How To Make Sure Your Home Includes Energy Efficient Materials
With so many different products out there that have the “Energy Efficient” and “Sustainable” label slapped on them, it can be quite misleading as to what combination of materials actually works best.
Every energy efficient home is unique and making sure that you use the right types of building materials in the right areas has a huge impact on the comfort and efficiency of the home.
Not to mention, the combination of materials can have a huge bearing on the cost to build.
In addition to this, if you use the latest and greatest in materials, and they aren’t put together properly, then you can end up with a house that doesn’t perform anywhere near what you expected.
There are two main considerations when selecting building materials for energy efficient performance;
- Thermal Mass
Insulation is a barrier to the transfer of heat or cold. The effectiveness of insulation is indicated by it’s R-value. The higher the R-value the more insulation the material should provide.
Insulation comes in many different forms such as;
- Bulk insulation (insulation batts)
- Blanket insulation (such as is used in roofs)
- Foam insulation (usually fixed to the structure of the house and made from EPS, XPS or PIR)
- Reflective Foil Laminates (such as Aircell)
Thermal Mass is any material with the ability to accumulate heat and then release it when the heat source is removed (the same thing occurs with a cold source).
Examples of thermal masses are; brick, concrete, steel, stone, clay or concrete roof tiles, rammed earth, water or Phase Change Material.
Thermal mass is not a source of insulation, so when using it to build walls, it must be insulated at least externally to prevent significant summer heat gain.
When designing a home, the use of thermal mass must be carefully planned.
In a well designed home the use of exposed concrete and internal brick can play a huge role in passive heating and cooling.
It can also assist in maintaining an even temperature without the need for air conditioning.
Would you like to find out more about how we choose the right materials for your energy efficient home?
Click the link below to download our full guide on Energy Efficient Materials right now!