Sustainable construction has become very important to many clients, and construction companies that don’t look into sustainable building methods are going to find themselves losing contracts.
Some people believe moving to this approach is a major investment in time and money, but it doesn’t have to be. Many sustainable methods require only small changes, such as looking into concrete form rental options to build green homes.
Let’s take a look at how concrete forms contribute to sustainable construction.
What Is Sustainable Construction?
Sustainable construction, at its core, simply means using resource-efficient methods that are environmentally responsible. This means reusing materials whenever possible and minimizing the impact on the environment.
Sustainable construction methods aren’t restricted to the construction phase of a building, however. Instead, a sustainable building should use environmentally friendly methods throughout its lifecycle, including during maintenance, future renovations, and daily use.
Insulated Concrete Forms
One of the current methods of sustainable construction is to make use of insulated concrete forms. These materials are LEED certified and provide a number of benefits to the homeowners or building owners.
Of course, builders benefit, too. Using sustainable techniques is likely to bring in new clients who care about the environment. Using insulated concrete forms can also reduce costs. Traditional building materials are increasing in cost, so renting concrete forms is often much more affordable. There are no special tools needed to make use of them, either.
Benefits to Homeowners
In addition to protecting the environment, many homeowners are interested in the improvements to their quality of life that sustainable homes bring. The building materials are safer and don’t contain anything that can set off allergies or other health issues.
Insulated concrete forms reduce noise pollution, providing a more comfortable living experience for those near busy highways or who have loud neighbors.
Monthly operating costs are also lower because these concrete forms are very energy-efficient and have R-values of up to R37, one of the higher insulation options currently available. These forms also create an incredibly durable home that will survive the wear and tear of the elements and daily use.
Insulated Concrete Forms Are Considered One of the Top “Green” Materials
There are a number of reasons why insulated concrete forms have become such a popular green building material. One reason is that the forms themselves are fully recyclable. They can be created from recycled materials, then recycled themselves once their lifespan comes to an end.
This is not only a sustainable form of building, but it also brings with it a number of cost savings. Even the fossil fuel that is used in creating these forms, polystyrene, uses very little oil—0.1% of one barrel is needed to create the polystyrene webs used in these forms.
The steel bars used inside the forms can be made from 99% recycled steel and other materials. The concrete used to fill the forms can also be made using recycled slag. All of the waste involved is recyclable, as well, allowing crews to lower their contribution to landfills and reduce their overall methane emissions.
Energy-efficiency is another reason why insulated concrete forms have become so popular. They are one of the industry leaders in reducing energy use. According to one study, a home built using insulated concrete forms uses 44% less energy for heating and 33% less energy for cooling than a home built with wood-frame walls, even if the two have similar insulation R-values.
This is due to the panels of foam insulation used in the forms, the low amount of air filtration, and the thermal lag that keeps the interior temperature comfortable even when the exterior temperature has greatly increased or decreased.
Want to Know More About Insulated Concrete Forms?
If you’re interested in learning more about this type of concrete form or want to discuss renting them, contact Forming America today.