On the face of it going green and cladding don’t necessarily seem to go hand in hand. After all, the most popular type of cladding for houses is vinyl cladding. Plastic is not the most environmentally friendly material.
However, for those of you that are concerned with your impact on the planet, you’ll be pleased to discover that there are ways to go green with siding.
But, the trick is not just to look at the material, after all, vinyl plastic can be made from recycled plastic and wood siding can be reclaimed or sustainably harvested. In fact, there are several other factors that also need to be considered.
If you want a green product you need to consider the labor involved in creating the cladding. For example, stone is natural and plentiful. In general harvesting, it does not harm to the environment. Although, it can destroy some habitats.
However, stone is very heavy. It takes large machines to break it up, move it around, and creating the beautiful cladding you want.
The more complex the labor process the more damage it will do to the environment.
The better a product is at preserving thermal heat, the more environmentally friendly it is. This is generally expressed as it’s R rating.
The higher the R rating for your cladding the better insulated your house will be. In other words, the less you’ll need to spend on heating or cooling your home. This won’t just save you money, it will also reduce the emissions your home puts into the environment.
We’ve already touched on the damage to the environment caused by machines and labor harvesting the cladding material. This also applies if you don’t use locally sourced material. The further away the material the more cost and environmental damage it will do getting to you.
Plastic isn’t good for the environment but many vinyl products are now made by melting down old plastic products, such as bottles. This means that the environmental damage of creating the initial plastic has already been done and you’re saving this plastic from being dumped somewhere on the planet.
As already mentioned, most other claddings can also be created from recycled materials, it will up to you to check their origin.
The Manufacturing Process
Alongside the labor and machinery element, you also need to consider how much effort, and what machines are needed, in the production process.
Again, the greater the production requirements the more damaging it will be to the environment, which is the opposite of what you want.
You’ve probably thought about how long the cladding will last n relation to the cost. The longer it lasts the cheaper the overall cost and the more attractive the option.
This also has environmental connotations. The longer your cladding lasts the less damaging it will be to the environment, simply because more products don’t need to be manufactured to replace it.
Before you assume that vinyl is the worst cladding material environmentally, remember that there are many things to consider before you settle on your green cladding option, take the time to consider all the options.
To read more on topics like this, check out the house category.