Eco-Friendly Luxury Custom Home Options
More and more people are turning to environmentally friendly alternatives in their lives, including in their housing choices. We are all becoming more aware of how industrialization is making an adverse impact on the world. When appraised in 2018, it was estimated that buildings were responsible for approximately 40% of total energy consumption in the United States.
Embracing an Eco-Friendly Home
Many of us are looking for effective ways to reduce our carbon footprint and how we can introduce more sustainable alternatives in our lives. Coupled with this imperative to become part of the solution instead of part of the problem, people are discovering all the benefits of embracing the concept of an eco-friendly home. While some claim that designing and building to achieve a reduced carbon footprint is more expensive, it has been shown that the long-term savings can be substantial and this is an attractive drawcard.
Sure, we can all start by paying more attention to recycling and selecting sustainably-produced goods wherever we can. But the ultimate contribution is to live in a building that is as eco-friendly as possible. Not only is this kind to the environment and offers considerable cost-savings over the home’s lifetime but it is also a healthier way of living. The health benefits of living in an eco-friendly home can outweigh many other considerations when weighing up the cost of the investment.
How do we define eco-friendly housing?
An eco-friendly home focuses on using renewable energy sources, sustainable natural materials, and maximizing energy efficiencies right from construction through to the lifetime of the house. A ‘green’ home is designed, constructed, and operated to minimize or eliminate negative environmental and health impacts.
With sustainable building, energy-saving would have to be the number one innovation that will make the biggest difference. The term ‘passive housing’ refers to homes that are purpose-built to maximize the reduction in costs for heating, ventilating, and cooling. By building ultra-low-energy housing we can reduce heating and cooling by up to an impressive 90%. To achieve such savings, designers incorporate strategies to minimize heat leakage, ensure thermal bridging is optimized, and rely on mechanical or passive ventilation rather than traditional electrical methods.
What are the signature features of eco-friendly buildings?
The following are the major components of green building:
- Maximizing energy efficiency
- Achieving water efficiency
- Sustainable materials
- Reduced toxins
- Indoor air quality
- Waste reduction
- Sustainable development
Maximized energy efficiency is a major feature of eco-friendly housing. It demands more efficient HVAC systems, household appliances and white goods, and lighting. The home ideally would be run on renewable energy from technologies like solar panels on the roof to sourcing renewable energy from the grid. Heating and cooling the home can rely predominantly on passive solar design coupled with the installation of maximum organic insulation. Smart choices in the best types of windows and their placement create considerable energy efficiencies and tight-fitted, well-sealed windows and doors reduce heat leakage. Clever design can capture as much natural lighting as possible and the same applies to natural ventilation.
Equally, the water supply to the home can be much greener if rainwater is captured off the roof into storage onsite. Efficient low-flow plumbing and the use of gray-water systems on the property are big contributors.
Eco-Friendly Building Materials
There are environmentally-referable building materials that can be incorporated into the home construction design that is sustainable and eco-friendly. Not all building materials are green. Timber is not a sustainable choice unless it is reclaimed or it is FSC-certified. Materials like bamboo, clay tiles, cork, and natural stone are eco-friendly and other materials are a good choice if they are recycled, like steel, rubber, and glass. Try to source locally to avoid more emissions from long-distance transport.
Building materials should be selected that are non-toxic and non-allergenic to ensure a healthier living environment. This can include materials like low VOC paints and stains and carpet glues. We also need to make sure that the process of building your eco-friendly home cuts back significantly on building site waste with greater efficiencies and recycling
Living in an eco-friendly home does not necessarily mean it was originally built that way
To go eco-friendly in your existing house might be out of reach for some homeowners but there are many innovations you can include that are not as costly or that are worth the investment because they will make a significant reduction in the cost of living for years into the future.
Houses and buildings can be retrofitted with many of the features of sustainable housing and still yield a desirably reduced carbon footprint and cost savings into the future. Many people retrofit older buildings with green technologies and while this may not include every latest innovation it can go a long way to make a measurable difference in the building’s sustainability.
Sustainable eco-house design improves the quality of our lives, preserves natural resources, and creates positive outcomes for our environment. Sustainable technology and design solutions are already available today that enable us to build comfortable homes with passive energy efficiencies that are kinder to the environment, smarter, and better for our health.