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Green

New-age building materials that negate age-old energy waste

Thursday, June 05, 2014   by: Greener Ideal

No matter how careful we are with turning off electrical devices in an attempt to save energy, we tend to waste some of it every single day. There is no perfect system for insulation that will keep every last particle of heated air in the home. Electronic devices are so intertwined with the modern life that it is impossible to remember to turn off every last one. Despite these energy wasting challenges, there are alternatives that can reduce the amount of energy that is lost. Newly developed materials and methods are able to counteract decades of energy waste and strive to be a more efficient option.

Lets explore a few of these option below.

LED Lighting

LED lighting used to be ridiculously expensive and therefore impossible for the average homeowner to utilize. However, those costs have dropped drastically and as a result;

  • These new, heat-less methods of lighting are being used.
  • Instead of replacing all of the old, energy-wasting incandescent light bulbs, these can be installed underneath overhanging cabinets in the kitchen and as recessed can lights because it does not produce heat and would therefore not cause a fire.

These lights are much more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and will greatly reduce a home’s energy footprint.

Increased Use of Fiberglass

Fiberglass is one of the most energy efficient materials available in the market today because of its superior insulation qualities.

  • It is able to stop heat from leaving a building, therefore reducing the amount of energy that needs to be spent to keep the house at a comfortable temperature.
  • It is increasingly common to see fiberglass doors, rather than wooden doors, because fiberglass doors are up to five times as energy efficient as the alternative materials.
  • Fiberglass window frames are also available to bring down the amount of energy that may otherwise gets wasted.

Building with Insulated Concrete Forms

Another excellent material that is being used to reduce the amount of energy waste is concrete.

  • Although concrete in itself has a very average r-value, a new trend is growing that has a layer of concrete in a wall, which provides the necessary structural support for a building, sandwiched between two layers of material that has a much higher insulation value, such as fiberglass.
  • This allows the structural integrity of the building to be maintained, as well as it’s comfort level. Buildings that have been created out of insulated concrete forms reduce a building’s energy costs by up to 20%.

Cool Roofing

Another excellent way that new materials can be used to counteract energy waste is to improve the materials that are used for roofing.

  • Because dark colors tend to absorb the rays of the sun, they tend to cause a building to absorb a lot more heat.
  • In order to save on the costs of cooling a building, light-colored, “cool” roofing materials must be used.
  • These materials have the ability to reflect the heat back and keep the building’s temperature from rising.
  • If you still prefer darker roofs, buy the ones that have been treated with a special substance also allows heat reflection.
white roof

via Walmart

Although these type of roofs cost more, the additional cost of materials can be quickly recouped by the energy saving that it will provide

Low Emissivity Windows

Low-E windows, or low emissivity windows, are windows that are specially treated with a metallic oxide to resist losing heat during winters and gaining heat during the summer.

  • This type of window coating is usually applied to the outermost storm window, or windows that do not have a double layer of panes.
  • Usually several layers of the coating are done. Soft coatings are applied between the layers of glass and the hard coatings are located on the glass that is the outermost layer.

These windows tend to be between 10% and 15% more expensive than traditional windows, but have the ability to cut the amount of heat that goes through the windows by half and reduce the amount of energy needed to keep the temperature inside a building comfortable.

Stone Siding

  • Stone siding has very high insulation properties that will ensure that heat does not easily leave the building.
  • It also keeps the building to which it is applied looking exceedingly attractive and elegant, raising the overall worth of the building tenfold.
  • Stone siding is very easy to install, so labor costs will be low, and will last for a long time, providing insulation for years to come.

By using these new age materials, you can take a step forward in making your home more energy efficient and bringing down wastage to a minimum.


Richard Campen has over 30 years of experience helping people create their dream homes. At Archway Press, Inc. you’ll find a premium collection of house plans and custom made garage plans created by country’s leading designers.

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