Sustainable Housing, A Guide to a Greener Home
Matt is a home improvement and design writer working for Reilly Roofing and Gutters, TX. He promotes sustainable living through the use of eco-friendly technology in everyday life.
What Defines Sustainable Housing?
Green homes are a great alternative to conventional homes in every application. Not only can homeowners boast reduced resource use and waste during construction, but they can also enjoy prolonged energy and water savings, a higher standard of living and many financial benefits.
How to Start “Building” a Better Future
- Call a professional: As sustainable housing continues to take shape, its competitive advantage will be clear and traditional home building will become a thing of the past. Eco-friendly builders and architects are making a rise and finding one in your local area should not be a problem.
- Off-the-grid: If you have the motivation and resources, why not build your own sustainable home. You can find inspiration from around the world and design an off-the-grid home to suit your needs.
- Tiny houses: Downsizing the space you live in has become a social movement. Choosing a tiny home can simplify one’s life and cut environmental impact.
- Renovation: If building from scratch is out of the option, you can always choose to renovate your home with sustainability in mind.
Main Features of Sustainable Homes
- Design: Ensure that new rooms or structures are designed to be an appropriate size (not too big!) and with energy efficiency in mind.
- Building materials: Select renewable or recycled building materials. Look into green alternatives to concrete, source your timber wisely, and choose non-toxic paints and finishes.
- Energy generation: Depending on your location you may have several options available in terms of renewable energy. Do your research on solar panels, wind power and micro-hydro and enjoy reduced energy bills forever!
- Water management: Install a rainwater collection and greywater system to reduce water usage. If you are thinking about putting a pool in your garden, look into eco-pools.
- Lighting: Use energy efficient lighting and install motion sensors to ensure that lights are not left on unnecessarily.
- Heating and cooling: Ensure that your home is properly insulated to reduce the need for heating and cooling. If you must install a cooling system consider a ceiling fan or energy efficient air conditioner.
- Appliances: When upgrading your appliances ensure that they have a 5-star energy rating.
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