Going green isn’t just about being environmentally friendly and taking care of the Mother Nature. There’s another, more down-to-earth reason why green building has taken off recently – people have finally figured out it can save them thousands of dollars! You no longer have to worry about your builder rolling their eyes in despair. Instead, he’ll be giving you a nod and several options to choose from. So let’s see what can be done in order to build an ultimate green home.
Let’s start with the obvious. It’s taken a long time for for home owners to embrace solar panels. Not every house on the street has them, but these days the cost of solar panel installation in the US has plummeted by 70% over the last 10 years. Implementing solar power has never been more affordable, so there’s never been a better time to do it.
There are many benefits to installing a green roof and walls. Their main function is to regulate temperature and insulation. This makes your home cooler and your home will retain more warmth during winter. Wasting energy is detrimental to the environment so proper insulation will ensure you’re not wasting any energy, or money for that matter.
Think globally, buy locally
When you think about it, there probably isn’t a viable reason for having your building materials shipped from hundreds of miles away. Search for companies selling these products in your local area – it’s both cost effective and eco-friendly.
There’s more to it water conservation than just replacing the dripping taps. When you start making plans for your home, think about the use of grey water. The water from your household can be recycled for the plants in your garden. Helpful water consumption tips include installing a three-star rated shower head and using a broom instead of a hose. These tips will help save you thousands of liters of water each year.
Size and flexibility
If you want to have a truly green home, you can’t exactly be living in a mansion. The less space you occupy, the better. You should really ask yourself how much space you and your family actually need in order to live a comfortable life.
Another green idea is flexibility or forecasting to the future. Build your home in such a way that eventually you can change its organization. Perhaps you may want to build a granny flat some day for your child who won’t leave home until they are in their 30s. If you want to extend your home and add another bathroom, you should check now for the future positions of pipes, wires, and taps.
Bamboo, cork, and linoleum are examples of highly eco-friendly materials. The market abounds with beautiful designs so the only difficulty here would be deciding on a pattern. Linoleum has become a very popular choice because of its long life-span (up to 40 years) and it can be recycled afterwards.
This is one of the green home features that is often overlooked – which is quite odd once you realize how vital it is for your everyday life. The air quality in your home is greatly affected by your choice of paints. VOC paints, volatile organic compounds, are full of carbon-containing substances which become vapors or gases. Always ask for low VOC paints to ensure you have an allergy and asthma free home.
Shed the lights
Incorporating more windows in your home should provide you with more sunlight. This means you won’t need to switch on the house lights and will save you money. Natural light also makes us more productive and efficient. If more than 50% of your windows are facing south, this would save your heating costs by 25%. For greater energy efficiency, you can try installing exterior lights with motion sensors.
So as you can see, building a green home isn’t just about helping our environment. It’s also about helping ourselves. At the end of the day, green building is all about living a healthier, more organized and wealthier life. Plan on implementing these suggestions into your house plan as soon as possible so you can be rest assured about getting the most value out of your home.