Green Home Building Tips | Part 3: Think Green – How to maximise the efficiency of your green
This is the third installment of a five-part series on how to make the most from your green build home. Whether you’ve purchased one of Sustainable Design Collective’s eco-friendly green build home kits, have hired a sustainable architect to design your project or whether you’re doing it all yourself, this series is packed full of helpful tips for making your green home as environmentally friendly as possible.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at environmentally friendly components that you can incorporate into your green build home to maximise efficiency, saving both the planet and your wallet.
Water: the most important element for life
Protecting your water resources is one of the most important aspects of both clean living and green design. During the building process itself, it’s essential that you minimise soil erosion, which can have a drastic impact on the flora and fauna surrounding the property as well as on how water run-off will drain in the future.
When planning the design of your green home design, consider how much water you’ll need for landscaped and garden areas. Try to incorporate native plant species into your garden design to reduce the need for excess water. If you know you want at least some water-intensive landscaping, try to minimise the size of these areas to limit the amount of water needed. An excellent addition to any eco-friendly home is a rainwater and run-off collection system so that you can reuse collected water.
When it comes to outfitting your newly built green kit home, choose low-flow or waterless plumbing fixtures, taps, toilets and shower heads (this will quickly make a noticeable difference in your water consumption and your monthly bill).
The small things add up to big savings
Much of green living is in the little details. During the construction process, make sure that during construction all hot water lines are fully insulated and that all ducts are properly sealed to prevent wasteful leaks. When choosing windows, skylights and roofing materials, select those that insulate well and prevent energy loss (this will also keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer).
Choose appliances that have the best energy rating, and ensure that any heating and cooling equipment that you purchase for your home is high-efficiency. If you live in a warmer climate, consider using ceiling fans to reduce your reliance on air conditioning. These are also effective in the winter months, as they can circulate the warm air more quickly than most heating systems.
Finally, always choose energy efficient bulbs and turn off any lights and appliances when not in use. Installing a modern thermostat can also drastically reduce your energy consumption, particularly during the cooler months. And don’t forget the impact that your cleaning products can have on the environment! Choose biodegradable products whenever possible for a cleaner home without the health hazards.
These are only a few of the ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint for your eco-friendly kit home. In our next installment, we’ll continue to look at other ways that sustainable architects incorporate energy- and money-saving designs into their highly efficient green build homes.