Going green has become increasingly important as we are already facing the consequences of our irresponsible use (and abuse) of our planet’s resources. Today, eco-friendly building implies much more than just installing solar panels and wind turbines – a green home should also be well-insulated, well-designed and if possible, well-located. Basically, the aim of sustainable building is to create a balance between the needs of economy, environment, and society by minimising the negative impact the building has on the environment. With all that in mind, here are some things to consider if you want to build an eco-friendly home.
Location, orientation, and size
Regardless of what kind of building you’re designing, it’s important to take into consideration its location, orientation and proximity to other important community facilities. These factors can affect the local ecosystem, energy consumption of your home, and transportation methods you use. The location you choose should not harm the local biosphere and should be easily accessible. Also, making sure your home is properly oriented will allow you to make the most of the passive solar energy.
Moreover, don’t build a bigger house than you need. This doesn’t mean you should live in a box, but a smaller house also comes with lower expenses; it requires fewer materials to build, less cleaning time, and less energy for lighting, heating, and cooling.
Reducing the energy consumption of your building is extremely important if you want it to be eco-friendly. Make sure your home is well-insulated so that the heat can’t escape, use LED light bulbs instead of the traditional incandescent ones, install double-glazed windows and buy energy-saving appliances. You should also consider installing solar panels because they will enable you to generate your own electricity, which you can even sell back to the grid.
Choosing the right materials is essential when it comes to sustainable building; the materials you choose should be safe, recyclable, and have as little impact as possible on the environment and human health. Also, a sustainable building must be able to use and reuse the materials in the most productive way during its entire life cycle. Concrete, for example, is one of the most common sustainable materials due to its low maintenance, durability and versatility. It can be moulded into various shapes too, so if you’re located in Australia, you can rely on the professionals from TDK formwork to help you get the desired look of your concrete structure. Concrete is also quite affordable and if you ever need to recycle it, it’s a relatively simple process.
Fresh water is becoming a rather scarce resource that most of us take for granted. Besides taking shorter showers and not letting the water run while brushing your teeth, there are a couple of mechanical solutions you should consider as well. You can buy a dual-flush toilet that uses up to 67% less water than the regular one, and you should also think about installing low-flow showerheads. These fittings are not too expensive, and they can help you reduce the amount of water your building consumes. If you want to do even more, you can use rainwater harvesting; it is a simple and economical way to save water by collecting it and using for watering your plants, washing your car or flushing your toilet.
Green roofs and living walls
Another way to make your building eco-friendly is to actually make it green by introducing some plants. Green roofs and living walls are great insulators, and they can reduce the heating and cooling costs of your home. They also improve the air quality around it by releasing oxygen, and you can use the water gathered with the rainwater harvesting method for watering your roof and walls. Finally, considering how nowadays, most of the green areas are replaced by buildings, roads, and parking lots, adding some greenery to your home can be a great way to reintroduce nature to the urban city life.
It is now more obvious than ever that the Earth is in great danger due to all the pollution, deforestation, and global warming – and it will only get worse if we do nothing about it. By choosing to make your building eco-friendly diy, you are not only saving money but also doing your part in the preservation of our planet.
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