Two LEED-certified homes side by side - 3 eco-friendly building materials for the exterior of your home

Anyone who prides themselves on practicing a green lifestyle knows that sometimes creativity is necessary to make up for a lack of sustainable products on the market. Fortunately, home building suppliers have begun developing products that meet sustainable living goals.

When it comes to construction options, consumers are no longer limited to a measly selection of eco-friendly products, as in years past. Now, there’s an assortment of environmentally friendly innovations to choose from, which means your entire house can flaunt sustainability.

When it comes to exterior home designs, there are a number of exciting opportunities that will satisfy eco-conscious home builders. Whether you’re just getting started with foundational plans or are already selecting finishing touches, like house siding, be sure to investigate at least some of these options.

Read on to discover three ways to design a home with eco-friendly exterior materials.

Use sustainable siding

Siding plays an integral role in any home’s appearance and well-being. Often the first noticeable feature from the street, stylish siding can make a lovely welcoming impression on guests.

It’s also important that siding is durable, because it’ll need to withstand harsh weather elements like wind and hail, as well as accidental impact, such as scraping from a fallen tree branch or shifting ladder. Damage to house siding in the form of punctures, scratches and the fading of colour can cause a home’s appearance to plummet. Holes can also cause leaks to enter the home and decrease its energy efficiency level.

There are now many eco-friendly options for house siding on the market. These new materials, which include fibre cement siding, have been designed with durability and style as the main priorities, so that your home can be both beautiful and efficient for years to come.

Many house siding selections are LEED certified, meaning that they meet the criteria recommended by the U.S. Green Building Council that will result in an optimal sustainability quota. Some of these requirements include using regionally sourced materials, practicing healthy recycling habits in production facilities, and demonstrating resistance to damage caused by termites and other wood-boring insects.

Fibre cement house siding is often a go-to choice that embodies eco-friendly exterior building materials.

Maximize energy efficiency with ICF

Another main focus in the green home industry is increased energy efficiency within exterior design plans. Energy efficiency plays a significant role in reducing a home’s carbon footprint. By using building materials that help regulate internal building temperature, smart eco-friendly homes (like ICF homes) also come with low utility costs in relation to other dwellings—saving money and the planet at the same time.

One way to make a building more energy efficient is to use insulating materials within the construction of walls to help regulate temperature. Additionally, another game-changing building strategy that has recently hit the market is the development of insulated concrete forms (ICF).

ICF homes are exploding in popularity because their insulated material design allows for increased energy efficiency while their concrete forms ensure premium durability and strength. By passively maintaining the building temperature, ICF homes are a low-maintenance option for eco-friendly living. Furthermore, ICF building blocks are termite-resistant and moisture-resistant, making them a durable material that will provide long-lasting, high-quality performance.

Explore wood alternatives

Lots of homeowners love the look of wood house siding, because it carries a classic, cozy, welcoming appearance that’s perfect for a beautiful home front.

However, traditional wood siding isn’t considered an eco-friendly building choice. Designers and material suppliers have recognized this conflict for years, and they’ve finally developed a solution that allows eco-conscious homeowners to enjoy gorgeous wood house siding without sacrificing sustainability.

By using an innovative bio-based liquid treatment that enhances wood, some manufacturers are able to provide performance-boosting wood house siding as a green alternative to traditional wood materials. Wood panels that have received this liquid application feature increased strength, durability, and resistance to damage from water, insects, impact and sunlight.

This cutting-edge wood house siding doesn’t fade, splinter, peel or rot, meaning you won’t waste additional resources by trying to replace damaged boards or repaint faded sections. Ultimately, over time, you’ll save resources and cut out material waste. By increasing long-term sustainability, enhanced wood house siding is a fantastic building technique to consider when creating exterior design plans.

Be proud of your green home

Don’t limit your green lifestyle to daily habits—you can integrate your eco-friendly goals into home construction plans, too. If sustainable living is a priority in your home, be sure to consider the eco-friendly building materials above, as they’re all perfectly suitable for exterior applications. You’ll be proud of the results!

For more on sustainable building, check out Issues that Come up When Buying and Building a Green Home>>

Zach Williams

image: Wikimedia Commons

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