Project Green Part 3: Choosing Building Materials

As we continue with the building of the first Green or Energy Efficient home in Potchefstroom, our next step is to look at building materials. “Building materials are a fundamental factor when it comes to the energy efficiency of a house. Even with the ideal design, correct orientation and additional green features – a house can still be inefficient when it comes to energy consumption and usage” says Carl Venter, Licence partner of Engel & Völkers Potchefstroom and also the brain behind the green home initiative.

Devilliers du Toit (architect), Carl Venter (E&V Potchefstroom) and Chris Landsberg from Raakvat Konstruksie (building contractor) on the stand of the Energy Efficient house.

Project Green: Devilliers du Toit (architect), Carl Venter (E&V Potchefstroom) and Chris Landsberg from Raakvat Konstruksie (building contractor)
on the stand of the Energy Efficient house.

“The possible loss of energy has a lot to do with the materials used in the construction of the project” Carl continued.
In the current booming construction market there are hundreds of options when it comes to building materials. Each type of material has a unique reaction towards heat and cold. It is exactly this reaction of the materials towards the outside temperature that will either cause your home to be uncomfortable and uninviting or work towards creating a welcoming and comfortable interior. By choosing the building materials for the Energy Efficient house carefully we are opting for the latter.
Ideally an Energy Efficient house should absorb winter sun rays during cold months. This heat should then be used to warm the interior. And of course the opposite during the warm months: the house should deflect the sizzling summer heat and
create a cool and inviting interior for its occupants.

R-values

Basically all of the materials used in the project play a role in the outcome. For this reason we have to do a lot of research before choosing each of the products and materials used. Everything has to be considered. From the more basic materials: the type of cement, type of steel and type of bricks used right to the materials used for the floors, the walls, and the paint on the roof. Every piece material for the project has to be carefully reviewed from an energy point of view. The R-value of each of the materials used has to be taken into consideration. This is to ensure that we use building materials that will be sufficient in the cold conditions that is one of Potchefstroom’s trademarks. The R-value of a product or material measures the thermal resistance of the material. This value describes the resistance of the material to heat flow. The higher the R-value – the better the insulation properties of the material.

We are not only considering the energy properties and R-values of the materials. We are also looking for materials that are ‘green’. Materials that are manufactured using energy, waste and water saving principles; materials manufactured with low Carbon emissions and locally produced materials – eliminating the need for extensive transport. 

The view that the Energy Efficient House will have

Project Green: The view that the Energy Efficient House will have

We are partnering with companies that manufacture these materials. Companies that also have a passion for building greener and more energy efficient buildings. If you are interested in partnering with us on Project Green and the various green developments that we are working on, you are welcome to contact us.


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