It may be the house of the future or a house helping our future, but either way, you can now live in a building made of cork.
An eco-friendly developer in Philadelphia has built two of the first homes in the US to use cork for the exterior siding, and not only are they energy efficient, they keep all your fresh, clean air bottled up inside. They’re located in the city’s Kensington neighborhood, and feature a unique façade that also acts as insulation.
Chad Ludeman, President of Postgreen Homes, explains the perks of his new design.
“Putting insulation on the exterior stops heat from escaping and improves the efficiency of the home,” Ludeman tells Ellen’s Good News. “Now that green building has become popular, people are really diving into how we can reduce our carbon footprints. Cork has a negative footprint because you never have to harvest any trees. Every couple years, they just take it off.”
While cork has previously been used within walls as insulation, Ludeman’s design places it on the outside of the structure, and eliminates the need for a second layer of cladding to cover it up. The material itself is more expensive than what is typically used, but without the cladding, the price evens out. It also saves time in the building process.
“It’s mainly designers I’ve been talking to and they’re very interested in it,” Ludeman comments. “I think what they like most about it is how natural and organic it is because it’s not treated with anything.”
Cork "siding" is so natural, it actually changes color throughout the year, becoming darker in winter months with less exposure to light and more orange in the summer.
Ludeman notes, “Anybody that really likes it is going to understand that it’s a natural product and they’ll like that about it.”
Plus, in the long run, it’s going to be beneficial for everyone.
“We are always looking for new ways to be innovative and use new materials,” the builder adds. “We really focus on whole shell of house. Our homes are twice as energy efficient, which cuts utility bills in half. That savings lasts forever.”
Time to pop open the champagne and celebrate!