So, what is an eco-friendly home?
An eco-friendly home, also referred to as a green home, is a house that is designed to be environmentally sustainable. Green homes focus on the efficient use of energy, water and suitable building materials.
If you are planning to build your new home and you want to make your home greener and eco friendly here are a few key points to start your eco friendly home.
Designing your new home with Yarrum Designer Homes can be an exciting experience. But before you start you need to find the right block of land for your eco-friendly home.
How big does your land need to be? Bigger isn’t always better when you are building a sustainable home. Larger homes use a lot more energy for heating, cooling, lighting and they also use valuable garden space if you plan on using your land for a veggie garden. Also, look for a block of land with a good orientation that allows for living and entertaining in the north and minimal windows on the east and west sides to take advantage of the sun’s warmth and light.
Use sustainable materials and methods
Reusing old materials where possible can help reduce environmental impacts and save costs. If you are using new products, then be sure to pick options that minimize the impact on the environment.
Here are the common eco-friendliest home materials
- Recycled Steel
- Straw Bales
- Precast Concrete
- Reclaimed or Recycled Wood
- Mud Brick
- Rammed Earth
Timber is probably the most commonly used material there is, and, as along as it is sourced properly, it is an easy material to work with.
Windows and Doors
By placing your living areas and windows on the North side allows your home some to soak up the natural light all year round, and winter sunlight will help warm up these areas in the cooler months. Double glazed windows and doors have been very popular in cooler climates for a long time, but now we know that they are an asset to warmer climates too. The space between the glass in double glazed windows acts as a thermal barrier between your home and the outside environment and helps keep your homes temperature steadier and insulated from the effects of the outside temperatures. Almost half of Australian homes energy costs are going to powering heating and cooling devices. By reducing your heat loss and gain through double glazed windows and doors you can reduce the need for electrical temperature control, and homes that have double glazing installed can effectively reduce their energy costs by more than 20%. Also, think of the placement of the windows and doors to allow for ventilation and movement of air around your home. Make the most of the cool southern breeze by placing windows and doors across from each other to allow the breeze to flow through the rooms.
Solar energy has become a major player when it comes to creating a world of clean energy. One of the major advantages is that solar doesn’t create any greenhouse gases. Solar power systems provide clean energy from the Sun. Installing a solar system can help cut your electricity costs by half and if you create large amounts of energy you can sell that back to your local power company. Both the installation and production of solar panels has little negative impact of the environment which makes them a great green option.
Insulating your home
Just by installing insulation into your home you are making it “green”, however, there are options to help make it “greener” and that’s buy choosing the right kind of insulation. Cellulose insulation is considered one of the most environmentally friendly insulation because it is made of 80 to 90% recycled newspapers. It provides an R-valve rating of around 3.5per inch, which is similar to fibreglass but contains a higher percentage of recycled materials. The R -value is the measure of thermal resistance used in insulation materials, the higher the R-valve the better the thermal performance and the slower the heat loss or gains.
Here are the benefits of installing quality insulation:
- Improved comfort – Insulation helps balance the temperature in your home.
- Electricity saving – Home insulation reduces the strain on your air conditioner by helping to keep the warm or cool air inside the home.
- Nosie – Some types of insulation have noise dampening properties to help soundproof your home.
Reduce your homes carbon footprint – By using less electricity you are reducing the impact on the environment
Energy Saving Lighting
The lighting we install in our homes has a massive impact on the mood and atmosphere we are wanting to create. LED or Light Emitting diodes are an extremely energy efficient and very long lasting option. LED light bulbs can reduce your household’s energy consumption by 80-90% and on average they last around 100,00 hours.
Water Tank & Reducing water wastage
Rainwater is free and can be stored in your water tank for use around the garden or can be plumbed into your home to flush toilets and even wash laundry. Tanks are available in a variety of sizes to suit all your water needs and available space. Reducing your water usage will again save you money and help the environment. To help reduce water waste you can install water fixtures that control the flow of toilets, showerheads and taps.
At Yarrum Designer Homes we can help design your eco-friendly, low impact, home to help reduce your carbon footprint and lower your energy consumption all the while working in with your lifestyle requirements and budget. Contact us today to start the design process.