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Going Green With Your Denver Home!

There is a new trend in construction – building with environmental concerns in mind. In this article, we cover going green with insulation in a structure.

Insulation is one of the more urgent green issues in construction. Proper insulation can have such an important role in the reduction of energy waste in a home. The well insulated home holds in the heat and keeps out the cold. Today, with the wide spread use of air conditioning, the opposite is just as true and just as critical. Asbestos and vermiculite, compound containing asbestos, have been widely used as insulating materials. It was efficient and easy to install. It was flame retardant. There were many reasons that made it the popular choice. It was, however, highly toxic.

The story of asbestos insulation is a good example of the totality of the green construction movement. The concept is not about trade offs. We do not pollute our water in order to have more material goods from our factories. We do not foul our air to have less expensive automobiles. We also do not risk our health to have an inexpensive insulation, regardless of how efficient it might be or how well it prevents fires.

There are alternatives, and when we approach these alternatives from the perspective of totality, we often find they are better and less expensive anyway. In the case of insulation, one good example is insulation made from recycled cotton. The cotton insulation is 100 percent recyclable and it is non-toxic. The manufacturing process uses less energy than the manufacturing of asbestos products or even fiber glass insulation.

Another alternative insulation is vegetable oil based polyurethane. It is sprayed into the areas needing insulation and when it contacts air it expands filling in the space completely. This allows an extra tight fit that results in even better insulation than the more toxic insulations that it is designed to replace. These alternative insulations are free of VOC and CFC. These are volatile organic compounds (VOC) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) which are common toxic substances in older types of insulation.

Insulation is a major component of going green in construction. The conservation of heat and the reduction of wasted energy are important standards. Yet, green construction is not about trading off one hazard for another, nor reaching one goal by failing to consider its impact on other environmental areas. So, even though insulation is an important part of building green, selecting environmentally safe insulation is just as important. The good news is that, as is often the case, the right choice is not only the safer choice, but many times the least expensive option as well.

By: Zack Verde

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Zack Verde is with www.GreenBuildingCompanies.com - providing green building information.

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