Thursday, 04 September 2014
Eco-friendly building materials
There are a growing number of ecologically friendly building materials entering the market today. From high-tech engineered roofing systems to old fashioned bales of hay, and everything in between. If you are planning to renovate your home using eco-friendly solutions, then there has never been a wider range of green building materials to choose from.
Why choose eco friendly building materials?
There are a growing number of ecologically friendly building materials entering the market today. From high-tech engineered roofing systems to old fashioned bales of hay, and everything in between. If you are planning to renovate your home using eco-friendly solutions, then there has never been a wider range of green building materials to choose from. If you are planning refurbishment work for your property, then it is of the utmost importance that you check it won't invalidate your home insurance. Many standard policies have clauses that allow insurers to avoid claims made as a result of undisclosed renovation works. You may need to investigate specialist home renovation insurance to cover you while work is under way.
Using straw bales as building materials may seem like a wild move, but they can be very effective in terms of both cost and speed of construction. Because straw bales are produced widely across the UK the impact of transportation on the environment is likely to be minimal, and they provide fantastic natural insulation. They do need to be treated against fire and rendered before use, and they require covering both inside and out to protect against vermin. If you are looking for a truly sustainable building material that will make your house stand out from the rest, straw bales might be the way to go. Because straw deviates significantly from the standard definition of building materials, once your build is complete you will need to switch from house renovation insurance to unusual home insurance.
Another more established use for straw is as a roofing material. Thatched roofs are an appealing choice if you are looking to completely change the look of your home, but this type of undertaking will certainly require house renovation insurance. The types of straw used in thatching may need to be sourced from further a field than bale-building blocks, as they are not as widely farmed in the required way in the UK anymore. But there are other types of reed thatching that can still be found locally if need be. Again, thatched roofs are usually defined as non standard so specialist thatched roof insurance may need to be sought when you no longer need renovation insurance.
Other types of roofing that you might consider include green roofs, where varying quantities of vegetation can be planted on your roof to replace some of the ecology your house was built upon, or solar harvesting roofs. Solar panels have come a long way since their invention some years ago, having now developed to the point where you can buy tiles with an integrated solar collection capacity for increased aesthetic value. The downside of solar roofing in the UK is that our climate can not always be trusted to make them worthwhile. What ever type of roofing you are having installed; you must disclose the renovation work to your insurer and make certain that you have adequate house renovation insurance in place.
When it comes to wall building, there has recently been resurgence in wattle and daub construction (a technique pioneered centuries ago). But if you are looking for something a little more modern, with considerable insulating properties, structural insulated panels (SIPs) might be the way to go. Well established on the continent and in the USA, SIPs can be used to make walls and floors and allow for extremely quick construction. They can be made from polystyrene sandwiched between two "sterling" boards (made from wood particles), but straw can replace the polystyrene for maximum environmental-friendliness.
Mainstream insurers don't like insuring houses that are undergoing renovation, because they are often incapable of estimating the risks involved. This is not the case with homeprotect, as we are experts in assessing non-standard risk. With HomeProtect you can get a competitive online quote for renovation insurance, no matter how grand your design or how unconventional your building materials.