This is the first part of our Materials Matters blog post series. Be sure to check out the previous entries: Plumbing, Heating, Appliances, and Lighting.
Good design and construction will help you improve efficiency by limiting the amount of heat that can transfer through the exterior, but a good green home also takes usage into consideration. Your home has a long life span. Start it off right with sustainable systems and materials that enable you to keep your environmental footprint small while still living comfortably in the modern world.
Building elements are made up of all sorts of materials, and some are more eco-friendly than others. In addition to having a negative environmental impact, poor quality building materials can also affect your indoor air quality and the healthiness of your home. Make sure your builder uses materials that are labeled no- or low-VOC and do not have added formaldehyde. Some of the materials that might have unwanted toxins include:
Eco-friendly options are almost always available and have become equal or nearly equal in cost, but if your builder doesn’t know that it is important to you, they might use whatever they have on hand or the cheapest option.