Building Green Build to Last
When building a green home, careful thought and consideration must be placed on every aspect of this home design to effectively reduce the harmful impact on the environment. Whether it’s hiring hydro demolition contractors for concrete removal or using energy-efficient light bulbs around the home, it is important for everyone to do their bit when it comes to helping to make the environment a better place to live in. It is also important to lessen one’s footprint and not to disrupt the existing ecosystem; there really is no excuse for not being environmentally conscientious with all the knowledge and resources available to us today.
Building Green – Don’t build more house than you need
If you build too much house, it will likely have unused, wasted space that will cost you more to heat and cool.
Take careful consideration of your lifestyle when planning a build, also taking time to think ahead. If your family will be changing in size over the years, consider that as well.
Building Green – Where to Build
While a chalet tucked away in a mountain range sounds like the perfect place to build, do consider building in or near town.
Building on a new site can damage a peaceful ecosystem. It can disrupt the lives and dens of local wildlife and eliminate them altogether in order to bring additional lines, utilities, and roads where they don’t currently exist.
Building Green Build to Last – Exposure
No matter where you choose to live, ensure that you have unobstructed solar access from 9:00 in the morning until 3:00 in the afternoon. When building your home it should always have a southern exposure. You will automatically lower your energy costs by 10% by placing the front of the home due south.
Situate your home so that it is facing due south, placing the majority of the windows on the southern side, and placing overhangs or awnings to shield the sun’s hot summer rays. Use materials that will absorb and radiate the sun’s heat. It is also important to consider the suitability of the building blocks being used if you are building on top of pre-existing foundations. If there is damage, it is important that you visit your local foundation repair company for assistance.
One should also note that it would not be wise to have a glass wall facing due south as this will have the complete opposite effect! Plant trees near your home to offer natural shade on the southern sides and take advantage of skylights (with shades) to maximize the sun’s energy.
There is much information readily available via the internet; there’s really no excuse not to educate yourself as best as you can to learn about all your green building options.
There is no reason, today, not to use environmentally responsible products, such as solar or geo-solar equipment. There are plenty of options available at every price point.
When building your home you should be using toxic-free, sustainable, recycled, and low VOC products. Everything from the roof to the foundation, from the lighting to the floor, from insulation to paint can all be environmentally sound.
Building Green Build to Last – Insulation
The greatest savings will come from your home’s insulation. Today’s insulation products have the ability to prevent heat loss and gain via walls, windows, roofs, and foundations. Insulation is responsible for your building’s heat retention and loss. A well-insulated building will not only save energy and resources but will cut your electrical bill substantially.
The roof protects and supports the walls; when building, much consideration needs to be placed upon the roof. It is important to understand how much weight the roof will need to be supported properly; the shape of the roof is vital to the home’s efficiency of energy as well.
A flat roof will tend to hold and accumulate water whereas a sloped roof will not. Proper drainage should be installed to ensure that the roof protects your home in the most efficient manner possible. The roof’s insulation is equally important to the building’s heating and cooling efficiency.
Energy Efficient Equipment
There’s no excuse not to use a high efficiency or energy-efficient appliance. Consider using a tankless water heater so water will not sit around waiting to be heated. Green appliances like the tankless water heater flush kits are available at all price points and are readily available.
Using Environmentally Friendly Products
There really is no reason not to use eco-friendly products. Everything from your roofing material, building material, insulation to you your flooring, counters, and cabinets should be environmentally friendly. Whether using recycled lumber, natural products such as cork, or bamboo, concrete, granite, or recycled glass, everything you could possibly need or want to build your home should be eco-friendly.
Going green doesn’t have to mortgage you to the gills. While building a fully green home typically costs 20 to 30 percent more than a traditional build, you can still get results by spending less, often as little as 2 to 4 percent over standard construction.
Here are some tips to make your new or existing home more eco-friendly: Building Green Build to Last
Think “refresh”, not “remodel”
You don’t need to throw out what you’ve already had to go green. The most eco-friendly approach is to try to work with what you already have. You’ll create less waste with your construction project and save money on new materials. Using existing elements will also make the project move faster, which translates into lower labor costs.
For example, if you buy a home with hardwood floors, it would be better to leave the original surface than to replace it with eco-friendly flooring. Since old-growth trees have already been cut down to make the floor, it would be wasteful to throw them out and use additional resources.
Use salvaged materials
Using recycled supplies can often reduce your building costs and environmental impact. Look for secondhand lumber, plumbing fixtures, or hardware. They’ll add low-cost character to your home.
Build a smaller home
Smaller, more space-efficient buildings use fewer resources during construction, and they are cheaper to heat and cool. Moreover, smaller homes are less disruptive to their home site and leave more of your property open for plant and animal life.
Let the sun be your friend
Letting the sunshine in – in the right places – can drastically reduce your heating, cooling, and electric bills. It costs little, if anything, to shuffle the window arrangement during the design process.
To maximize the sun’s effects, add the most windows to the south side of your home. Add fewer windows on the east and west facades to reduce cooling costs.
Adding water-saving features to your home during construction won’t cost you much, but it’ll make a big difference in your bills down the road. There is little if any, additional cost to substitute standard water equipment with energy-efficient models. So why not install a low-flow showerhead or water aerator now?
Get energy-saving appliances
Your appliances have two price tags: the one on the sticker at the store and the one you get in the mail every month for utility fees. Efficient appliances might cost a little more off the shelf, but they are worth the savings later.
Appliances approved by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program use 10 to 50 percent less energy and water than standard models, reducing energy costs.
Trash the garbage disposal
Disposals might be convenient, but they’re definitely not energy-efficient. They use a lot of water and send lots of organic material down the drain. Take your food scraps out back to a compost pile instead. You won’t miss the disposal when your food scraps turn into nutrient-rich topsoil that’s the perfect fertilizer for a garden.
Recycle construction extras
When you’re sparkling, the new home is done, don’t forget to salvage the leftover materials. Some extras can be sold, while others can be recycled. You’ll save big on landfill expenses, and you’ll keep your project from contributing to another trash heap.