Because we all live surrounded by a constantly changing climate, it is important for us to remain environmentally aware and active. Many families in Southwest Florida are facing reconstruction of their present homes, while others are needing to completely rebuild! In either case, the need to consider the savings offered by utilizing green technologies is imperative! Herein, we look at the best ways to assure that you lessen your house’s emission production when rebuilding or while planning your green home building project. Ultimately, both allow for moving toward a net zero status!
Probably the most noteworthy benefit of adopting green technologies is the reduction of stress over paying high utility bills!
And by saving money, you’ll have more disposable income to spend on outings, vacations, and special occasions! More importantly, you can effectively reduce your own carbon footprint.
Green Home Building – Ideas / Techniques & Approaches
- Location, Location, Location – Whether you plan to dwell in a mansion or a tent (or something in-between), you’ll need to find a parcel of land to build your home or park your RV, tiny home on wheels, or camper / Fifth wheel. Almost always, it is necessary to secure this first. And when you do start looking at land, you must ascertain certain things to avoid problems later. First, try NOT to purchase or place a home facing West as NOT DOING SO will reduce direct sun exposure and allow your home to stay cooler. Secondly, know that environmentally sensitive locations should be AVOIDED! These are areas such as flood, earthquake or hurricane zones. And finally, check your potential location’s proximity to public transportation, should an emergency arise and you are disabled or have no way to travel.
- Size Matters & Smaller Is Better – Constructing a smaller home with eco-friendly techniques is going to have less environmental impact versus a larger, typical home. Having a larger home with amenities like vaulted ceilings will always cost more to provide heating and cooling. And because minimalism counts, smaller homes mean less furniture which equates to greater spaciousness!
- Energy Efficient Technologies – It is a wise practice to choose appliances and electronic equipment or devices using a best practice. Given a choice, ALWAYS choose appliances with an ‘EnergyStar‘ rating, as opposed to a lesser costly one which does not have the designation. Another sound practice is to select UL listed and rated electronic devices. / Well-shielded cables, mesh WiFi, and effective earth/grounds for all powered equipment are also smarter methods which should be used in green homebuilding.
- Proper Insulation – One of the single, most important considerations you’ll make in planning a green home build will be your choice for insulation! Half of any home’s costs are those of heating and cooling. Any small leaks or cracks allowing for air to escape can be financially devastating. Just know that replacing inadequate or improper insulation is one of America’s most popular home improvements! Products such as Hempwool®, high-density spray foam, and Rockwool® (formerly Roxul) offer safe and non-toxic options worth considering.
- Build using Sustainable Materials – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle / Upcycle – Responsibly selecting your home’s interior and exterior finishes allows for a mixed use of both new and recycled materials. However, wear and longevity should be the primary criteria for selecting exterior cladding, as it must withstand the weather elements. Many high-quality vinyl siding products are available as well as metal ones. Wood offers the opportunity to repurpose planks or boards that still have a viable life and already wear a semi-rustic patina or finish. Where finishes or paints are concerned, ALWAYS choose No-VOC or Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, stains, sealers, and finishes! Organic paints aid to limit the negative impacts on the environment as they break down easily and DO NOT release toxins.
There are myriad approaches to effectively building a green home, but these base-level considerations make an effective and thoughtful starting point when rebuilding or planning your green home building project!