CONSCIOUS LIVING - An Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Home Design Guide
12th July 2020
If you’re lucky enough to be able to design your own home you should definitely channel all of your creative power and desires towards creating a perfect personal environment for yourself.
However, if you’re also looking to make your build more sustainable and eco-friendly, you might want to consider the following advice.
Utilise Design to Conserve Energy
In this day and age, we all want to enjoy the perks and comforts associated with electricity. Still, with your goal being an eco-friendly and sustainable home design, you should definitely discuss your best options on the matter with the contractors.
For starters, you might want to make the most out of natural light and consider the installation of highlight windows and skylights as well as opting for LED artificial lighting and other smart appliances that reduce energy waste.
Furthermore, the size and floor plan of your home will also affect its eco-friendliness and sustainability. Instead of building a large home, consider minimizing the space you’ll need by going through some smart and creative solutions with the architects and contractors in order to maximize the efficient space use and its flexibility.
In case you’re building your home while you’re still on your own, a sustainable investment for the future would definitely include pre-designing for a larger family. Even if you have to expand your home later on, keep in mind the positives of energy-reducing design.
Address the Possibilities of Passive Design
Passive design involves the build’s location in regard to climate and land. Essentially, when the home is designed and built with these aspects in mind, it’s possible to save up to 40% of the energy you’d have to use for heating and cooling.
For example, positioning a home with a northern aspect in mind means that the home’s interior will enjoy more sunlight and provide you with improved well-being. On the other hand, installing the right shading solutions at adequate locations will result in lower sun exposure during the warmer months. These can then be moved to make the most out of the sun’s power during winter.
Depending on the climate and typical weather conditions during different seasons, passive design solutions will also include different types of insulation. In general, double-glazed windows and thermal insulation seem to work best at keeping the air inside warm or cool.
Leave Room for a Garden
When you’re designing your ideal floor plan with the professionals in the field, make sure to mention that you want to have adequate garden space. Garden area also has to be adjusted to climate, land conditions, and general sun exposure.
With a nice garden, you’ll have the opportunity to grow your own organic produce, keep the air around your home purer, enjoy the relaxing power of greenery, and even get a nice tree shade.
Getting more creative with the garden design will let you reconnect with nature. In that respect, you can build a lounge area in the garden and set up a bird feeder, build an insect hotel, compost, create a pond, and so on.
Make the Most Out of Renewable Resources
When it comes to heating, cooling, ventilating, and illuminating your home in an eco-friendly and sustainable manner, you can’t go wrong with renewable energy sources. And the biggest form of renewable energy source is solar power.
Don’t hesitate to discuss the best solar panel solutions for the size, position, and floor plan of your home design if you want to make sure that you can move into your new home 100% certain that you’ll harvest sunlight to the fullest and live in a 'carbon-positive' home.
It's also possible to set up a natural water harvesting system so that you can collect rainwater. Even if you don’t want to consume this water or use it for showering and handwashing, you can safely utilize it for toilet flushing and watering the garden, which is a considerable sustainability bonus.
Use Sustainable Materials
During your eco-friendly and sustainable home design, it’s important that you’re open with the contractors about what you want and what your goals are. This also relates to the use of sustainable materials in the building process.
That said, focusing on materials that are sustainably sourced and can be recycled and reused in years to come is a rather efficient way to prevent energy waste in the long run. This will make a big difference in protecting the environment, too.
Sustainably planted forests are an acceptable source of wood. You can also make the most out of recycled materials such as aluminium or durable and beautiful natural stone. When it comes to paints, sealants, adhesives, stainers, and similar, always opt for low-VOC alternatives.
Designing an eco-friendly home won’t only make the effort worth your while by saving you money on electricity bills. It will also help you minimize your carbon footprint and do more than a fair share of protecting the environment and letting the planet breathe.
Author Bio: Kevin has gone through an extensive home renovation with his son, which he has both thoroughly enjoyed, and dreaded every morning. He is now the proud owner of half his dream house (the other half has been waiting for spring). You can read more of Kevin’s work on PlainHelp.
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