Society as a whole is growing more aware of the impact human actions have on the environment. This is leading many people to stand up and change their behaviors for the good of the local and global community. Adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle means many small daily changes, but it also involves the careful planning of your larger activities too – like building a new house.
Any good home builder today can implement several effective methods of constructing a new home in a more environmentally friendly manner – changes that will cut down on energy use, water use and emissions. If you’re thinking about new home construction, you should know a little about the various methods new home builders can use to build a more eco-friendly home. In this article, we’ll cover six of the best ways to make your new home more eco-friendly.
Net Zero Energy Home
There are two ways to think of energy in your home. There is the energy you consume and the energy you generate. In a net zero energy home, the amount of energy you generate will be equal or greater than the amount you consume – hence the term ‘net zero’ which indicates you have achieved a balance.
New home builders can help you achieve a net zero energy home by improving on both energy consumption and your ability to generate energy. This involves lowering energy consumption to its absolute lowest level (through building materials, insulation, and energy-efficient options). Builders can also install ways for your home to make energy by adding renewable energy sources such as solar panels.
Energy Efficient Everything
Even if you’re not going net zero, you can still improve the energy use of your home by choosing energy-efficient models whenever possible. This includes everything from windows and appliances down to the type of light bulbs you use. Some of these changes may seem small, but they actually have a big impact. For example, energy.gov states CFL and LED light bulbs use between 25 to 80 percent less energy. When you add up all of the light bulbs in your home – plus your other energy-efficient choices like energy efficient windows and appliances – you’ll really see your energy savings add up.
Greywater refers to water that has only been lightly used. Consider the water that goes down the drain of the kitchen sink or while you’re showering, for example. This water may have some dirt, food or other particles in it, but it’s not completely unusable. In fact, it can be used for various applications, such as outdoor irrigation. By reclaiming this greywater, you are helping to reduce water waste.
New home builders have a number of techniques to help you reclaim and reuse greywater. For example, one option is to install pipes underground that will take this greywater out of your house and move it outdoors where it can be used to water your lawn or garden.
Just as there are many energy-efficient options on the market today, pretty much anything that uses water also has a water-efficient alternative. Some examples include low-flow faucets and showerheads and water-efficient dishwashers and washing machines. Your new home builder can help you explore your best options. Your water-efficient choices will add up to a lot of saved water over time.
Low VOC Paint
Another area of concern for the environment is emissions. Harmful chemicals released into the air have negative impacts on our health and can also impact global warming. One great way to lower your emissions in new home construction is to use low VOC paints.
VOC stands for volatile organic compound. VOCs are found in many things, including paint. VOCs are released from the paint as the paint dries and can even linger for months after construction. To cut back on your VOC emissions, you can request your home builder use low VOC paint.
Emissions are also a problem when materials from distant locations have to be shipped to you. It’s something many people don’t really think about, but can have devastating effects on the environment. To solve the problem, try to use locally-sourced materials whenever possible. These materials are made closer to home, so there is less transportation involved. It is also a great way to support your local community.
As you see, there are several ways to add an eco-friendly flare to your new home construction. The choices you make can lower your emissions as well as your water and energy use for years to come. Talk with your new home builder about these and other eco-friendly options before you start to build. Building a new home is an exciting and rewarding event, but by taking the right measures, you can give back to the environment too.