Building “green” is no longer a trend, and today’s homeowners are on board. By making careful choices about the types of products you buy, and from whom you buy them, it’s fairly easy to reduce your impact on the environment – and support companies who do the same. And there are more than environmental benefits to reap, thanks to the savings on energy bills and depending on where you live, taxes.
Sustainable Building Guidelines
The leading exterior product manufacturers of vinyl siding and related products are manufacturing their goods using more and more recycled materials, packaging with minimal impact in mind, and reducing waste during manufacturing,. The finished products typically last longer, require less maintenance and less trips to the landfill, than traditional elements. Today, it’s easy and smart to go green:
- reduced energy consumption
- lowered utility bills
- low-maintenance benefits
- increased home values
Build for the future
According to the EPA:
Building with sustainability in mind begins with product selection. Make sure the materials you choose are made to last a lifetime. Perhaps your favorite look features wood, stone, or brick. The natural materials may score low on the sustainability scale, but a manufactured alternative such as vinyl siding or stone veneer requires less environmental impact during manufacturing or material procurement and eventually, less maintenance. Add in the variety of realistic finishes, and choosing man-made materials is an appealing choice.
According to a Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES®) study, the production of vinyl siding emits significantly lower levels of toxic chemicals, such as mercury or silver, than other exterior cladding options. It generates little waste in manufacturing, is responsible for less than 1.9% of total construction waste, and does not utilize harmful materials such as silica.
Go green certified
Organizations such as the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) have created guidelines to help clearly define sustainability practices. When you research manufacturers, look for those actively involved in these organizations to help improve the sustainable benefits of their products. This can help earn points toward a project’s official certification, or help you take smaller steps toward a more sustainable home.
USGBC LEED® Homes
LEED for Homes, sponsored by USGBC, was launched in February 2008. It measures green home building performance based on eight categories: site selection, water efficiency, materials and resources, energy and atmosphere, indoor environmental quality, location and linkages, awareness and education, and innovation. LEED recognizes and rewards builders who meet the highest performance standards. Before a home can be LEED Certified, it must meet the standards set by USGBC.
NAHB green building guidelines and standards
The NAHB established their Green Building Guidelines in 2004. These guidelines are helping members move the practice of green building into the mainstream. Similar to LEED, the NAHB Green Building Guidelines recognize builders who incorporate environmentally friendly practices into every phase of home building. The NAHB Green Building Guidelines cover eight key areas including lot preparation and design, resource efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency and conservation, occupancy comfort and indoor environmental quality, operation, maintenance and homeowner education, global impact, and site planning and land development.
Partner with the best
At Ply Gem, we’re committed to improving the health of our planet by helping homeowners make sustainable choices. That’s why we created the Ply Gem Enviro initiative: to become your resource for education and information on sustainable building practices, and help you reach your sustainability goals while reducing our overall corporate environmental impact. Here’s how we’re working toward this:
Ply Gem limits the use of nonrenewable resources by minimizing scrap from operations. Whenever possible, we reintroduce these materials back into the manufacturing process.
Many Ply Gem products increase energy efficiency. Creating a comfortable home environment and lowering energy bills benefit your pocket book and the environment. Many of our products qualify for the ENERGY STAR® label, which identifies a product for its efficiency and designates its superior energy performance in homes.
Life cycle benefits
Ply Gem’s products are designed with sustainability in mind. Our products are durable and require virtually no maintenance or harmful chemicals to maintain or restore them. And, at the end of the long product lifecycle, products can be recycled or repurposed with greater ease.
For additional information please review the following: