More people and even builders are interested in constructing eco-friendly homes. There is no doubt that conventionally built homes and construction methods have put a big burden on water, air and human health, not to mention ecosystems. All parties involved in the building industry – builders, manufacturers, architects, homeowners and even retailers have joined in to bring more eco- friendly alternatives. Price is also an influential factor.
Factors to Consider:
- Designing: A good design is the first step towards an eco-friendly home. Climate and location play a very important role – so does orientation. A good architect should be able to draw up plans to maximize space, light and also how air flows outside and inside the house. He should also factor in overhangs, rain water harvesting, installing solar panels for heating etc.
- Building Materials: There are many different types of materials and resource efficiency is the common theme. More companies are now beginning to offer building materials made of recycled content and/or sustainable forests. Such material use less power in the manufacturing process, minimize waste and keep a lot of things out of the landfill. More people are also choosing to use environmentally friendly paints to paint their house – inside and out, while staying healthy.
- Insulation: Insulating and sealing a home also results in energy efficiency. Invest in good windows with double panes and coatings that will save money in the long run. Getting the right appliances and a good HVAC system also plays an important role.
- Location: Location of the home and supply of building materials account for a lot of greenhouse gas emissions. Make sure to find the right supplier for the materials and also that schools, grocery stores, work and the gym are located close by to save on driving. Quite a few people are now choosing to walk or bike for getting around.
- Alternative Energy Sources: In areas where there is a lot of sunlight, people are choosing to get solar panels installed to heat water for home use. This is a great way to save money.
- Managing Water Resources: Water is one of the most needed resources and also overlooked. Rainwater harvesting can be doing by using barrels to catch runoff and used to water lawns and the garden. Kitchen and shower water can be recycled and used in the garden. Having low flow toilets is a good way to cut down on water use.
With awareness, a lot more changes are taking place in the building industry. Technology is also playing a big role in helping with designing and building not just homes but also offices.