How to build a home that's eco-friendly
Most people nowadays are far more aware of their impact on the environment than they once were; as a result, many are trying their best to lessen the negative effect their actions have on the planet. One way in which people are doing this is by taking a more eco-friendly approach to the house building process; building in a 'greener' manner not only helps the environment, but can also reduce homeowners' future energy bills. For those interested in building an eco-friendly property, here are a few suggestions which may help.
Use salvaged construction materials
Most home builders purchase new construction materials, without really considering the vast amount of energy that was needed to manufacture and transport them. If you're committed to building a 'green' home, then it's worth considering using recycled, rather than new building materials.
This is not as complicated as you might think; the construction and demolition of properties generates an enormous amount of waste products, much of which have the potential to be re-used. As such, there is a plentiful supply of items which you may be able to salvage and recycle. Search online for nearby warehouses selling off leftover construction goods. The most common items you're likely to come across include countertops, crown mouldings, roof shingles, insulation materials, hardware such as door hinges, drawer pulls and knobs, along with plumbing pipes, concrete and timber.
Adopting this approach will not only lessen the impact the construction process has on the environment, but may also save you quite a bit of money, as second-hand building materials are likely to be priced a lot more competitively than brand new ones.
Decide how you will conserve and generate energy
It is best to determine what your chosen energy generation and conservation methods will be before the house building process begins, rather than after it is finished, as installing energy-saving or boosting features retrospectively can be complicated and costly; it may mean you need to break through walls and roofing that you paid a great deal of money to have built and decorated.
Using natural insulation materials in the loft and wall cavities of your new home is one of the best ways to ensure the property retains its heat during the colder months and its cool air during the chillier seasons. There are plenty of biodegradable, renewable and non-toxic options available, all of which have a low environmental impact and are just as effective as their non-natural counterparts; examples include wood fibre, hemp and flax fibres, and sheep's wool.
To generate electricity in as 'green' a manner as possible, make use of solar power by installing solar panels on the roof of your new property. These panels work effectively in almost every climate, even on cloudy days, and so are fantastic for those who want an eco (and budget) friendly way to generate electricity for their homes. However, the initial outlay is fairly high; as such, many home builders opt for second-hand panels. Whilst this can be a good way to keep costs down, it's important that you assess used solar panels carefully before purchase, to ensure that you don't end up buying one with serious, irreparable issues. Common problems with second-hand panels include burnt bypass diodes, trapped condensation underneath the glass sections, or cracks; all of these issues are relatively simple to fix. However, avoid purchasing panels with broken connections, as these may be expensive and difficult to repair.