Your home is a place to gather for respite, relaxation, and rejuvenation. When planning to design a new house, it is easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole of internet design inspiration by considering every little potential detail of your dream home. We all desire a safe and comfortable home with unique features, quality finishing, and beautiful interior décor, but how do we go about making our dreams a reality, while keeping in mind how our decisions may impact the environment?
The way you build your home can be just as fundamental, environmentally speaking, as how you decorate and live in your space. However, the argument for building an environmentally friendly home is not merely for upping your climate karma, because early intervention with smart building decisions can save you a surprising amount of money in the long run. Moreover, your family can benefit from a healthier home. We have put together a list of five essential factors to consider when designing your home to be eco-friendly.
Table of Contents:
1. Designing for your location
The architectural design of your home should be specific to the property you want to build on. Your home’s position on your chosen plot of land is integral to ensuring your family’s comfort regardless of the climate. Whether you have a south or north-facing plot, the number of trees and the wind direction can all play a significant part in how bright and cheery your home is, and how energy efficient it can be. You will want to take advantage of daylight in specific rooms at particular times to reduce your lighting costs. Similarly, you will want to design a home that seizes the shade of the day to keep your home cool. We advocate working with an architect or building firm that is willing to adapt building plans to your specifications, if you can afford it. They can customize your home’s design for its precise location.
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2. Utilize your space
It goes without saying that a smaller home will have a smaller environmental impact. Don’t think that you need to live in a tiny home or a loft to be considered eco-conscious; small design changes can lead to considerable environmental savings. The efficient use of space will mean less land disruption and excavation, fewer materials, less mileage, less heating and cooling, and less to keep clean.
It is often worth the initial effort to design your home wisely, with architects that understand your lifestyle and the current needs of your family. Quality architects will also consider how you use your space to accommodate the changing needs of your household as it ages. Multi-functional living spaces mean less overall square footage. Open concept spaces provide room for improved ventilation and lighting. Consider innovative ways of connecting the outdoor space to your interior rooms, which will expand upon your available living areas and bring nature’s benefits into your daily lives. With astute design tricks, it is possible to build a home that has a smaller environmental footprint while also saving money and time on construction. Additionally, you will reap the rewards of reduced maintenance and utility costs for years to come.
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3. Choosing your building materials, fixtures, and fittings
Sustainable building materials are not only better for the planet; they are generally better for your family’s health since they ensure better air quality, which means fewer allergens. The types of doors, windows, lights, and ducts you use will all play an integral role in how efficient your home will be. What you build, how you build, and the materials you use are all major factors in constructing your dream home. It can all feel overwhelming, but quality home builders like Frankel Building Group make the process more straightforward for their customers. By offering an in-house showroom of energy-efficient fixtures and fitting, from dual flush toilets to beautifully intricate kitchen taps, and Instagram worthy kitchen cabinets, the process of building a home is more straightforward today than it was even a few years ago.
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4. Checking for certification
Builders and contractors are adept at telling you what they know will make a sale and keep building costs to a minimum. To be guaranteed that your home meets current environmental standards for design and construction, look for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED certification. While you don’t have to pay more money upfront for simple design changes and smart construction choices, there are generally considerable, long-term benefits if you do. LEED is meant for everyone, not just those that prioritize environmental concerns, as it is simply good for business. LEED-certified buildings are more energy-efficient, use less water, and generate less waste. You can then be assured of savings on maintenance costs, while being more socially and environmentally responsible and ensuring a healthier home environment. Moreover, LEED certification increases the resale value of your home.
5. Decorate sustainably
A well designed, bright, and energy-efficient home is a big step towards providing your family with the essentials of being more eco-conscious, but where do you go from there? Small, everyday environmental decisions can create larger impacts, and this includes how you decorate your home. Many interior designers consider sustainability when recommending how to put the finishing touches on your new home; nevertheless, tell them if this is a priority as it shouldn’t affect how stunning the end product will be. You can choose paint colors that reflect natural light and are gentle to the environment and pair them with beautiful and sustainably sourced furniture. You can also purchase indoor plants that create dramatic pops of color while also purifying the air naturally.
For the sake of our planet and our children, the environment should be considered in most decisions we make daily. This is especially integral when these conditions affect the health and well-being of our families and loved ones. Luckily, it is getting easier to ensure your home’s design and construction is gentle to the environment, and it’s also becoming more affordable.
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