Building Envelope (walls, windows, doors, roof, foundation)
- Building reuse - extends the lifecycle of existing buildings by reusing as much of the structure and shell as possible; reduces material and transportation impact of new buildings and preserves cultural resources.
- Insulated concrete forms (ICF) - hollow, lego-like polystyrene forms that interlock to form the wall framework which is then pumped full of concrete; strong, energy efficient, comfortable and fire-resistant.
- Structural insulated panels (SIP) - a sandwich of oriented strandboard on both sides with some kind of insulation in the middle, typically polystyrene or rigid polyurethane; they can be pre-cut for quicker assembly; energy efficient and comfortable.
- Insulation - materials used in building walls and roofs that slow the transfer of heat from the warm side to the cool side, rated by an R-value (higher is better); various types are available - formaldehyde-free fiberglass, cellulose, soy foam, recycled denim or wool.
- High-efficiency windows - windows are an important part of the energy picture in our heating-dominated climate that will, along with other considerations such as siting and shading windows appropriately and then selecting glazing that maximizes solar gain and minimizes heat loss, will decrease energy consumption and save money.
- Reflective roofing - high-reflectance and high-emissivity materials that reduce heat absorption; mitigates heat island effects and extends roof life.
- Green (vegetative) roof - sophisticated growing systems that use roof space to minimize water runoff, moderate temperatures, help clean the air, and, in some cases, provide a lovely environment for building occupants. For more details see this descriptive brochure by BALMORI Associates of NYC.
Back to Building Guide