Going Green? Top Eco Friendly Building Materials for Your Fairfax County Home

Residential green construction is the environmentally conscious approach to home building, remodeling, and renovation. To achieve LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification, builders adhere to standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Foley Development has been incorporating green methods into our design build process for years. When rating the “green factor” of a home that we build or remodel in Northern Virginia, we rely on the National Green Building Certification by the National Association of Homebuilders.

Advantages of Eco Friendly Construction

A green home is one that is designed, built, or remodeled in an eco friendly and resource-efficient way. Along with environmentally sound design practices, it involves using sustainable materials that help improve homeowners’ lives, conserve energy resources, and protect the planet by:

  • Conserving natural resources with more efficient water and lighting fixtures.
  • Saving money on energy costs.
  • Enhancing and protecting a property’s natural surroundings.
  • Improving indoor air quality and, consequently, your family’s health.
  • Minimizing the impact on local infrastructure.
  • Reducing construction waste that’s sent to landfills.

Eco Friendly Building Materials

New energy efficient, earth-friendly materials enter the market every year. While some homeowners – and builders – shy away from using them because of the costs they add to a new home construction or remodeling project, energy conservation experts argue they lead to lowered costs of heating and cooling a house. Even if you’re on a tight or limited budget, there are creative ways to use eco friendly building materials in your construction project.

Here are some of the most popular eco friendly building materials you might want to consider for your Fairfax County home build or remodel.

Reclaimed Lumber

Foregoing freshly felled wood, homeowners are choosing reclaimed wood for furnishings, flooring, paneling, and more. The wood comes from old buildings, barns, factories, and warehouses and there are a host of environmental benefits that come with this choice. Preservation of our forests and the creatures who live in them and a reduction in materials being sent to landfills are just two. A bonus benefit: reclaimed wood has a denser grain, which makes it sturdier and more durable than wood from newer trees.


Bamboo is an amazingly versatile material that proponents of green building have embraced and promoted for years. It can be shaped and formed into any number of building components, including wall and ceiling panels, cabinets and flooring. It’s used outdoors for fencing and decks, and indoors for furniture and kitchen essentials like utensils and cutting boards. The popularity of bamboo for residential construction continues to grow. It’s sourced from eco friendly sustainable plants, is incredibly strong, recyclable, and withstands high winds even better than concrete and steel!

Dimension Stone

Green-friendly construction with natural materials has been popular for several decades. While most homeowners are familiar with how stone can be used during construction, they’re often surprised at the wide variety of stone that’s available, including what’s known as dimension stone. Though rarely used as a construction material, stone is popular when applied as a veneer. It’s also used for patios, paving, roofing, and retaining walls.

Natural stone offers homeowners many attractive and environmentally friendly attributes. The principal rock types are granite, limestone, marble, sandstone, and slate. As to it eco-friendliness, in Virginia, compliance with LEED requires that any dimension stone used in green construction be quarried within a 500-mile radius of where the work is taking place.

Green Roofing

Asphalt shingles, wood, metal, and even rubber: there are a variety of durable and eco friendly roofing materials to choose from. The most important traits to consider with eco friendly roofing is its recycled material content, its durability, and how long it will last. Shingles made from recycled waste materials are among the most popular green roofing products, and most are composed of recycled plastic, rubber, or wood fiber. They are amazingly durable and attractive. Benefits include diverting landfill waste and reducing the need to extract and process raw materials.

Learn More

For homeowners who want to live a sustainable lifestyle, designing and building eco friendly homes helps reduce construction’s negative impact on the planet. If you’d like to learn more about sustainable building materials, or are ready to begin a new construction or remodeling project for your Fairfax County home, schedule a conversation with us today. We look forward to meeting you!