Whether you are planning to build a new house or are contemplating remodeling an older one, there are lots of options out there that will help to ensure your home is environmentally-friendly.
Perhaps surprisingly, there are practices throughout the world, including the U.S., where environmentally-friendly practices including passive solar design and the use of renewable materials have been used for centuries.
However, it is only in the past three decades that formal initiatives and programs have been playing an active role in ensuring that building design and construction is sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Today there are hundreds of standards, ratings, and certification programs that encourage us to ensure our homes are environmentally friendly.
Understanding the Concept of Environmentally-Friendly Houses
In essence, the aim of environmentally-friendly building or construction is to ensure that the structures we build are safe and don’t impact negatively on the environment or on the health of those who live or work in them.
Protecting the environment involves preventing pollution and the creation of hazardous waste, as well as any form of environmental degradation that might be caused by the:
– Production of building materials
– Construction process
– Used of energy during building and once the building is occupied
– Disposal of construction waste immediately after construction and at the end of the life cycle of the building
To be environmentally-friendly, it is also essential to use every possible resource efficiently, particularly those that are not renewable, like fossil fuels, natural gas, and even types of wood that takes a long time to regenerate and grow.
While these concepts are great for both new construction and renovations, the opportunities are undoubtedly better for new homes.
Important elements include:
– Selection of the best possible site
– Size and shape
– Roof designs and types
– Building materials
– Energy used during construction
– Energy-efficiency long-term
– Water conservation
While you, as a homeowner, should have a good basic understanding of environmentally-friendly concepts, you may need to rely on some specialist input from designers, architects, and possibly a company that provides mechanical engineering services.
Selection of the Best Site
While it isn’t always possible to choose an ideal site, if you have the option to buy a south-facing site in the northern hemisphere or north-facing site in the southern hemisphere, that’s a very good start!
This makes it that much easier to reduce energy bills, ensure good lighting, and generally ensure that you get maximum protection from the elements…
Continue reading and learn more about environmentally friendly homes on James Watt’s blog