Some of the great benefits of the product are: (please note all references are from The James Hardie website)
1. Lower embodied energy
Fibre cement products are low in embodied energy compared to other building materials like masonry and concrete. Embodied energy is a measure of the energy consumed by all of the processes associated with the production of a product. This embodied energy can be the equivalent of many years of operational energy. Lower embodied energy means less fossil fuel is burned during production, which reduces greenhouse gases emitted into the environment, benefiting us all. Composite construction generally uses significantly less embodied energy than traditional construction methods. For example, compared to a timber framed fibre cement wall, a timber-framed brick veneer wall has approximately 250% the embodied energy and a double brick wall has almost 400% the embodied energy.
2. Minimises impact on the site
Traditionally, Australian housing construction involves brick veneer walls built on a concrete slab in the ground. The problem with this method of building is that it typically requires excavation, cut and fill, with trees and vegetation destroyed in the process and negatively impacting stormwater flow through the site. In contrast, bearer and joist construction with James Hardie products minimises site disturbance and helps retain trees and other vegetation. Importantly, it also limits the effect of stormwater flow through a site, thereby helping avoid degradation of the natural environment and neighbouring sites.
3. Permits airflow under the floor
Building off the ground gives some immediate and significant benefits to the homeowner. The airflow under the floor helps reduce rising damp which has long been a problem in many Australian houses. In addition, easier access under the floor helps lower the cost of services installation and allows better access to these services when maintenance is required. It also provides increased visibility for pest inspection.
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