Eco-Friendly Home

If you’re thinking about doing your bit for the environment and building a green home, you could be part of a revolution.

Green builds are one of the newest and most valuable trends in construction at the moment. For every single new house built, there’s an associated impact on the environment, though green builds can minimize, and in some cases even neutralize this impact.

But where do you even start when planning to build an Eco-friendly home?

There are a lot of options available – pre-fab Eco homes, specialist Eco-designs and more alternative solutions – but if you’re going it alone, there are a few really important points to think about first.

How to build an Eco-friendly home

1. Location, location, location

build an Eco-friendly home - Location

When choosing the plot your new home is going to stand on, consider what is, or was there. The general rule is: don’t build in an environmentally sensitive area – no construction on wetlands, in forests, floodplains or on any patch of land that will significantly alter the landscape if you built there.

Finding brownfield land – land that has already been built upon – is the best bet for Eco buildings. You can knock down any buildings that stand on the site already; but make sure the land is not contaminated, as it will make it impossible to landscape with all those plants that will help make your building carbon neutral.

 

2. Energy efficiency

build an Eco-friendly home

Make sure you’re using as many energy conserving measures as you can within your budget.

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Think about having your home completely powered by solar panels – although initially expensive to install, you can save far more than the installation cost, and over a ton of carbon emissions per year!

Comprehensive insulation can ensure that you don’t lose so much heat, making your house more energy efficient. There are a lot of effective recycled insulation solutions, for example, from paper or plastic bottles.

Make sure the windows you install are double or triple glazed, and think about their positioning – maximizing windows on the south side of your building means you’ll get a lot of solar warmth, even on cloudy days.

Installing a green roof can also massively help with insulating, and help offset that carbon footprint.

Make sure when you’re furnishing to buy energy efficient appliances, and also think about having recycled or up-cycled furniture.

 

3. What materials to use?

building materials

There’s a huge selection when choosing green build materials, and it seems a new one is developed every minute. Think about using recycled materials – you could even use materials from the site such as gravel and rock, or from the building that was there before.

When you decorate, make sure you use Eco paint, which is made from natural products and has minimal effect on the environment. Think about where you will be spending most of your time, if in the office, plants can help to diffuse hard edges and can also make for a more oxygen rich environment.

 

4. Water usage

home water conservation

Think about installing low-flow toilets, sinks and showers, and also consider reusing your grey water (not as horrible as it sounds, I promise).

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There are several options for this – to have grey water from your bath, shower and sinks diverted to a water butt so it can be used for watering plants, or you can have it diverted to a tank, so it can be used to flush the toilets as well.

Here are safe ways to use grey water around the house.

Conclusion

These four points should be at the front of your mind when designing your home. At every step of your build, just stop for a moment and think, am I doing my bit for the environment? And you should have a great, green home!

{This article has been updated for freshness and consistency.}

Greener Ideal strives to help you live your life in more sustainable ways with green living tips, healthy recipes and commentary on the latest environment news. The views expressed by guest authors are their own and may not reflect those of Greener Ideal.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Eco or green homes should be 100 percent self-sufficient, and the above article generally describes how to start accomplishing this goal. Given all the recent disasters, these homes should also be earth sheltered or otherwise protected against fires, tornadoes, floods, looting, WMD (weapons of mass destruction), and other potential disasters. If you need plans on combination green & earth sheltered homes, please send me an email ([email protected]).

  2. I love energy efficient builders! It is sustainable and comfortable to live in. It helps me save a lot money because it conserve energy and reduce unnecessary energy consumption.

  3. You can also improve your home’s energy efficiency by using your heating system correctly. One of the most important things you should do is to keep the temperature steady. Turning off the heat when you leave or more than 5-8 degrees lower at night than during the day can cause your unit to work harder to try and warm the place back up. So pick a nice steady range instead. A programmable thermostat can help you do that.

  4. I see you’re suggesting installing solar panels – that’s great! While installing solar panels may seem expensive, homeowners can qualify for a tax credit that will greatly reduce the payback period of the panels. For systems installed in 2023, homeowners can claim 22% of qualifying installation costs as a tax credit.
    You may also want to read this article to get more information: http://www.edelmaninc.com/how-efficient-are-solar-panels/.

  5. I strongly support the idea of using additional window glazing. But here’s one more thing that can affect your home’s energy efficiency — your front door.
    If your front door is old or low-quality, consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient option, like a steel door. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures in summer and winter, consider thermally broken steel doors, which use two layers of steel separated by insulation to reduce thermal conductivity, keeping your home at the perfect temperature year-round.

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