Anymore, the need to be sustainable and the want to be eco-friendly home are at the forefront of many minds. With this knowledge, it’s no surprise that many people are converting their homes into modern havens of green design.
For those building homes from the ground up, green design can be built in. You can cater to these wants and needs from the beginning while creating a home that any modern homeowner would be proud of.
Keep It Condensed
Large, sprawling homes seem to be symbols of wealth. As with many symbols of wealth, though, it also seems to be a symbol of excess. While many may want a home that offers a plethora of bedrooms and bathrooms, most can’t afford or wouldn’t use that much space. As such, smaller homes are a great choice for many and, luckily, these are the more sustainable option as well.
There are a few reasons that a smaller home is better for the environment. Most obviously, there is the concept of using fewer materials to create the home. However, smaller homes are also more energy efficient because it takes less to heat and light the space.
Sustainable Homes Come From Sustainable Materials
While a moderately sized home is a great choice to protect the environment, that alone isn’t quite enough. Just like you might check theToolsy before you buy a tool, you will want to look at the materials you are using before using them.
First, look for renewable products. For instance, bamboo flooring is a better, more renewable material than something like oak. Linoleum and cork are also great renewable materials to turn to. Another important consideration that might not come to mind right away is non-toxic or non-allergenic materials. Not only are these materials better for the environment, but they’re also much better for the people living in these homes as well!
Finally, you need to consider locally sourced materials. This way, you don’t cause the extra environmental harm of a long freight. Once again, this has a doubly good effect. For one, it reduces your carbon footprint during construction and it saves you the costs of a long freight trip over a long distance. To give you an idea, materials are usually considered “locally sourced” if they are sourced within 500 miles of the site you are building on, according to LEED standards.
Insulation is Key
While using the right materials is important, it is, once again, isn’t all you have to think about. You should also consider how you use those materials. Specifically, you need to make sure the homes you build are insulated well.
Homes that aren’t well-insulated are much harder to keep cool in the summer or warm in the winter. Not only is this harmful to the environment for how energy-consuming it is, but poor insulation will also cost homeowners an arm and a leg on their electric bills.
Insulation is a great way to conserve energy but you can take that idea a step further by using programmable thermostats in the home rather than the traditional kind. These are usually a little more high-tech as they can be used to program temperatures at times such as lowering the temperature when the homeowners go to bed. This way, the system isn’t running on full-tilt when no one is home.
As noted earlier, many homeowners are trying to make their current homes as green as possible. However, there are simply goals that are unrealistic to the average homeowner. For instance, converting an already standing home into one that runs on solar energy is an extremely costly transformation.
Homebuilders, though, have an advantage over homeowners because they can make the homes they build intrinsically linked to solar energy from the beginning. This can make a home on the market more valuable to buyers looking for sustainability as well.
Another aspect that is hard to convert to in an already existing home are fixtures such as showers and toilets. Standard showerheads and toilets can waste a lot of water, though, so they aren’t exactly sustainable.
A greener alternative would be to use low-flow showerheads and toilets. This type of showerhead and toilet use less water to ensure that less water is wasted. You might be concerned that homeowners with low-flow showerheads will have weaker water flow. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. These showerheads are designed to conserve water without inconveniencing the user.
To go even further on the idea of water conservation, the use of rainwater and greywater collection and reuse is an option. Greywater is that water used when washing dishes, laundry, or even sink run-off. This water is, of course, cleaned in a proper system to ensure none of the soaps, detergents, or dirt that were initially in the water are filtered out before reuse.