The topic of climate change is definitely front and center as of late. Our governments, as well as ourselves, are all trying to do better and must now think of adapting our choices to being eco responsible.

When choosing to build green, you will be faced with many options and some like natural wood seem like the best option until you dig further.  

Here are 6 factors to consider when building green:

1. Material

A few questions to ask yourself when choosing your siding material, is it toxic or biodegradable? Is it man made or natural is it certified green?

2. Labor

Selecting a material that is heavy, difficult to source will entail more energy to transport as well a more energy to install.

3. Energy efficiency

When choosing your cladding options you might hear the term R Value. This is the capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow, allowing you to save on your energy consumption.

4. Recyclability

Is the material being used sourced from a recycled or reclaimed material? Can your leftover siding be recycled? It is estimated that approximately 10-15% of your cladding will be left over after the install, wouldn’t it be great if it could be used somehow.

5. Manufacturing

What processes are required to manufacture the siding? For example the process of making bricks uses an incredible amount of energy in the baking stage of manufacturing.

6. Locally Sourced

Sourcing your materials locally versus having it shipped across the country is one of the fundamentals of building green.

A 2018 Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) study has compared vinyl siding to other cladding materials and has found that it is one of the most sustainable choices (second to natural cedar) . Opting for vinyl siding means less waste, less risk to human health, as well as low emissions in transport due to its low weight. Adding an insulated foam backer will also increase its energy efficiency.

Take a look at this video created by the Vinyl Siding Institute and see the ecofriendly benefits of vinyl cladding: 

When researching your siding options make sure to ask your builder or contractor these questions, and read up on how different materials will impact the environment. Building green will be the norm in a few years, this will push everyone to build and manufacture in an eco-conscious way. 

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