Over the last 20 years, Clarum has been a pioneer for eco-friendly home design in the green building movement.
Through that time we’ve worked with multiple industry standards that define what it means to be green in the modern home: LEED, Passive-certified, Passive-inspired, CalGreen, GreenGuard. Today, we’ve compiled our favorite products and systems for the coming year into one list – keep reading to see our selection of top 10 green products for modern home construction!
A best practice for insulation and absolute “must” for your modern home, SIPS are made of a rigid foam core sandwiched between two oriented strand board (OSB) skins. They’re structurally sound, easy to assemble and extremely energy-efficient – adding superior air-tightness and R-value to your walls, floor and roof. SIPS reduce building time and costs, lower your heating bills and maximize comfort in your modern home.
Did you know that the heat loss from an uninsulated, conditioned basement may represent up to 50% of a home’s total heat loss even in a tightly sealed, well-insulated home? That’s why an insulated foundation is another best practice for high-performance home insulation.
Adding insulation under the concrete slab of your modern home does a great deal to minimize that heat loss. It also prevents condensation from forming where the warmth of your home meets the coolness of the earth surrounding. Installed properly, an insulated foundation protects against radon, moisture problems, infestation and heat loss – reducing your heating costs and risk of mold while increasing comfort and livability in your modern home.
Yes, that’s right – insulation on the outside of your house.
The practice of “exterior insulation” leverages a water-based, liquid-applied elastomeric barrier – otherwise known as spray foam insulation –wrapping your entire home from the outside. It saves energy by eliminating drafts and stopping thermal bridging (heat loss). It also creates a uniform temperature throughout your home: a necessary component of human comfort, studies show.
Proper air ventilation can have a huge impact on the health and comfort of your modern home environment. A Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) is a system that continuously cycles fresh air through your house, while cutting your heating costs by 90%. It filters and warms incoming air, circulates it through the home, then exhausts it back outdoors – but first, the system recovers the heat, so the air goes but the warmth stays inside. The best part, an HRV can heat an entire house on only 16 watts – less energy than it takes to run a hair dryer!
Airtight windows that prevent against infiltration can increase the comfort in your modern home, reduce condensation and decrease energy use – reducing heating costs by up to 18%! High-performance windows are designed to provide daylight and views without bleeding heat and racking up your bills. They’re also fully functional. Open a window whenever you wish!
One of many high-performance systems to consider for your modern home, high-performance framing (or “advanced framing”) is used to create energy efficient, structurally sound custom homes with lower material and labor costs than conventionally-framed houses. High-performance framing is a cost effective, sustainable building option that delivers superior structural integrity while making your home more energy efficiency.
Sustainably-harvested and reclaimed wood floors demonstrate environmental as well as global sensitivity. They also improve the air quality of your home by reducing allergens. At Clarum, we focus on healthy flooring choices to limit toxicity and dust from your modern home environment.
Generating electricity from sunlight makes you less dependent on the grid, while making your carbon footprint lighter at the same time. In fact, with a high-performing home designed for energy independence, you may even be selling power back to the grid on some months. Imagine the city paying utilities to you!
One of the most efficient uses of solar power, solar hot water systems harness the energy of sunlight to heat your water (up to 85% of it!) while also providing heating energy to your home.
Capture, concentrate, and channel daylight into the hard-to-reach places in your modern home. The reflective interior of solar lighting tubes amplifies the sunlight it catches, creating a remarkable flood of natural light in closets, hallways and other notoriously dim places – anywhere windows aren’t an option.
We hope this list of top 10 green products for home construction inspires you to think about eco-friendly, cost-effective systems in your modern home-building project. But bear in mind, using green products for home construction will not necessarily make your home high-performance. At Clarum, we believe it’s essential to focus on the house as a whole system, with every detail pulling together in concert. Before you begin your project, be sure your builder believes the same.
Want to learn more about best practices in green building? Check out our High-Performance Home Building Guide. Want to talk to Clarum about leveraging these practices to build your modern, sustainable dream home? Give us a call at 650.322.7069.