With global warming on a lot of people’s minds, more and more are seeking out ways to embrace eco-friendly living. And this includes not only homeowners, but also various professionals in the industry like Architects, Landscape Designers, etc.
But even though features like wind power and solar panels can be included in sustainable architecture, they are not crucial to green living. For a perfect green design, factors like insulation and glazing are much more important – and achievable.
Let’s delve further into sustainable architecture and discover 13 ways (and three house-building techniques) in which your home can help save our planet.
The term “prefab home” is used to describe any type of residential structure built off-site (usually in a factory) before being transported to the building location. Prefab homes are regarded as prime green-star designs thanks to the fact that they produce less waste, use less building materials, and has shorter construction times, etc.
“Cargotecture” is the practice of crafting buildings from old and unused steel intermodal shipping containers. Thanks to the fact that they’re made from metal and can withstand the elements, shipping-container structures are much stronger than your average house. And don’t forget that containers can be altered (and even combined) to produce eye-catching designs – it’s so much more than a simple “box house”.
The smaller your house, the more efficient it can be. That’s why we love the small-house movement, as smaller living spaces means less land to excavate, fewer materials to purchase (and waste), less space to heat/cool, less property taxes to pay, and less to clean. And depending on your location (and quality of finishes), small houses can be considerably cheaper to buy/build.
Don’t fret if you don’t possess the capacity to obtain a prefab-, container-, or tiny home. You still have options to make your current home more sustainable by:
1. Insulating walls, ceilings, and under the floors to cut down on energy costs, and
2. Installing double-glazed windows (or thermal-backed curtains for a more cost-effective option).
Other ways you can support green design architecture is to:
3. Adjust the layout/direction of your home (in the case of a new house) to make the most of sunshine
4. Select appliances with high energy-efficiency ratings
5. Switch out regular light bulbs with eco bulbs
6. Implement new ways to bring more natural light indoors (glass doors, skylights, etc.) and reduce artificial lighting
7. When it comes to building- and designing projects, source your materials locally to reduce transport (and its inevitable impact on the environment)
8. Install a rainwater collection tank (perfect for the UK’s weather)
9. Opt for water-efficient appliances and fixtures (dishwashers, shower heads, etc.)
10. Recycle wherever possible and always minimise waste, particularly with building- and demolishing projects
11. Where possible, generate from renewable electricity sources (such as installing a small-scale wind turbine system, for example, or choosing a power company that makes use of renewable sources)
12. Use eco paints to contribute not only to the environment, but also your family’s health
13. When gardening and landscaping, choose native- and local plants whenever possible.
Speaking of dream homes, have a look at these 10 things to look for when house hunting.