Environmentally friendly practices are trending everywhere — from our food to our clothing to our homes. Improved practices in the construction industry today reflect the greening of building codes across Canada, and are seen in advancements in window daylighting, insulation, air infiltration, and new wall-building materials.

But if you want to reap all of the benefits of an eco-friendly home, choose methods and materials that are even more energy efficient than building code minimums. If you want lowered energy consumption, more conservation, and increased property value, be sure to choose a builder with a demonstrable record in eco-responsibility.

“A huge step forward is to replace the traditional wood framing of your house with what we call ICFs, insulated concrete forms,” recommends Keven Rector at Nudura, a leading name in this technology.

More than a win for the environment, an eco-conscious home also has the following surprising benefits for you and your family:

1. Maximum energy efficiency. With growing energy costs, building an insulated concrete form house is more energy efficient and can save you significant amounts of money on a yearly basis. Walls that reduce outdoor air infiltration greatly optimize energy performance.

2. Safety from natural disasters. “Our advanced Canadian design combines two panels of thick (EPS) foam with the structural strength and thermal mass of concrete,” Rector explains. “The resulting envelope immediately gives your house wind resistance up to 402 kilometres per hour.” A home built with this concrete system is also fire resistant for up to four hours.

3. Less outside noise. If you have noisy neighbours or live near trains or high-traffic areas, this one’s for you — ICF construction acts as an effective sound barrier, dampening sound vibrations and filtering out unwanted noise.

4. A more comfortable space. Outside cold can easily travel through a typical wood-framed wall, causing thermal bridging and creating uncomfortable cold spots inside your home. If you build the envelope of your house with concrete instead of wood, you can say goodbye to cold spots, drafts, and even mould.

5. A faster building time. All new homeowners can’t wait to get into their new house, but construction delays often postpone move-in dates. But ICF construction takes up less shipping space, requires less manpower at the site, and the assembly is faster than wood framing. Time-strapped builders and eager homeowners benefit equally from this efficiency, taking you to that new-house smell that much sooner.

If you want your builder to use ICFs, be sure to discuss it early in the plans. Find more information online at nudura.com.

Source: www.newscanada.com