6 Must-Haves When Building a New Home to Protect Against the Impacts of Climate Change

The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem achieves all the must-haves for a new home to pro­tect against the impacts of glob­al cli­mate change. Bau­tex Blocks are dis­as­ter-resis­tant, ener­gy-effi­cient, healthy, and sus­tain­able.

New Home Construction is on the Rise

In the Unit­ed States (U.S.), con­struc­tion of sin­gle-fam­i­ly homes in 2019 is expect­ed to grow by near­ly 9 per­cent. With all this new con­struc­tion, there are sev­er­al must-haves when build­ing a new home in 2019. Top on the list is meth­ods and mate­ri­als that pro­tect against the con­se­quences of cli­mate change.

New Homes Must Protect Against the Impacts of Climate Change

Accord­ing to the Fourth Annu­al Cli­mate Assess­ment recent­ly put out by the U.S. Glob­al Change Research Pro­gram, the earth’s cli­mate is now chang­ing faster than at any point in the his­to­ry of mod­ern civ­i­liza­tion, main­ly as a result of human activ­i­ties. In the U.S., the impacts of glob­al cli­mate change are already being felt and are pro­ject­ed to inten­si­fy in the future if actions are not tak­en to reduce green­house gas emis­sions.

Consequences of Global Warming are Extensive

Increasing Temperatures: Aver­age tem­per­a­tures have risen across the low­er 48 states since 1901. Eight of the top 10 hottest years on record have hap­pened since 1998. Aver­age glob­al tem­per­a­tures show a sim­i­lar pat­tern, with all of the top 10 hottest years on record world­wide occur­ring since 1998. The impacts of increas­ing tem­per­a­tures are exten­sive.

  • Seas are warm­ing, ris­ing, and get­ting more acidic
  • Storm activ­i­ty in the Gulf of Mex­i­co, Atlantic Ocean, and the Caribbean have increased over the past 20 years
  • Snow cov­er and glac­i­ers are shrink­ing, and sea ice is retreat­ing
  • High­er tem­per­a­tures are expect­ed to increase the amount of mois­ture that evap­o­rates from water and land, which will also cause rain­fall pat­terns to shift
  • As tem­per­a­tures have heat­ed up over the past cen­tu­ry, the occur­rences and dura­tion of droughts have increased in the Amer­i­can West
  • Drought is a fac­tor attrib­uted to larg­er and more fre­quent wild­fires and longer wild­fire sea­sons.

Increasing Precipitation: Total year­ly pre­cip­i­ta­tion has increased over land areas in the U.S. and world­wide. How­ev­er, chang­ing weath­er pat­terns have caused spe­cif­ic regions, such as the South­west, to expe­ri­ence less pre­cip­i­ta­tion than usu­al. Notably, nine of the top 10 years for extreme one-day pre­cip­i­ta­tion events in the U.S. have occurred since 1990. Con­se­quent­ly, flood­ing is becom­ing more fre­quent along the U.S. coast­line.

Six Must-Haves When Building a New Home

The six must-haves when build­ing a new home will pro­tect a fam­i­ly and their home from fire, flood, and severe wind events. In addi­tion, the design, meth­ods, and mate­ri­als must cre­ate an ener­gy-effi­cient and healthy home. Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem is an ide­al build­ing prod­uct for achiev­ing all these must-haves when build­ing a new home.

1. Fire-Resistant Home Design

In 2017, 2,630 peo­ple in the U.S. were killed in their homes by fire, which makes fire-resis­tant design a must-have when build­ing a new home. Sad­ly, the recent wild­fire in Par­adise, Cal­i­for­nia destroyed 6,700 build­ings, almost all were homes. Fire-resis­tant homes are essen­tial for pro­tect­ing today’s home­own­ers and their house against increas­ing wild­fires. Crit­i­cal com­po­nents of a fire-resis­tant house include pas­sive fire pro­tec­tion shields and fire­proof exte­ri­or roofs, walls, vents, win­dow, and door.

2. Flood-Resistant Home Design

Build­ing a flood-resis­tant home, par­tic­u­lar­ly in flood haz­ard zones, is an impor­tant must-have when build­ing a new home. Flood-resis­tant hous­es pro­tect against flood­ing and exces­sive rain and from tides and storm surges. Also, the design of a home in a flood haz­ard zone must be accord­ing to the Amer­i­can Soci­ety of Civ­il Engi­neers ASCE 24 Stan­dard. The flood-resis­tant design must include ele­vat­ed struc­tures, prod­ucts that can get wet, and design assem­blies that quick­ly dry when exposed to mois­ture.

3. Wind Resistant Home Design

Build­ing a wind-resis­tant home with a con­tin­u­ous load path from roof to foun­da­tion is a vital must-have for a new home. A con­tin­u­ous load path is crit­i­cal to hold­ing a house togeth­er dur­ing high wind events. A con­tin­u­ous load path ensures that when a load, includ­ing lat­er­al (hor­i­zon­tal) and uplift loads, puts pres­sure on a home, the load will move from the roof, wall and oth­er parts to the foun­da­tion and into the ground. A strong con­tin­u­ous load path is key to hold­ing the roof, walls, floors, and foun­da­tion togeth­er dur­ing a severe wind event.

4. New Homes Must Be Energy-Efficient

In 2019, ener­gy-effi­cient designs that achieve net-zero ener­gy use are a must-have in new home con­struc­tion. An ener­gy-effi­cient home has con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion, prod­ucts with ther­mal mass, high-effi­cien­cy heat­ing and cool­ing sys­tems, con­trolled ven­ti­la­tion, and ener­gy-effi­cient win­dows, doors, and elec­tron­ics.

5. New Homes Must Be Healthy

A healthy home design pro­motes sus­tain­able prac­tices and an indoor envi­ron­ment qual­i­ty (IEQ) that is safe, healthy, and qui­et. The IEQ of a home sig­nif­i­cant­ly impacts the health, com­fort, and over­all well­be­ing of the fam­i­ly. IEQ attrib­ut­es include apply­ing prop­er ven­ti­la­tion, max­i­miz­ing day­light­ing, con­trol­ling mois­ture, opti­miz­ing acoustic per­for­mance, and avoid­ing the use of mate­ri­als with high-VOC emis­sions.

6. An Excellent Choice for New Home Construction is the Bautex Wall System

The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem pro­vides all the must-haves for build­ing a new home that is dis­as­ter-resis­tant, ener­gy-effi­cient, durable, and healthy.

Bautex Blocks are Fire-Resistant

An excel­lent prod­uct for fire-resis­tant home con­struc­tion is Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem. Bau­tex Blocks meet and exceed the indus­try’s stan­dard for fire resis­tance. The Blocks have an ASTM E119 fire rat­ing of four-hours and ASTM E84 report­ed val­ues for flame speed of zero and smoke devel­op­ment of twen­ty (Bau­tex nev­er catch­es fire and extreme­ly low amounts of smoke are released when burned). They also achieve the NFPA 101 code because the Bau­tex Blocks meet the NFPA 286 and E 84 fire test­ing stan­dards.

Bautex Blocks are Flood-Resistant

The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem is a superb mate­r­i­al choice for a home in a high- or low-risk flood zone. The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem is mois­ture resis­tant. It will not degrade when wet and it keeps its orig­i­nal shape and dura­bil­i­ty dur­ing and after a flood. Also, the appli­ca­tion of the Bau­tex AMB 20-WP Air and Mois­ture Bar­ri­er and prop­er sealants to the exte­ri­or of the wall helps to pre­vent mois­ture get­ting into the walls. Fur­ther­more, Bau­tex Blocks are inor­gan­ic; there­fore, not a food source for mold and mildew. Impor­tant­ly, the Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem can be used to meet the ASCE 24 cri­te­ria for flood-resis­tant prod­ucts.

Bautex Blocks are Wind-Resistant

The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem pro­vides the strength and resilience to resist the heavy winds and fly­ing debris dur­ing a severe wind event, like a hur­ri­cane or tor­na­do. The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem ful­fills the FEMA 361 and FEMA 320 guid­ance in storm zones with wind speeds up to 250 miles per hour. The Bau­tex Block also has the mass and strength to with­stand the impact of wind-dri­ven debris at speeds more than 100 mph, keep­ing peo­ple and prop­er­ty safe.

Bautex Blocks are Energy-Efficient

The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem is a supe­ri­or high ther­mal mass prod­uct that min­i­mizes air and mois­ture infil­tra­tion and pro­vides con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion. The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem pro­vides an R‑14 con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion that meets, if not exceeds, the codes and stan­dards of the lat­est ener­gy codes.

Bautex Blocks Create a Healthy Home

Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem helps to cre­ate a healthy indoor envi­ron­ment that is safe and qui­et, which will and enhance the com­fort and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty of the fam­i­ly.

  • Bau­tex AMB 20 air and mois­ture bar­ri­er applied to the block wall pre­vents air and mois­ture infil­tra­tion to the inte­ri­or of a home, which can cause unhealthy mold.
  • Bau­tex Blocks have no volatile organ­ic com­pound (VOC) emit­tance
  • The Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem insu­lat­ed con­crete wall sys­tem reduces the trans­fer of sound from the out­side to the inside of a struc­ture. In fact, the Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem received a high Sound Trans­mis­sion Class (STC) rat­ing of 51 and a high Out­door-Indoor Trans­mis­sion Class (OITC) per­for­mance rat­ing of 47.