Green Building

Green buildings are becoming more and more popular as people become aware of the effect they are having on the environment.  Due to this growing awareness, many people looking at additions or remodeling are taking the initiative and using the opportunity to reduce the carbon for themselves and their family.

Sustainable or green building refers to a structure or process that is constructed keeping environmental responsibility as one of the primary concerns throughout the process.  Some ways that green buildings will save you money while keeping your family's carbon footprint minimal are:

  • Efficiently using water, energy and other resources
  • Protecting occupant health
  • Limiting waste
  • Preventing environmental degredation for the life of the structure
Leska offers a variety of ways to build green:
If you see this as a good option for your upcoming project, please do not hesistate to contact Leska at (240)505-6652 for a free estimate!

SIPS vs. ICF vs. AAC

ICF

German system by Quadlock. It is the only system allowing for true radius walls.

The advantage in flexibility with radiused walls becomes a disadvantage with complex wall pours; these have a tendency to bow and are more time consuming.

Even Quad Lock's best self-hashing extruded polystyrene in this category is non-breathable, so all ICF systems don't breath well. You end up with small concrete bunker...great for hurricanes as 140 mph 2x4 will NOT penetrate through this wall.

However, in my practice, it's tedious and labor intensive to build – the rebar, which must be tied, makes this way more expensive and way more labor intensive. Pouring is the crux and long walls or high walls can be problematic.

For decorating the exterior of ICF walls, EIFS stucco are best suited for this: we just rasp & rough up the surface and that also level the small perfections and then we base coat, mesh, and finish.

Interior ICF is very complex due to the simple fact that If you want to hang heavy object, prior to the drywall going up, you have to install large metal plate which is then the structural anchor. If you don't have this plate even hanging a toilet paper holder can be a serious challenge.

SIPS

The Structural Insulated Panel System is made from close cell foam sandwiched by plywood. The downside is that it is highly flammable: it will burn like an torch if it ignites. Even thought it earned a Class C fire rating, when certain temp is reached, no firefighter squad will put it out.

Another possible isuse is that in the case of flooding, it's a an absolute nightmare. The foam itself is fine, but the plywood is stuck so well that it's impossible to separate from the foam. You can't just cut 1' above flood line; it's the structural material, and whole house will fall down.

It is also not insect repellent in the least. Certain bugs eat and LOVE this (they will bore and nest in the foam). Because the insulating (read nesting) material is sandwiched between your structural material, it is very hard to get in to eradicate any sort of colony.

This system however is PERFECT for cathedral ceilings!

Then there is AAC, the hands-down winner

Class A fire rating. best of those 3. It is not as hurricane driven projectile proof as ICF, but is still vastly superior to SIPS. Flooding is not issue at all, and growing mold is easily killed off. In addition to all of that, it is also more breathable and easier to build than any of the others, and the building ease will save you labor costs! To finish it with EFIS, we rasp and mesh the surface to get the best attachment possible. Hanging objects inside is easy; you only need simple drywall screws.