chimney

Eco-Friendly Exteriors: Building a Sustainable Home from the Outside

It’s one thing to make your home more energy-efficient from the inside by installing insulation, heating and cooling systems, and ventilation. Now, you want to take your sustainability initiative up a notch by extending the eco-friendly features to your home’s exterior. But how?

Use eco-friendly construction materials

A sustainable home starts with sustainable building materials. One of the most popularly used construction materials is concrete. But did you know that cement is one of the most notorious carbon dioxide emitters? It’s the source of 8 percent of the global CO2 emissions. Since concrete is the most widely consumed resource on the planet, second to water, the carbon emission from its production is a huge problem.

You can help lessen your carbon footprint by using low-carbon concrete. Solidia Technologies introduced a low-carbon concrete that lessens the CO2 emission in the cement production by 30 percent. The company claims that this cement doesn’t emit carbon as it cures, unlike the common variety. Adding up the lowered carbon emissions in production and curing processes, Solidia’s cement has a total of 70 percent reduction in carbon footprint.

Other sustainable materials you can consider are upcycled steel, bamboo, and recycled wood.

Start with the siding

siding

The siding is an important feature of your home exterior. First, it can boost the aesthetic appeal of your home. Second, it acts as the house’s first line of defense against the weather and other outside elements. And third, it can increase your home’s energy efficiency. Improperly fitted siding can be vulnerable to moisture, dirt, bugs, and air filtration. If there are gaps between the seams, your energy efficiency may decrease.

Professional siding companies can help you choose the best material according to your goal and taste. They can ensure that the siding fits the exact dimensions of your home. A properly fitted siding can reflect the sun’s heat away from your home and prevent air infiltration.

Don’t forget the roof

Your roof can also play a part in reducing your energy use at home. You can take advantage of the chimney effect to cool your home while relying less on your cooling systems. Since hot air tends to rise, you can direct it out of your house through the roof by arranging your vents in a path. A roof vent can guarantee that the hot air has a clear exit from your home.

You can also rebuild the roof using more eco-friendly materials. Choose between a white roof, standing-seam metal, corrugated, shingle, recycled materials, green roof, rubber, or reclaimed slate.

The last option is to convert to renewable energy by installing solar roof panels on your home. Solar panels are a great investment especially in areas that get a lot of sunny days such as Kansas City, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, and others. There are a lot of considerations for installing solar roof panels. But the key factor is to make sure your roof can support this technology and that the position you want is free from any shade or obstruction.

There are plenty of ways – big or small – to increase your home exterior’s sustainability. What’s important is you’re headed in the right direction and you’re doing your part in being kinder to the environment, starting in your own home.