Let’s use sustainable energy and building materials to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy
When we rebuild residences and businesses after Hurricane Sandy, let’s use sustainable energy and building materials as much as possible.
Energy efficient and energy-saving materials pay for themselves in just a few short years, and provide tremendous cost benefits over the long-term. Since we’re going to be rebuilding anyway, and since what we build is going not be around for decades, let’s do it now and let’s do it right!
Good ideas for sustainable building materials to use include:
- insulation with high R values (good “green” non-toxic products are available on the market)
- efficient windows (well-sealed to prevent heat loss)
- no or low VOC interior paint (good non-toxic products are available on the market)
- tankless hot water heaters (you only heat water as you use it)
- energy star appliances (save on electricity)
- energy and water efficient washing machines, dishwashers etc. (not only save on electricity but on water usage).
While we’re planning, let’s not forget about sustainable energy. Adding solar panels or a solar hot water system can easily be made part of the overall construction project. Even though NJ state incentives are not what they used to be, a solar system can still be paid off in a few years and the system will last for 25-30 years. And if you don’t want to put down money up front on construction of a solar system, you can opt for an arrangement where you lease the roof space to a third-party, who installs and owns the system, and you get a reduction in your electric bills.
Any way you look at it, sustainable energy and building materials can give you cost-savings, a comfortable living or working space, and satisfaction from living in a healthy and sustainable way.
Governments should support the effort too, providing fast tracking for construction that is sustainable, and special incentives to promote disaster relief that uses sustainable building materials.
This would be an excellent way to help those affected by the storm, and it would also reduce energy costs, save energy, and promote our economy and local jobs.
Let’s not miss this opportunity!