Orlando Going GREEN and Moving Out of AsbestosJul 22nd, 2009 | By derekgordon | Category: What's News
What is harmful to the earth is ultimately harmful to humanity. The removal and irradication of asbestos has been long a focus of many organizations. Asbestos is in the news again, but now new technologies and the cost saving aspects of green building may finally spell the end of the harmful substance . Joe Lederman of the Mesothelioma Center, guests blogs about Orlando’s push to become asbestos free.
Sustainability and energy guide many aspects of life in Florida. There are many green, eco-friendly materials that replace the need for asbestos and can reduce energy costs annually.
The implementation of eco-construction and green energy home solutions will play an important role in the transformation to a healthier and sustainable world. While we all use energy to power us through our daily lives, many people take renewable and sustainable methods for granted.
Recently, congress passed an economic stimulus package that promotes energy efficiency for home and business owners. The American Recover and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 includes incentives for upgrading to more eco-friendly/sustainable methods of energy and insulation. The move to a greener lifestyle will build on the change to healthier methods of building products, home remodeling and renovation.
Some of the measures eligible for tax credits include:
- Sealing cracks in the building shell and ducts to reduce infiltration and heat loss – these should be sealed so as to be consistent with the 2009 IECC.
- Pigmented metal roofs or an asphalt roof with cooling granules must meet Energy Star requirements.
- Window films certified by the manufacturer that the product meets the requirements of a “qualifying insulation system.”
Asbestos was highly regarded throughout the 20th century as an ideal building and construction material. It’s fire resistant, durable and versatile qualities made it sought out by many industries. Asbestos was used in industrial applications such as insulation, piping, roofing and automobiles. As long term cost and technology continues to evolve, so is the need for environmentally sustainable and healthy materials used for construction.
Many homes, buildings and public facilities built prior to 1980 may still contain asbestos and other hazardous materials. In many instances, the best action is no action at all. Disturbing asbestos in good condition may cause its fibers to be released into the air. The inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to the development of asbestos-related lung ailments such as malignant mesothelioma and asbestosis. There are a number of factors that can impact mesothelioma survival rate. These factors include latency period, age of diagnosis and cigarette smoking.
Most people are unaware to the fact that eco-friendly products can cut energy costs by 25 to 35 % per year. Rather than expensive and mal-treated wood, interior walls can be made from steel and concrete, avoiding many of the problems associated with asbestos and other insulation methods. Green alternatives to asbestos include the use of cotton fiber, lcynene foam and cellulose. Cotton fiber is quickly becoming a favorite for home builders and renovators. Made from recycled batted material, it is also treated to be fireproof.
The U.S. Green Building Council conducted a study which estimated a new savings of $50-$65 per square foot for positively constructed green buildings. As education and technology of green sustainable practices increase, the numbers will continue to rise.
Living in a world where environmental sustainability is a vital concern to the future of mankind, it is important to take note of the consequences of improper building materials and environmental degradation. These asbestos alternatives allow for a healthy, safe home, free of health damaging materials.