Is it really worth it to go green with house construction in the Philippines despite its hefty price tag? There are several reasons people still want to build green homes or buildings. According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a green home can improve air and water quality; conserve and restore natural resources; reduce operating costs; and enhance occupant comfort and health. How is this possible? The answer lies in the construction materials used starting from the roof of the building down to its flooring.
Below is the list of the materials you can choose from to start a green or sustainable house construction in the Philippines:
Waste Cooking oil
Who knew this waste can be a roof coating against the scorching sun? Ben Wen, Ph.D., the leader of the research project, describes it as bio-based intelligent roof coating that could reduce both heating and cooling costs as it responds to the external environment. Don’t attempt to pour used cooking oil on your roof just yet because it needs to be processed into a liquid polymer first.
If you want a more solid material, then you may choose this one. It is made from sand, water and cement and when coated with “cool colors” it makes the roof more energy-efficient by reflecting more sun’s rays compared to the typical dark colors of a roof.
Photovoltaic or PV roofing
Instead of reflecting the sun’s rays back to the atmosphere, why not trap and convert them to something useful? By using PV roofing, solar power that is produced by the sun can be turned into electricity. Who doesn’t want free and renewable electricity?
We often associate the word “organic” with food or beverages, and anything that is edible. But with straw bales you can build an organic house as well. Building a straw bale house is labor-intensive but rest assured that your house is fire resistant.
Low VOC Green Paint
If you can’t pull it off with the expensive structural building materials, coat your entire house with green paint that is low in VOC or Volatile Organic Compounds. Typically, paints are high in VOC and constant exposure can cause headaches, loss of coordination, and damage to liver, kidney and central nervous system, as stated by EPA. Why green? Sensational Color explains that color green is “calming, stress-relieving and invigorating.”
Fiber Cement Board (FCB)
It is made of cement, sand, and wood fiber. It makes the house resistant from fire, wind, termite and water. FCB can withstand any type of climates.
We don’t need to look further because we have a lot of these in our country and it only takes three to six years for it to grow which categorizes it as a renewable material.
It is a mixture of natural ingredients like cork, wood flour, and linseed oil. Linoleum is considered as eco-friendly flooring and it doesn’t emit VOC.
Plyboo is laminated bamboo plywood invented by Smith & Fong Company. According to Inhabitat, Plyboo is stronger than any hardwoods like oak, but it is still lightweight and eco-friendly.
Green or sustainable house construction in the Philippines still has a long way to go before it can be fully-adapted by every Filipino who dreams to own a house. But the moment everyone wholly accepts green construction, our dying environment or planet will soon no longer sigh in resignation but in relief because we are putting an effort to saving it.