Eco-Friendly Construction Methods Are Available For Those Seeking Truly ‘Green’ Homes

From watering the grass in the front yard to replacing shingles on the roof,  the modern home isn’t exactly resource-friendly. It takes a lot of products to keep a home in good condition. Unless you want to deal with deterioration, there are few routes available except to fix the hole in your roof, chipped paint on your walls and floors that are wearing out. Fixing these defects often means going to the local hardware and home goods store and purchasing products that were likely built out of finite resources harvested from the earth.

However, the construction process is one of the few times that new homeowners can have a say on what’s going into their home and how it will affect the environment later on down the line. This area of focus has long been of considerable interest to me.

Treated wood is an important weapon in maintaining your most important financial interest – your house.  Today’s wood preservatives are environmentally friendly and help consumers achieve a green housing solution.   An integrated pest management (IPM) program is the best approach and uses proper building practices, treated wood, and safe insecticides.  Below are a few tips that today’s consumers facilitate sound building practices and ensure that they are building the most “green” home possible.

  • Reduce, then re-use: Reclaimed lumber is one of the best ways to reduce your impact when it comes to cutting down trees, treating them with chemicals to increase longevity then hauling them to the trash heap one day. Construction experts have indicated that “reclaimed” wood from demolished buildings is a great way to give a second life to this mass-produced construction material.  Also, this wood often looks great and increases the home value.
  • Keeping warm: The typical insulation that’s packed into the walls of a home is made primarily of fiberglass and can cause respiratory problems if you’re handling it too rough. Eco-friendly construction proponents indicate that there are alternatives on the market that will still help you keep warm in the winter. They include wool, bio-based spray foam and repurposed plastics, newspapers and even blue jeans!
  • Washed away: The common asphalt-based shingles that are used in the U.S. also contain oils that are washed away over time. Those oils are hardly environmentally-friendly, so it’s important to find a way to protect what’s in your home while employing a renewable resource. Some alternatives to the standard shingle are recycled metal, slate or clay tiles or a “green” roof.

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is the President of DrToddShupe.com and is a well recognized expert on wood-based housing and building materials, wood decay and degradation, and wood science. Shupe worked as a professor and lab director at LSU for over 20 years. He is active in several ministries including his Christian blog ToddShupe.com. Todd is the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men, and Board Member for Gulf South Men and a Team Leader for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church.