By Chuck Tripp
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.