Energy-Efficient Homes and Eco-Friendly Design Elements
More and more home buyers and construction companies concentrate on eco-friendly home building, energy efficiency and sustainability. This great trend started a couple of years ago and is still going strong. People realized just how many benefits a green home design has when it comes both to the environment and their home budget. So, if you want to make your home more eco-friendly and energy-efficient, here are some of the key elements you should keep in mind.
The western world is obsessed with oversized cars, meals and most of all, homes. A huge home will never be as energy-efficient and eco-friendly as a small one. Smaller buildings require less materials to be built, less power to run HVAC units, and release less CO2.
Avoid toxic materials
An average home is built of materials that contain toxic chemicals and solvents which off-gas dangerous VOCs into the home’s indoor air. These harmful chemicals can be present in almost anything from furniture and floors to paints and fabrics. However, non-toxic materials and non-toxic insulation can all make your home more eco-friendly and hazard-free. Low or zero-VOC paints, natural wood and carpeting are some good examples.
Green walls and roofs
With rapid deforestation, we need to make an effort to plant as many new plants as possible to keep our planet healthy and cool. That’s why many architects and interior designers choose to incorporate greenery into their designs. For instance, green roofs are made of living vegetation like grass, flowers, and bushes. They make the building they stand on very energy-efficient, eco-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, living or green walls are also becoming more and more popular, both in residential and commercial buildings. Green walls help achieve the optimal air quality and humidity while also having a positive effect on the physical and mental health.
Opt for concrete
Even though most people don’t know it, concrete is a quite green building material. We just need to learn how to utilize it more. It’s made of mostly natural elements, such as rock, earth and water, mixed with some other raw components. Concrete can also be made on the building site which reduces the amount of CO2 released during transport. Companies that deal with concrete, such as the reliable TDK Formwork, even provide professional consulting for people who want to build with this eco-friendly material.
Buy local and reuse
Why order building materials from miles away when you can buy local? If you incorporate reused materials into your building process, you’ll further eliminate energy waste. However, you will have to make some adjustments if you plan to reuse old doors or floors. Most old elements don’t meet today’s standards when it comes to size.
Many people underestimate just how much energy and water their household appliances and fixtures use. So, you might want to replace your old appliances with new Energy Star models. These need much less electricity and water for the same actions than their older counterparts. Also, today is the perfect time to switch to LED bulbs that can save you both electricity and money.
Use natural energy sources to your advantage
To further reduce the amount of energy spent on heating and cooling, you should consider employing passive house designs. This type of eco-friendly design focuses on proper orientation of the building that allows you to collect as much heat as possible in the winter and avoid sun’s hot rays in the summer. For instance, if you avoid putting up large bay windows and balconies on the north side, you’ll manage to keep your home naturally warm with just a little help from your heating system. On the the hand, the installation of sunscreens, trees and pergolas can minimize the indoor heat in the summer.
No change happens overnight, but in the long run, energy-efficient and eco-friendly building and design elements will undoubtedly help keep our environment healthy and our pockets full.
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