Technology That Works
Top Products for Alternative Construction
As green building matures, a growing number of contractors are looking for new--or in some cases, very old--ways to recast their efforts to achieve the energy efficiency, aesthetic and natural material preferences of their clients.
One way they are doing this is to embrace the use of “alternative” wall systems, such as insulated concrete forms, cordwood, straw bale and structural insulated panels.
A major factor in this surge of popularity is that almost all alternative wall systems--especially options like structural insulated panels and insulated concrete forms--reduce material use in walls and because they come in different thicknesses and densities are suited to a wide range of climates and conditions.
Choosing a wall system--and accessories--that will optimize assembly and performance requires a careful balance between a client’s “vision” and the reality of sticks, bricks, mortar, tools and fasteners that will turn an idea into a house.
One way to avoid some potential pitfalls of structural systems you may not have tried before is to select products that can help you make the leap. We’ve included several in this article—products and tools designed particularly for their ease of installation, minimal impact on indoor air quality, energy performance and reliability.