Building a sustainable home is a great first step when you want to start living eco-consciously. Sustainable homes are basically homes that have a lesser negative impact on our environment. They’re energy-efficient, built responsibly, and have a positive impact on their surroundings.
Sustainable homes are designed in a way that they don’t contribute to any negative effect on our environment. Whether it’s pollution, destruction, or wastefulness—these eco-homes often use renewable resources that have less impact on the environment.
Many experts believe that green homes aren’t just good for the environment, it can also improve our health and well-being. Are you ready to start living green? Here are sustainable design practices for building the green home of your dreams!
Repurposing and Recycling
Sustainable homes are often built from the ground up. And when you’re building your home from scratch, it’s incredibly important to consider the materials you’re using. As you’ve probably guessed, the key to sustainability is choosing low-impact, non-toxic, and recycled materials. When constructing your home, it’s best to go for responsibly produced materials that require little energy to process.
There are many ways to do this. Firstly, if you are building your home where there are lots of raw materials in the area, you can simply use the existing materials from your environment. If you’re renovating, use the construction waste from the previous build. Using recycled or repurposed materials is a very popular trend among green designs and architects. The concept is used to reduce construction waste and use things that can offer value in your home.
There are many ways to recycle construction waste but here are just some of the most common ways amazing and creative workers do it:
- Reclaimed wood. Reusing old salvaged wood or timber to create new furniture, firewood, or mulch.
- Reclaimed brick. Reusing bricks and stones to add as a design element in your new build.
- Recycle concrete to build driveways and footprints
- Recycle metals by smelting them and reforming them to new metal products.
From construction to design, reducing energy waste is probably the most effective way to start living green. According to various studies, construction and building account for more than 30 percent of global final energy use. So appropriate building design and smaller building footprints are crucial factors to sustainable design.
“Human beings don’t have a pollution problem; they have a design problem. If humans were to devise products, tools, furniture, homes, factories, and cities more intelligently from the start, they wouldn’t even need to think in terms of waste, or contamination, or scarcity. Good design would allow for abundance, endless reuse, and pleasure.” – The Upcycle by authors Michael Braungart and William McDonough, 2013
As stated earlier, an efficient and sustainable home is one that uses less energy to heat, light, and run appliances. If most homes spend most of their energy costs in heating or cooling reducing these temperature requirements is the best way to actually reduce costs. You want a home that’s well-insulated and well-sealed. At the end of the day, no amount of solar panels will compensate for windows and poor wall designs that leak heat and moisture.
Lighting can make a huge difference when you’re aiming for sustainable design. When designing the layout of your home, you always want the living rooms and kitchen to face south where there’ll be more sun.
You also want to consider your window designs. Ensure that your window is secure and that you have the option to remove heavy blinds or curtains. It’s important that a home can take full advantage of natural sunlight.
Another way to maximize daylight is by using skylights. This helps conserve electrical lighting in darker areas of your home. It’s also great for the aesthetics and overall design of your space.
Water Conserving Plumbing Fixtures
Modern toilets and plumbing are now equipped with better and more water-conserving features. For example, there are the dual flush toilets where you can choose the flush rate: high or low. There are also showerheads that use the same concept. If buying plumbing for the first time, always consider these things before choosing the item.
Did you know that most traditional paints release toxins that are actually harmful to you, your family, and the environment? Say goodbye to these harmful paints and start living green by using organic paints whenever possible!
Most sustainable homes use organic paints that have lower levels of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). They are also made from raw materials that are from renewable resources. Examples of these paints are milk paint, chalk paint, or plant-based paints.
Use Solid Wood and Other Long-Lasting Furniture
To prevent yourself from buying new furniture each year, go for durable and well-made furniture. Experts recommend furniture made from solid wood such as oak, maple, and walnut. Most antiques often have this construction and are also made without the modern glue and chemicals they use today. Plus, aren’t wood furniture just very pleasing to look at?
Use Natural Textiles
Whether it’s silk, cotton, or linen, natural textiles are superior to other forms of textiles. Since they’re made from renewable resources such as animal or plant-based fibers, they often contain fewer chemicals. Most natural textiles also are less toxic and use less water to produce.