In modern buildings, energy efficiency is often of paramount importance. Clients are demanding it more because they want to save on heating and cooling costs and also due to increased environmental awareness. Builders should take note of what materials are on the market that could address their customers’ needs so they can respond appropriately.
If the goal of energy efficiency is to create a tight seal around the home, one of the biggest factors is clearly the siding used. Some materials, like vinyl and aluminum sidings, are lower cost, but they do not offer a solid enough barrier to the elements to be considered energy efficient.
Stone and brick are very substantial but can be expensive and labor-intensive. Fiber cement siding has caught on in recent decades because it seems to bridge this gap. It provides a thick, solid barrier to insulate the home, but labor and material costs don’t get out of hand. Professional Builders Supply stocks top brands of fiber cement like James Hardie, NICHIHA and Allura.
The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association has developed a Certified Green Dealer Program to train the nation’s contractors on best practices for efficient and environmentally-friendly use of lumber in home construction. As a Certified Green Dealer, Professional Builders Supply participates in this program and has become an expert in the Carolinas on this subject.
Big lumber companies like Weyerhaeuser and Georgia-Pacific have done a lot to provide more green choices in their products. We supply their lumber along with many other companies with similarly advanced materials, including Typar, BlueLinx, LP Building Products and US Lumber.
Doors and windows
A lot of energy inefficiency in homes is due to drafty, poorly-constructed windows and doors. The exterior doors are an especially important element. Much has been done in recent years to better insulate doors with impermeable, thick layers and tighter seals to the door frame. Some brands that PBS recommends and stocks include, Jeld-Wen, Therma Tru Doors, Rogue Valley Door and Plastpro.
Lastly, making sure the home is energy efficient will depend on installing high-quality insulation. The attic, bottom floor and exterior walls should all be lined with an insulation that has a high “R-value.” Spray foam is a little more expensive but is a very effective solution. Blown-in insulation and pre-sized battens of fiberglass are also common. For more efficiency, make sure to check the R-value though before purchasing.
Professional Building Supply can help
When in doubt, Professional Building Supply has answers to your energy efficiency questions. We have multiple locations throughout the Carolinas, including the Charleston, South Carolina area and North Carolina offices in Raleigh-Durham, Wilmington and Charlotte. We are the second-fastest growing company in the Triangle region after only four years in business because contractors and builders know they can come to us with complex needs, and we come through every time. Call your local office to learn more about energy efficiency in building materials and how we can meet your needs.