Sustainable and Durable Structures

The term sustainability is being used more and more as people are taking actions to make their buildings more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

A key component to sustainability that is not so often discussed is durability.

When it comes to buildings, durability means that the structure has been designed and constructed to last as long as possible and withstand whatever the environment (or it’s occupants) can throw at it.

There are many products and installation methods in the construction and remediation industries that are tried, tested, and proven to be very durable. When constructed and repaired using durable materials and practices, your maintenance costs will be lower, the installed materials will last longer, and your building will be less susceptible to premature failure.

What durable materials are available?

Durable cladding materials such as stucco and brick have been around for many years and will be for many more. Newer materials such as cementitious lap siding and cladding panels are gaining traction in the market and are fast proving themselves as durable materials for cladding most buildings.

Fibreglass and asphalt shingles have long been the go-to for standard residential roofing and manufacturers are constantly working to improve the durability of these products. The life of these shingles, however, is most often limited to 10-15 years, 20 if you are lucky. Higher priced alternatives such as rubber, metal, or slate tiles and panelized metal roofing have proven to be more durable. If you are focused on long-term performance and like the thought of having a roof that will look and perform great for 40-50 years, these higher priced alternatives are worth looking into.

When it comes to commercial roofing, multiple ply asphalt based membranes and metal roofs are the tried and tested solution. Newer single ply sheet membranes are gaining more traction and have the advantages of absorbing less solar heat and being lighter in weight. When not perfectly installed however, single ply membranes can be more susceptible to leaks and damage.

What about durable detailing?

Starting with a durable product is important but it won’t do you much good if it is poorly installed. Durable installation and detailing means ensuring that materials are properly secured and properly tied in to any surrounding materials.

It is easy to install two materials beside each other and just seal the joint between them. This will serve you well for several years until the sealant fails, or unless there are other issues. Proper and durable detailing takes more thought than that. Detailing must be designed and executed to ensure joints between materials are properly detailed and multiple layers of defence against the weather are provided.

How can you ensure your next project is completed durably?

Price is one of the main driving factors in determining work to be done and which contractors to use as building owners and operators in Alberta try to construct and maintain buildings without blowing their budget. When finding ways to save money and cut prices, many look to using less expensive “comparable” materials and they look for the lowest price to get the work done.

Sadly, the laws of physics generally prevent lower cost materials and installation practices from performing as well as their higher priced, quality driven alternatives.

As a building owner or operator, it is important for you to keep durability as a priority as you are planning for your next project, especially while you are trying to stay within your budget. Remember that paying a bit more for durability now will result in lower maintenance costs later.

At Taylor Construction we have seen first hand the results of poorly installed materials and products. We have seen the results of cutting corners to save costs.

This has given us a resolve to complete our work using durable materials and installation practices. Our goal is to have completed projects perform well long beyond the time that our 5-year warranty runs out. This is the Taylor way.

We would love to talk with you about how you can ensure your next project is completed durably to provide you with many years of peak performance. Please contact us by clicking the button below. We look forward to hearing from you.

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