Post-frame buildings are famous for their versatility and durability, but they can also be an environmentally friendly option for businesses committed to going green. With the right materials and design, the building can be energy efficient, use less wood, and leave a minimal impact on the surrounding environment.
Several factors combine to make post-frame buildings ideal for environmentally conscious projects. Post-frame construction requires less site disturbance during construction and uses less wood and other construction materials for the structural system. Since many components of post-frame buildings are assembled off site in assembly plants, excess materials can be immediately recycled, leading to a more efficient, less wasteful construction. As a result, post-frame buildings have lower impact on their surrounding environment and more conservatively use materials.
Additionally, post-frame buildings are naturally more energy efficient. Post-frame construction spaces studs much further apart than traditional construction, leaving large wall cavities and requiring much less interruption in insulation. With fewer structural members interrupting the insulating material, there is more room for insulation, less leakage, and, consequently, increased energy efficiency.
Green Lumber Options
In response to the dwindling forests caused by deforestation, some lumber companies began implementing “sustainable forestry” policies. By adhering to sustainable practices, some lumber companies seek to mimic the natural patterns of disturbance and regeneration within forests in order to provide lumber while minimizing deforestation and damage to forest ecosystems.
Standards set forward by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) promote sustainable forestry management in North America. In addition to preserving biodiversity, the standards protect water quality, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and forests with particularly high conservation value. Importantly, SFI standards ensure that lumber is sourced from legal and responsible providers. SFI on-product labels make identifying ecologically friendly lumber easy. By using SFI-certified lumber, construction projects avoid contributing to irresponsible forestry practices and help slow the negative impacts of deforestation.
Efficient Roofing Materials
Efficient roofing materials can dramatically increase the energy efficiency of a post-frame building, both reducing energy costs and helping to conserve the environment. Energy Star is a certification given to building materials and appliances that meet national energy efficiency standards in order to help individuals and businesses make informed decisions about their energy consumption.
By reflecting the sun’s rays, Energy Star-certified roofing materials can lower the roof’s surface temperature by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. These reflective materials will help keep the building cool, in turn reducing the amount of electricity needed for air conditioning. In fact, Energy Star-certified roofing products can reduce peak cooling demand by 10–15 percent. In addition to saving individuals and business money, energy-efficient materials contribute to a cleaner environment. In 2017 alone, Energy Star helped Americans save 370 billion kWh of electricity, reducing emissions by 290 million metric tons of greenhouse gases.
While these design decisions all contribute to green building, much more can be done to make post-frame buildings more environmentally friendly. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the most widely used green building rating system in the word and provides a framework to help project teams create efficient, cost-effective, and healthy buildings.
Putting the Pieces Together
Given the number of design decisions that contribute to the post-frame building’s environmental impact, the most effective way to ensure an ecologically responsible building is to consult construction professionals. Pro-Line Building Company works directly with clients to ensure their dreams become reality. Contact Pro-Line today to learn more about how you can build your dream building while contributing to a greener future!