Innovations in residential property development, 2015
A well-built home is a safe home and homebuilders all across the country are making sure they're manufacturing homes that can stand up to all kinds of weather.
From improved building products to stronger structural designs, residential homes are getting better every day.
Here are just a few ways manufacturers are making homes stronger and virtually weatherproof:
Modular Home Renaissance
Although onsite construction is still the main building technique for residential homes, the modular renaissance is quickly taking over.
Modular homes, also known as prefabricated homes, are built in sections, or modules, offsite and delivered to the building location where they are assembled.
This type of construction creates a home that's stronger and built to exact specifications regardless of the conditions of the construction site.
Homebuilders are adopting the modular method because it allows for more quality control, which results in a safer structure for homebuyers.
Lighter Composite Building Materials
Heavier doesn't always translate to stronger, especially when it comes to the building materials used in a home. Manufacturers are beginning to replace heavy construction lumber like pine with composite woods that are lighter, stronger, and more rigid.
In addition to strength, composite woods are more weather and termite resistant.
This lengthens the life of a home and makes it safer by eliminating the fear of wood-crippling termite infestations.
Rain, Rain Go Away
One of the biggest threats to any home is moisture.
Rain and snow that makes contact with a home’s siding and eaves slowly damages the wood and weakens the home's outer structure. This can lead to internal water damage in the framing and foundation over time.
Fortunately, homebuilders are using gutter guard systems to redirect wet weather away from homes. Gutter guards use helmet systems that collect shedding water without collecting gutter-clogging leaves and debris.
As the following article asks, “Gutters and gutter guards: how much can you save?” well, not only will homeowners and renters save on yearly maintenance costs, but water damage repair costs too.
Wind is another threat to residential structures, which is why manufacturers are adding a number of wind-resistant safety features to new homes.
Whether one lives in a hurricane zone or not; important to have wind resistant features in the home in the event of a hurricane, tornado or other high-wind events.
From galvanized hurricane clips for one’s roof trusses to all-thread rods that tie a roof to the foundation, wind-ready homes are much safer than standard residential structures.
Many wind-resistant features are now mandatory depending on where one lives, but homeowners and renters can also have these features added on at any time - even if the home isn't new construction.
A home's first line of defense from the elements is its roof, which is why homebuilders are putting so much effort into building solid roofs.
Roofing materials have come a long way since tin and now include 30-year fiberglass architectural shingles and 50-year weatherproof aluminum shingles.
From stronger building materials to roofs with longer life spans, the manufacturing improvements above make homes a safer, more durable place to live.
Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including home improvement and construction.
Environment Agency clamps down on plastic films and wraps
Businesses in the waste and construction industries must ensure they deal with waste plastic properly to stop illegal exports, the Environment Agency (EA) has warned.
The warning comes as the Agency is increasingly aware of plastic film and wrap from the construction and demolition sector being illegally exported.
Exports are frequently being classified as ‘green list’ waste of low risk to the environment, but are often contaminated with materials such as mud, sand, bricks and wood, posing a risk to the environment and human health overseas, and undermining legitimate businesses in the UK seeking to recover such waste properly.
During the last year, the EA has intercepted shipments to prevent the illegal export of this material on numerous occasions. The Agency inspected 1,889 containers at English ports and stopped 463 being illegally exported. This, combined with regulatory intervention upstream at sites, prevented the illegal export of nearly 23,000 tonnes of waste.
Those convicted of illegally exporting waste face an unlimited fine and a two-year jail sentence. But construction firms could also face enforcement action if contaminated construction and demolition waste plastic is illegally exported.
Malcolm Lythgo, Head of Waste Regulation at the Environment Agency, said it is seeing a marked increase in the number of highly contaminated plastic film and wrap shipments from the construction and demolition industry being stopped by officers.
“I would strongly urge businesses to observe their legal responsibility to ensure waste is processed appropriately, so we can protect human health and the environment now and for future generations. It’s not enough just to give your waste to someone else - even a registered carrier. You need to know where your waste will ultimately end up to know it’s been handled properly. We want to work constructively with those in the construction and waste sectors so they can operate compliantly, but we will not hesitate to clamp down on those who show disregard for the environment and the law.”
There are a number of simple, practical steps that businesses can take to ensure that C&D site waste is handled legally.
Construction businesses should check what’s in their waste
- Different waste types need different treatments and so must be correctly categorised to ensure it goes to a site that is authorised to handle it safely. Businesses can also check if their waste is hazardous as different rules might apply.
- If you are removing the waste yourself, you must be a registered waste carrier- registration can be carried out here. When a waste collector is transporting your site waste, you must check they have a waste carrier’s licence from the EA.
- You must also check that the end destination site any waste is taken to is permitted to accept it and has the right authorisations in place. Keep a record of any waste that leaves your site by completing a waste transfer note or a consignment note for hazardous waste which record what and how much waste you have handed over and where it is going.
Waste management industry must adhere to export controls
- Contaminated C&D waste plastic - including low-density polyethylene (LDPE) wrap and film - must be exported with prior consent from the EA as well as competent authorities in transit and destination countries.
- Those involved in the export of such waste must ensure that it meets the requirements set under the relevant export controls, such as being almost free-from contamination; the destination sites are appropriately licensed to receive and treat the waste; and waste is correctly managed once received.
The EA will continue to actively target those who export contaminated C&D plastic waste illegally, including any accredited packaging exporters who issue Packaging Waste Export Recovery Notes (PERNs) against such material in breach of their Conditions of Accreditation.
Businesses involved in the shipment of waste are required to take all necessary steps to ensure the waste they ship is managed in an environmentally sound manner throughout its shipment and during its recycling.
Anyone with information regarding the illegal export of waste including C&D waste plastics can contact the EA’s Illegal Waste Exports team at: [email protected] or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their website