women leaders in sustainability who are ushering in a new era of green. Meet the women who are blazing a trail toward a healthier future through recycling paint, ecological planning and building, and helping businesses contain their environmental footprint.

Soaking, Sustainably: 11 Eco-Friendly Bathtubs Worthy of Extra Bubbles

Soaking, Sustainably: 11 Eco-Friendly Bathtubs Worthy of Extra Bubbles

The cast iron tub was invented in the 1880s, and there are many who believe it’s still the purist’s bath. It holds heat well, lasts long, and is recyclable at the end of its use. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite eco-friendly bathtubs that include cast iron and a host of natural materials.

Sustainable Building with SIPs

Sustainable Building with SIPs

You have to love SIPs! They lower construction waste, provide better insulation, reduce skilled labor costs, are more resistant to natural disasters, and speed build time. Are you using them on your next project?

Extreme Panel Energy-Saving Structural Integrated Panels

Extreme Panel Energy-Saving Structural Integrated Panels

Extreme energy savings Building with Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) from Extreme Panel Technologies is the ultimate way to build green. Extreme SIPs regularly save owners 50-60% on heating and cooling costs. The panels can be used as a complete building envelope...

My Green Mattress: The Environmentally-Friendly Mattress Made With Love

My Green Mattress: The Environmentally-Friendly Mattress Made With Love

My Green Mattress founder Tim Masters first developed an all-natural mattress for his daughter Emily, who suffered from allergies and eczema. Today, the brand is a full-blown family-owned and operated factory handcrafting sustainable mattresses that are GOTS and GOLS Organic certified, making them one of the most environmentally friendly mattresses on the market.

12 Rules for Buying Eco-Friendly Building Materials [Infographic]

12 Rules for Buying Eco-Friendly Building Materials [Infographic]

Plenty of factors determine a material’s green factor, including renewability, efficiency, resource conservation, recyclability, and more. This infographic, courtesy of BuildingGreen, gives an incredibly fresh perspective on the important factors that go into choosing sustainable materials — including some components that are often forgotten.

Reducing Exposure to Toxic Chemicals During Home Renovations

Reducing Exposure to Toxic Chemicals During Home Renovations

When it comes time to do a home renovation, it’s often easy to get swept up in creating the new design and choosing all the products. But, have you ever thought about what types of dust and contaminants you could be exposed to during demolition? Or, what types of chemicals might be released from the new products?

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.

Havelock Wool Eco Friendly Insulation

Havelock Wool Eco Friendly Insulation

You have probably heard of the phrase ‘farm to table’, but what about ‘farm to walls’? Meet Havelock Wool. Their natural wool insulation comes from sheep farms in New Zealand rather than from fossil fuels. Their raw material is both sustainable and renewable, recyclable and compostable and outperforms fiberglass, cellulose, cotton, mineral wool and foam. Their wool isn’t only good for the environment, it’s also good for your family’s health: serving as a source of air filtration, sound absorption and moisture management.

New Resources for Healthier Homes

New Resources for Healthier Homes

Our homes are—in a very real sense—our primary environment. Americans spend 87 percent of their time indoors; nearly 70 percent of that time is spent at home. So, in addition to worrying about smokestacks and waste pipes, we should focus on the chemicals that lurk in our carpet, paints, and drywall. Today, a wealth of new resources make it easier for everyone—consumers and building professionals alike—to identify and avoid exposure to toxic chemicals.

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