Building your dream home sustainably means using resources and materials with less environmental impact. It also means ensuring that the property will not produce as much carbon footprint as a regular house.
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Luckily, you do not have to do anything grand to achieve that. All you need is to choose sustainable and renewable materials and invest in smart appliances. This is where a robust quantity takeoff can be helpful. That’s because it can impact your material estimates and construction efficiency.
Moreover, having a sustainable home does not mean building your dream house from scratch. Sometimes, it only means making the eco-friendly switch.
If you want to build a sustainable home, here are seven construction tips that you should follow:
1. Use sustainable building material
Using materials that are quick to renew or upcycled is one of the best ways to limit how much energy needs to be used for construction.
For example, one of the top home design trends this year is using bamboo. It is relatively easy to grow, and it can also make a pretty strong building material. Similarly, you can also look for plenty of material left over from other demolitions or projects that you can use in your new home, which costs a lot less. Moreover, it doesn’t waste any resources to build.
2. Opt for recycled materials
When it comes to sustainability, recycling is vital. Of course, this needs to be balanced with availability, which usually depends on where you are, and the available materials might vary. Different materials can be easily recycled, reused, and reclaimed.
You can significantly reduce job site waste by ensuring that the contractor refurbished some leftover materials. You can do waste recycling to decrease waste accumulation as much as possible. For example, you can source materials by demolished products that have been recycled.
3. Save water and energy
Another excellent way to have a sustainable home is to reduce your water and electricity consumption. This is one of the helpful things you can do to protect the environment.
You can do that by installing water-saving fixtures. This includes tankless heaters, energy-saving appliances, low-flow toilets, and more. You might also consider getting a tub mushroom to prevent fallen hair from clogging the spillway.
If you want to level up things a bit, you might want to collect rainwater that you can use to maintain the landscape in your property or wash your car.
4. Get powered by renewables
You might also want to use renewable energy sources like installing small-scale wind turbines and a micro-hydro system. Similarly, solar power is also one of the most sustainable and low-cost energy sources you can tap.
By adding solar power as a vital part of your home, you can take full advantage of the light. Its positioning and location also allow you to gain the most efficiency and energy for your investment.
Additionally, we recommend picking a power company that generates renewable energy sources.
Install high-performance windows
Installing high-performance windows also makes a lot of difference. That’s because your windows usually account for at least 50% of lost energy.
Replacing windows often leads to better energy efficiency in the long run. There will also be less fading in your belongings and quieter rooms.
- For areas with warm climates: Look for ones with low solar gain, meaning there’s less heat conducted in your house’s interior using these windows. Choose windows that facilitate ventilation. Similarly, reflective technologies are also quite helpful.
- For cooler climates: Opt for well-insulated frames with the right U-valve. Doing so measures the rate of the heat flow via a building port. The lower, the better. To minimize heat loss, you might also opt for triple-glazed windows with a vacuum within panes. Make sure that you pick ones with a tight fit to eliminate drafts.
5. Emphasize passive heating and cooling systems
It can help if you also consider your house’s heating and cooling systems as these are some of the biggest energy drains.
You might also want to position your house to take full advantage of sunlight. In most cases, make it face south. For more oversized windows, your home will be a greenhouse in winters, and it will be much easier to keep it warm even by not using a heater.
Moreover, building a comfortable, eco-friendly home with a passive design cools down and warms up naturally. This makes your house more comfortable because of its excellent orientation and ventilation. It will also facilitate sun rays even during the cold season and cool it down during the hot season.
6. Emphasize Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
One of the best ways to emphasize indoor air quality is to minimize and eliminate materials that might contribute to allergens and other toxins.
Water vapor, for instance, leads to the growth of toxic black molds. Formaldehyde is also a toxin that can be found on non-sustainable building materials. It’s essential that you also choose low VOC paints and opt for more natural materials like wood on hard flooring and wool for carpeting.
7. Talk with experts
Talk with sustainability with experts. These professionals can do an energy audit and give you advice on easy fixes. They can also recommend the latest technology that you can use and other efficiency improvements that you can employ.
Building a sustainable dream home is one of the best ways of doing your part to save the environment. After all, eco-friendly living starts at home.
Jacky Xu is the Chief Operations Officer of Maid Sailors House Cleaning Services Austin, an
Airbnb cleaning service provider based in New Your City. Maid Sailors offers its customers
unrivaled vacation rental cleaning services that can address even the toughest cleaning needs
matched with affordable prices.