These are some of the most popular steps home builders are taking to create environmentally friendly and energy efficient residential buildings.
Rain water is a huge carrier of pollutants into local bodies of water. There is something home builders and homeowners can do to combat this problem: build a rain garden. The most important part of a rain garden is not the garden itself, but actually the system that will route rain from your roof to your garden instead of storm drains. The best plants for a rain garden are tough, native florae.
Plants can be used for a wide range of purposes that would otherwise use up other building materials and resources, such as shade, privacy, and protection from noise. Plants that are placed an appropriate distance from the rest of the building will be able to develop their root system and reach maturity.
Large appliances have long been among the top energy consumers in just about any home. Luckily, it has never been easier to find appliances that are energy-efficient. When installing appliances in a new home, choose products that are Energy Star rated.
There are plenty of ways to conserve water on a day to day basis using any appliances. However, you can make an even larger impact by installing special water-saving toilets, faucets, and showerheads.
Low Emissivity Windows
No matter what the season, traditional methods of climate control take huge amounts of energy. To reduce the need for heating and air-conditioning, low-emissivity windows, sometimes also known as “low e windows”, are useful in the summer to keep out hazardous rays from the sun. However, during the winter these types of windows help retain heat inside of the structure, which reduces the amount of extra heat you will need to pump in.
Not Building Too Large
In the past, everybody to have as large a home as possible, and this trend has not disappeared. However, the bigger the house the bigger the environmental impact – and the bigger your financial responsibility. With increasing interest in building smaller homes, there is wealth of information available on building smaller homes that “feel” larger, and are not only greener but also easier to maintain.
Building For Cross-Ventilation
One way to reduce the need for climate control is to plan for good ventilation. This includes putting windows on at least two sides of any room where this is possible, and installing ceiling fans strategically. These fans use much less energy than air conditioning, and some fans will help cool large areas.
Choosing a Walkable Area
In real estate, it is all about location. This can also apply to building green. More and more people are looking to not only rent and buy where they can walk to nearby amenities, but building is also becoming more popular in walkable areas.
Choosing a Tankless Water Heater
Most water heaters keep a supply of heated water constantly, so they are using energy even when it is not needed. A tankless water heater will quickly heat water only when hot water is needed, eliminating a huge waste of energy.
Using Forest Stewardship Council Certified Wood
Using a good deal of lumber is often a part of the home building process. Buying wood that has been FSC certified will ensure that you are using lumber from forests that are managed in a way that is responsible to the environment.