Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sustainable Building Products for Your Home

Building a new home or renovating an existing one? You might want to consider using sustainable building products. Sustainable building products have come down in price over the past few years. You may be able to receive a tax credit for using them. And you’ll be doing a large part to help the environment.

Giant Bamboo in EcuadorImage via WikipediaWhat Are Sustainable Building Products?

Sustainable building products are products that are easily replenished. They come from sustainable resources. One example is bamboo. Anyone who has a stand of bamboo in their backyard can testify that bamboo grows very quickly, and any plants that are cut down are quickly replenished.

Another example might be solar cells. They’re not made of sustainable materials. However, they produce sustainable energy. They harness the sun’s power and convert it into electricity in your home.

What Qualifies a Building Product as Sustainable?

There are no certification boards to stamp something as sustainable. However you can look for a few keywords to help you make a decision. Some keywords include:

* Recycled Content
* Low-Emitting Materials
* FSC certified
* Zero VOC emissions
* Energy savings
* Low flow – water savings

Where Can You Find Sustainable Building Products?

Depending on your home project you may be able to find much of what you need at your local home store. For example, if you’re remodeling your home you might choose:
* Cork
* Cement
* Bamboo

Bamboo flooring(,...Image via WikipediaThese work well for flooring or countertop options.

You might also choose to utilize reclaimed wood products or reclaimed appliances. In many communities you can find a facility that takes:

* Countertops,
* Cabinets,
* Appliances
* And even things like toilets, faucets and sinks.

You can often repurpose or refinish these items to use in your home project.

Consider also low emissions products when you’re painting or using an adhesive. Even carpet adhesives can be sustainable and environmentally friendly. Or, they can be toxic to your health. And most carpet installation companies offer both low emission adhesives and the standard adhesives.

If you’re planning a large project you might consider consulting with a green architect, contractor, or designer. They can help you get professional discounts on sustainable home building products. These discounts can really add up.

Before you begin any home building project, the first step is to plan. Take a look at the resources your project requires, then explore your options. Where can you use sustainable and environmentally friendly products? Where can you find them locally? How much will they cost? How much will they save? Remember many states are offering tax incentives and credits for sustainable building projects.

Remodeling or building a home is an exciting time. You can make sure your home is a source of pride. Using sustainable building products can make it look great and do your part to help the environment at the same time. It’s a win win!
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