Some call Portland, Oregon the greenest city in the United States, primarily due to its eco-friendly green homes. They achieve this status by attempting to ensure as many buildings as possible meet the green home standards. The four standards allowing a home to be rated a green home are Earth Advantage homes, Energy Star homes, Net-Zero Energy homes, and LEED homes. For home builders to meet these standards, it’s important to know that certain home building materials can produce chemicals that are damaging to the environment.

One building material that can be potentially harmful to the environment is asbestos, a carcinogen that can cause respiratory ailments and lead to lung cancer. It’s most often found in floor tiles, ceilings, and roofs because it insulates. Formaldehyde is another dangerous substance used in the manufacturing of buildings. It’s an adhesive and a composite in plywood. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies it as a carcinogen.

Chromated Copper Arsenic was widely used as a pesticide and preservative for lumber until the EPA phased it out in 2003. It can, however, still be found anywhere outside lumber is used, such as decks and picnic tables. CCA contains Chromium, copper, and arsenic. Overexposure to arsenic is known to cause a variety of cancers and to damage the nervous system.

Phthalates are industrial chemicals that are especially challenging to avoid when trying to build the greenest home possible. Used to make plastics more resilient, they can be found in everything from carpet backing to walls, ceilings, roofs, and insulation. Phthalates are feared to have a severely negative impact on the human hormone and reproductive system.

These are just a few of the home building in Portland materials that are most likely to harm the environment. Others include the perfluorinated compounds often found in carpet and the short-chained chlorinated paraffin present in some paints and caulks. Those wanting to build truly green homes should keep all of them in mind. Manufacturers have developed safer alternatives for those willing to do their research. As an example, to comply with the Clean Air Act Amendments, alternatives to formaldehyde are available. There are many formaldehyde-free products for paint and wood finishes. Even taking small steps in using as little of these harmful materials as possible can make a massive difference to the environment.

Building and living in an eco-friendly house is good for the environment while having a home that is very unique. This is the way of future home building which is available today. Portland Green Home Contractors can help with designing and building a green home that will be both quaint and of high quality.

Energy Efficient:

An eco-friendly home uses a lot less energy due to the design and alternate energy sources. This saves money on utility bills which help offset the cost of building.

Water Recycling:

Alternate water sources such as collecting rainwater and recycling wastewater for gardening use will help cut down on water usage. Water is a limited resource and should be managed and conserved.

Air Quality:

A green home will take advantage of air flow to give you a continuous supply of fresh air. Fresh air can keep your home cooler with a constant supply of air movement.

Better Health:

Most homes of today are built using materials that have potential toxins in them. Portland Green Home Contractors work with you to select building materials that are health friendly.

Efficiency of Materials:

Designing a green home will be done in such a way that there will be very little scrap left. A lot of materials are long lasting recycled products that cut down on the use of raw materials.

Property Value:

By building an eco-friendly home, your property value should increase. The cost of maintaining your home should also go down.

Going Smaller:

Building more house than you really need doesn’t make sense. A smaller home is more comfortable, easier to keep clean, and has lower energy bills.

Sky Garden:

Designing your home where your roof is a garden will also bring in fresh food. This can be another way to help the environment.

A Capsule on Wheels:

Building a small house that can be transported to different areas keeps you on the move. It can be designed to be energy efficient and cozy.

Multiple Energy Sources:

Both solar and wind power can be installed to power the energy needs of your home. If you have a creek with moving water on your property, this could also be a source of energy. Going green now can help save the future for our children.