Design Considerations for an Eco-Build
Eco-homes and sustainable living are the way to go. Fossil fuels are becoming increasingly scarce and more expensive so it’s not surprising that many people are keen to buy a land and build their own eco-home. Here are some things to think about before you start your eco-home project.
The easiest way to keep energy consumption and fuel bills down is to fit good quality ‘green’ insulation during the construction process. Low-energy homes need insulation of about 300mm in depth to keep them cozy. You can choose from completely natural options including recycled paper, hemp, mineral fiber, wood fiber, or even wool.
Enormous windows flood your home with light and sunshine as well as allowing you great views but they do have disadvantages. Heat will dissipate quickly through big windows, and your home could get so warm in the summer that you’ll need air conditioning. If you must have big windows, opt for high performance double or triple glazing or energy efficient Low-E glass. If your windows face south, you might want to install solar shading or a specially-coated solar control glass.
When fitting out your bathrooms and kitchens, choose low-water use taps, showers and toilets. You’ll have a water meter so it’s important to keep consumption to a minimum if you can. Collect recycled rainwater in a water butt and use it for watering your garden in the summer, for washing your car, and even for flushing toilets.
Green Building Materials
Most big suppliers of timber make sure that all their products are obtained from sustainable sources, but make sure that anything you buy for your home is genuinely ‘green’. Spend a little time surfing the net to find some unusual and innovative recycled furnishings for your home.
You could further enhance your eco-home by investing in your own energy generating technology. Consider installing solar panels or even a wind turbine. Of course, it will depend on where you live as to what micro-generation technology will be suitable. Solar panels will need south-facing surfaces to be most beneficial and a wind turbine is of no use if you live in a sheltered area that’s devoid of breezy days. Micro-generation products are now available from many major retailers. The downside is that they can be expensive to buy and install so you’ll have to work out carefully whether it’s worth it in the long term.
With a little thought and innovation, it’s possible to incorporate an eco-friendly design into your new-build home. If all new houses were constructed with sustainable living and the future of the planet in mind, the world would be a greener place to live in and a clean environment for our children’s future would be much more assured.
Image source: qualityunearthed.co.uk
About Alison Page
Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies.