New energy efficient home building construction techniques have sprung up in recent years, due to increased energy costs and government response to the crisis. New programs to encourage energy efficient construction have effectively changed building codes all over the United States, for the first time encouraging alternative energy efficient materials such as insulated concrete.
Energy Efficient Home Building Construction Techniques: Insulated Concrete
In some areas insulated concrete was not considered a proper building material until recently, despite its obvious durability. There was simply no code for it. Building inspectors and permit offices have traditionally thumbed their noses at alternative green technology, and unusual building materials. If getting a permit was difficult, then getting a loan often proved impossible, so until recently alternative green homes were not common in areas where traditional construction reigned supreme.
Today new federal government standards have been established to encourage energy efficient green building technology, and also increased durability in construction. All this has benefited green building and started a trend towards green construction over traditional stick built construction for the first time in American History.
In other countries alternative and concrete construction methods have a good hold on the housing markets and account for a large percentage of the world’s buildings. This trend has proven to be a protective element in the event of earthquakes, tidal waves, tornados and hurricanes in other parts of the world.
Energy Efficient Home Building Construction Features: Thick Walls
In earlier times in history thicker walls were common, but in recent decades wall thickness had dropped to a standard four to six inches, supported by 2 by 4 inch studs. Today’s well insulated stud walls require 2 by 6 inch studs, making the walls over eight inches thick on a traditionally built home. Even more pronounced differences appear in insulated concrete. Some insulated concrete panels feature walls up to 16 inches thick. This type of thick and durable wall has not been seen since the days when fortresses of stone were necessary to fend off siege equipment.
Energy Efficient Home Building Construction Features: Insulation
Five or six inches of either closed cell blown insulation, polyurethane or polystyrene insulation is required to make a home truly energy efficient. Radiant barrier attic insulation makes a profound difference in air conditioning costs during the summer months.
Energy Efficient Home Building Construction Features: Self Sustaining Potential with Energy Production
The use of solar panels on roofs and walls, coupled with energy saving features offers a chance for freedom from the grid, or added income from a surplus of electricity.
Energy Efficient Home Building Construction Features: Durability
An energy efficient home is a durable home. This is true because of the thicker walls and the use of concrete as well. While concrete is not a good insulator, it is very effective in preserving insulation sealed within it. Further it creates an almost indestructible home, which will stand for centuries.
Although the shortage of fossil fuel has come as a tremendous shock to our society, we will eventually benefit tremendously, in terms of superior technology, improved construction materials, and better air quality. Because we are taking action now to develop greener technology and energy efficient home building construction techniques, we will be ready to replace fossil fuels for all but a few purposes long before we run out.