Living in a green home is better for the planet and better for your health, pocket and conscience. A green home is one which can be sustainably built, operated and maintained. Here is a list of traits that mark a sustainable home.
1. Sustainable site conditions
A green home should be built in a place where you can have solar access, a garden, a water supply, enough air, privacy and an atmosphere that is inspiring to you.
2. Good orientation
Experts recommend that you orient your house along the east-west axis with the windows facing either the true North or South. If you live in a hot climate, place your windows at the north side to bring in lots of natural light and cool air. In cooler climates, you can minimize heat loss by making windows smaller at the north side and larger at the south side to let sunlight in.
3. Sustainable building materials
A green home is essentially made of green construction materials such as recycled, repurposed and reclaimed wood, aluminum, glass, bricks, stone and ceramics. If you ever use “new” wood, let it be sustainably harvested and rapidly renewable such as bamboo. Lighting fixtures should be LED and energy-efficient models. Paints and bonding materials should be low in or free from VOCs.
4. Well-constructed and oriented windows
Use windows to regulate indoor temperature and help brighten up your home. To cool your house in hot climates, install large windows or casement windows and orient them in such a way as to bring in cool air. Use sustainable wood or aluminum for window frames. Aluminum is non-toxic, cheap and durable.
5. Wisely laid-out rooms
In laying out your floor plan, consider the functions of each room. Make sure each room lets in enough light and air movement appropriate for its function.
6. Open layout
An open layout serves to reduce construction, operation and maintenance costs. Wide open spaces also let in ample light and air to reduce your ventilation and lighting expenses. It also gives you enough space to rearrange your furniture for a new look every now and then.
7. Green roofing
Eco-friendly homes have roofing that is designed to catch rainwater and thus reduce water bills. Gutters and perimeter drains are channeled to subsurface drainage systems that water the garden or flush the toilet. Some green homes even go so far as to have green grass rooftops.
8. Eco-friendly walls
Natural brick or composites of lime, stone, sand and cement are good at thermo regulation, giving you savings on the air conditioning and heating bills. Look for salvaged, recycled materials.
Bamboo and laminated recycled wood are good flooring materials from an environmental standpoint. They are also comfortable to the feet and are good-looking! You can also go for the most durable ones such as granite, marble and parquet which could save you money in the long run as they do not need to be replaced as often.
10. Solar panels
Installing solar panels on your roof is probably the greenest addition you can have to your home. Not only does this provide you a boundless source of energy, it also affords protection against short-circuits and fires. The initial investment may run high but it can be easily recouped in time.
As a Certified Green Building Professional, Innovation Construction Co. can build a high quality home, addition, or remodel for your home. Please contact us with any questions or to discuss your eco friendly building project goals.