Sustainable building has become a key focus in modern home design. Many Americans who are building a new home want one that is environmentally sound during the construction process and once it's completed and operating as a dwelling. For this reason, a lot of time and research is put into finding the right materials that will provide these core values of sustainability.
Concrete is an enduringly popular choice of building material. It's durable, versatile and cost-effective. You may be surprised to know that it's also a highly sustainable material with many outstanding eco-credentials. If you're considering using concrete in the construction of your new home, then here are four reasons why it's an excellent environmentally friendly option.
1. Concrete Is an Efficient Resource
Unlike many other building materials, concrete represents an efficient and low-impact use of resources. The main component of concrete is limestone, which is an abundant, natural and clean mineral that requires very little processing.
The remaining components of concrete are often recycled materials that are waste products from the manufacturing and processing industries. This often includes old concrete, which is crushed and used as an aggregate for binding in new concrete structures.
2. Concrete Is an Efficient Thermal Mass
Thermal mass refers to a material's ability to absorb and hold heat. This includes heat created from the interior of a home and also from exterior sources like the sun. Concrete has excellent thermal mass capabilities, which adds significantly to its sustainability rating. It's also a highly effective insulator, which can be further enhanced by adding extra insulation materials to the mix.
Using concrete means your home will stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer, which will reduce or even eradicate your need to run energy-consuming heating and cooling appliances. As well as lowering your home's energy consumption, this will also reduce your electricity costs by a significant amount.
3. Concrete Is a Low Waste Material
Another key attribute of a sustainable material is limiting the amount of waste and byproducts that are produced during its manufacture and installation. Many building products such as timber, steel and vinyl create a lot of waste that detracts from their success as an eco-friendly material.
Concrete is a virtually waste-free material. It can be mixed and installed in precise amounts, eradicating excess production and wastage. Concrete is also completely recyclable, with various uses available for both accidental overproduction of liquid concrete and set concrete that is no longer needed.
4. Concrete Will Last a Lifetime
Another important feature of a sustainable building material is its durability and effective lifespan. Many other building materials may be cheaper to use and may at first glance appear to be a more environmentally choice than concrete, straw bales or mud brick for example. However, these materials will need replacing regularly, even with a considerable amount of maintenance.
Concrete will more than likely outlast the time you spend living in your home and will also stay strong and secure for many generations to come. It's resistant to fire, flooding, insect infestation, rot and weather damage. Concrete is an investment that will pay you back with its performance over many years by saving you the time, money and resources needed to replace it.
If concrete sounds like it could be the ideal sustainable building material for your new home, then contact the team at BMH Concrete Inc. to learn more about getting quality concrete at affordable prices. With a combined 30 years of experience in the concrete industry, our knowledgeable staff can refer you to an experienced concrete contractor and help you learn more about how concrete provides a strong, sustainable and comfortable family home.