10 Ways to Build A More Eco-Friendly Home

10 Ways to Build A More Eco-Friendly Home

By Chuck Tripp, Donald A. Gardner Architects

Living a natural lifestyle brings so many benefits to body, mind, and spirit — and there are so many things we can do to make the shift. Many are simple, small changes that can be done anywhere, such as switching to natural body care and cleaning products, or using reusable bags and water bottles. But once you’ve made small changes, you’ll likely want to expand your green lifestyle to include your home.

Green home building is no longer just a trend. So many more people these days are interested in building an eco-friendly home that 51 percent of builders expect at least 60 percent of their new homes to qualify as green by 2020. Whether you are thinking about remodeling or building new, here are a few things you should know about eco-friendly home building.

What Exactly Does Building an Eco-Friendly Home Mean?

What makes a home environmentally friendly is open to interpretation. Some people believe that simply adding green features (such as solar panels on the roof) is enough to qualify a standard home as green. Others argue that certification through green building programs such as LEED is the only way to be sure a home meets adequate sustainability standards. Regardless of opinion, most people agree that sustainable home building offers numerous advantages to both homeowners and communities.

Why Build Green?

Green home house plans and green building features offer the following benefits:

  • Environmental stewardship. Building green helps ensure minimal damage to the environment, protecting our air, water and wildlife for future generations.
  • Economic advantage. Many sustainable home elements pay for themselves many times over in lowered utility bills. Green homes also sell faster and at a premium compared with conventional homes.
  • Improved comfort. Many green features, such as air sealing and insulation, make for a cozier, more comfortable home.
  • Aesthetic appeal. Today’s home builders and designers can choose from an astonishing selection of sustainable materials and home elements at all price points. Many stand out for their beauty and visual interest, leading to infinite possibilities in design.

10 Practical Ways to Build a More Eco-Friendly Home

There are many ways to incorporate eco-friendly elements into a home. Here are some eco-friendly suggestions to get you started.

  1. Build a smaller home for a smaller eco-footprint.
  2. Orient your home to take advantage of sun and wind.
  3. Install energy- and water-efficient appliances.
  4. Include alternative water sources such as rain barrels and greywater systems.
  5. Use recycled, renewable and/or locally sourced building materials.
  6. Install energy-efficient lighting.
  7. Properly air seal and insulate your home.
  8. Consider going solar.
  9. Make sure your ductwork is properly sized and sealed for efficiency.
  10. Get solar-ready: Build with solar and/or electric vehicles in mind.

Because green homes are rapidly becoming mainstream, building an eco-friendly home has never been easier. Whether you are planning to do the work yourself or hire a contractor, see how green you can go with your next home-building or remodeling project.

For even more great ideas (23 ways!) for your sustainable home build, click on this infographic.

Author bio: Chuck Tripp has more than 20 years of experience in the residential stock house plan industry. He is currently Sales & Marketing Director of Donald A. Gardner Architects, Inc., a house planning company that has been developing floor plans since 1978.


10 Eco Building Materials Revolutionizing Home Construction

Want to hear some good news? According to the World Green Building Trends 2018 report from Dodge Data and Analytics, green building is officially a “global trend” and energy conservation is a top priority for people all over the planet. There are many choices of new (and old) materials which are being used in revolutionary ways.

Eco Friendly Flooring Product Showcase

As a discerning green homeowner, every choice you make involves a variety of factors. And floors are no exception. You have to love how it looks, like how it feels on your feet, trust that it cleans up without too much effort and lasts a long time – and since you care about the planet that we live on….it needs to be healthy and eco-friendly, too.

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