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Design Tips For A Greener Home

Here are a few ideas to help keep things eco-friendly when designing your new green home.  You could also save some money too!

Fireplaces

An open fire in a traditional fireplace is not very efficient especially when the hearth is cold.  Much of the heat generated can be lost up the flue unless you close the damper and that can prevent the fire from drawing properly.

The best option is to invest in a log burner with intake and outflow vents at the top and bottom.  You can still enjoy the warm glow of flickering flames through the burner’s glass doors and access to the damper is much easier. Not only are log burners far more efficient and easier to operate; they also generate more heat.

Drainage

When you begin preparing the site for your new green home make sure that the ground extending away from the house slopes down at least half of an inch per foot downhill and for 10 feet in all directions.  This makes drainage much more efficient.  This could save you a fortune in the long run as your property will be less likely to suffer from dampness or flooding in very wet weather.

‘Furnitecture’

Furnitecture is a novel term coined to describe ‘efficient’ furniture.  It includes things like bureau-beds, long desk counters equipped with plenty of shelving above or drawer space below, and shoulder-height walls.

Replacement of traditional bulky furniture with more compact pieces will provide you with more interior space, and will allow sufficient room around the inside of the exterior walls to add an additional layer of insulation.  This will go a long way towards making your new home more energy-efficient.

Efficient Indoor Spaces

When designing your green home always be aware of the best use of space.  Don’t finish up with a lot of unusable corners, narrow hallways that have no purpose, or oceans of space around islands of furniture.  You will be heating the whole of the interior of your home whether the space is used or not, and the more superfluous space you have, the more energy you will use. 

Use the space you are creating wisely.  Extra storage capacity will mean that you don’t have to pay to rent a unit miles away, a home office could save you a drive into work a couple of days each week, and installing a home gym might mean you don’t have to drive to an expensive health club.  Think about converting the space between a row of stud walls into a hallway library or extra shelving.  The possibilities are endless if you use your imagination.

In Conclusion

Making your new home greener is not just about changing to energy-saving light bulbs or installing solar panels.  You can make a real difference to your energy consumption and efficiency by employing a little radical thinking when you design and fit-out your new home with 'green' in mind.

 

Image source:  Maxall Construction

Alison Page

About Alison Page

Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies.

Alison Page

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