Green home building is very popular in the United States today, but many people do not know that Europeans have been building green homes for decades. We now have many technologies here in the United States that we consider to be new or innovative, but they really are not. Green home building is usually discussed in such a way that people marvel about these new technologies, but they are really only new to us.
For example, in Europe, a substance called Autoclave Aerated Concentrate, or AAC for short, has been used in constructing buildings for over two decades. According to experts, this substance is fire proof, highly insulating, and lightweight. It can be easily transported in large quantities, which will conserve fuel. Additionally, AAC is made of water, sand, cement, lime, and aluminum powder. Eighty percent of the AAC is made up of air, which is the main ingredient. The most important benefit is the fact that its production does not produce any byproducts. Builders have been using this building material in Germany for almost a century; however, it was introduced in the United States in 1996 and still is not widely accepted.
An additional green home building material that is used broadly in Europe but not in the United States is the Wood Fiber Board. This type of board is created from the wood chip waste which is a byproduct of sawmills. Experts explain the fact that these boards do not emit toxins when manufactured. They are very inexpensive to produce, and they are totally compostable. But, we do not use those very much here in the United States. We like to cut down new trees to make new boards. It seems as though we prefer not using something we already have, but rather wasting to create new products.
Europe is way ahead of us when it comes to green home building practices. People in Europe have been using such construction methods for about a century, so it is nothing new for them … it is a way of life. We are in the right mind set to become equal in greenness to Europe, but I just hope it is not too late.