NEW HOUSING TRENDS 2015: Environmentally friendly design options

By Chuck Tripp

Smog Eating Tile from Boral Roofing

It seems everyone is more educated and concerned about being environmentally friendly these days. And that’s a good thing. That certainly applies to home designs and house plans. The old, misguided notion that being Eco-friendly meant you had to compromise comfort or aesthetics for your home is completely unfounded. In fact, by choosing some of the sustainable options for your house plan, you can have the best of both worlds: an environmentally sound home that looks good and can even help you conserve money on your energy bill, as well.

Your home environment can help the global environment

We have seen a significant increase in eco-designed houses, especially as it relates to specific features that are more environmentally responsible. By incorporating these sustainable options into your home design, you are not only helping the environment, you are making improvements to your house that will add both comfort and a higher resale value. Here are a few ideas:

Water & Energy Conservation:

We see many families opting for tankless water heaters and low-flow toilets. Even auto-stop faucets are available to help conserve water while the kids are washing their hands or brushing their teeth.

Environmentally Friendly: Mini Tankless Water Heaters from Seisco International LLC

Mini Tankless Water Heaters from Seisco International LLC

Reclaimed Materials

We have all heard the maxim: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Choose reclaimed wood, repurposed ceiling beams, denim insulation (yes! old jeans). Materials such as bamboo and exotic, eco-friendly hardwoods are ideal for flooring.

Morning Star Peking Antique Bamboo: Lumber Liquidators

Morning Star Bamboo Flooring
Lumber Liquidators

Solar Heating

This has become one of the more prevalent design incorporations we have seen over the past few years. Installing solar panels and ceiling windows can help reduce lighting costs as well as your heating bill.

Velux Skylights in the Great Room of The Northwyke Plan #759

Velux Skylights in the Great Room of The Northwyke Plan #759

Smart Lighting

There are more energy efficient lighting options available than ever before. According to the EPA, CFL light bulbs use less energy than other light bulbs and deliver a more pleasing, softer ambiance.

Philips SlimStyle A19 CFL

Philips SlimStyle A19 CFLs are ideal for table, pendant and sconce light fixtures.


Geothermal energy is a great way to add comfort to your home while saving on heating bills. Systems are highly efficient, and take advantage of the stable temperatures just below the ground’s surface.

Indoor Air Quality

Because today’s homes are built virtually airtight, indoor air can be more polluted than outside. Mold, mildew, and VOCs like formaldehyde  can harm indoor air quality, but a new generation of moisture-resistant gypsum board absorbs VOCs and locks them away.

Outdoor Air Quality

Concrete roofing tiles are long-lasting and hold up to harsh weather, but they can also help clean the air! Smog Eating Tiles from Boral Roofing oxidizes smog and pollutants and converts them to harmless calcium nitrates, which wash away when it rains.

Smog Eating Tile from Boral Roofing

Smog Eating Tile
Boral Roofing

To learn more about the possibilities of making your home design more environmentally friendly, please contact one of our DAG Representatives at 800-388-7580 or [email protected]!

4 comments on “NEW HOUSING TRENDS 2015: Environmentally friendly design options

  1. Jenny Jenkins on

    i heard that a really good siding can help with energy cost. Is there a reason that you would need to go to geothermal energy to get these results? It seems like a massive undertaking to go this route. Can you make a stronger argument?
    I got a quote for new windows and siding from conservation construction and that seems easier.

    • Echo Jones on

      Hi, Jenny. House siding provides very little savings on your energy bill. Siding materials only provide an R-value somewhere from .37 to .87 depending on what product you are using; brick, stone, stucco, vinyl, fiber cement, or wood, compared to your wall insulation that provides anywhere from an R-12 to R-30 factor. You should make sure you have windows with a strong U-value to keep your home comfortable and save on your utility bills.

      Keep in mind that Geothermal is a source for producing energy versus siding and windows being a product that helps save and store the energy.

  2. Jessica on

    That geothermal way of heating is interesting, would it take a lot of money to install or develop that? I’ll do some research but if someone can lead me to answers, that would be great. This article is overall informative and really helped me.

    • Echo on

      Hi Jessica, I’m not aware of the cost associated with geothermal energy but The Climate Master website does mention that geothermal heating and cooling systems qualify for federal tax credit. Contact Climate Master to learn more and their services and their FAQ gives you an overview of how their rates compare to a conventional central air conditioning system.


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