Building Green: Solutions for Sustainable Structures
In the last few decades, the shift of the public’s focus to environmental responsibility and sustainability, or “going green,” as it has come to be known, is causing wide-spread changes across virtually every industry. The building industry is no exception. Home and building owners are looking for more efficient materials and building methods to reduce their environmental impact, and to hedge operational costs by lowering energy consumption. This demand on builders to find solutions to meet the owners’ needs has surfaced multiple creative solutions. One such solution that has been used with success is Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs).
By incorporating rigid foam insulation directly into large, pre-fabricated wall and roof segments, SIPs offer an energy-efficient building envelope that provides continuous insulation and drastically reduces thermal bridging. In other words, this system radically lowers the amount of heat transfer through a building’s walls and roof. This lower heat transfer, reduces energy used for heating and cooling the building.
Ultimately a home or building constructed using SIPs – such as Premier SIPs – achieves up to 60% lower energy use to heat and cool a home, compared to other structural systems. Lower energy consumption helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduces energy costs over the life of the building. Additionally, high-performance buildings generate up to 30% higher net operating income per square foot than do traditional buildings, according to the U.S. Dept. of Energy course “The Business Case for High-Performance Buildings.”
Builders who use Premier SIPs also have a powerful way to help achieve green credentialing (LEED green building certification, Title 24 compliance, Net-Zero structures). For many of these certifications, SIPs alone help a project qualify as “certified.” For example, in LEED programs , using SIPs in a home can earn up to 46 total LEED credits, making that home “certified” with SIPs alone.
When homes qualify for environmental sustainability they also typically are eligible for numerous energy efficiency builder tax credits. The options for builder tax credits can be significant, and vary by region. Explore your tax credit options here.
Beyond tax credits, energy cost savings, Builders who have converted to SIPs framing for the building envelopes have discovered they have a major point of differentiation with their homes and buildings over competitors.
As a builder in a world of people who want to make a positive change for the environment, how do you incorporate green building into your projects?