Often, it’s assumed that strategies for sustainable design will add costs to a home’s construction or modernization project. Incorporating sustainability elements from the start shouldn’t cost more than standard building materials.
Builders today consider several factors when designing green homes. Some common examples include: Using less-toxic building materials and orienting houses to maximize sunlight.
Many older homes were built in a different era and may not be as energy-efficient as new construction. This can create opportunities for heat to escape, causing your power bills to spike. Still, more unique custom-built houses in Your Home Wichita are built with modern methods and materials that allow them to use natural light.
Bringing in natural light has numerous benefits that can impact the health and well-being of a home’s residents. It bathes rooms in a rich, full spectrum of color that artificial lights can’t duplicate and increases the body’s production of feel-good serotonin.
The push towards sustainability means homes are being built with more oversized windows and skylights, and existing homes are often targeted for remodeling projects to increase their interior natural light. A strategy known as daylighting involves strategically placing windows and skylights, shading to manage glare, and using translucent shades and screens in pale colors.
Using sustainable materials lowers the life-cycle environmental impacts and adds to the overall aesthetic of a home. Builders can incorporate reclaimed wood, recycled plastic, and shingles from demolished or discarded materials into new buildings. This reduces waste and keeps them out of landfills.
Another way that builders create eco-friendly properties is by building them with energy efficiency in mind. They can incorporate solar panels for heat, low-E windows, and Energy Star appliances that save money on electric bills. They can also design a home’s layout to be efficient for its climate.
Smaller homes are more energy efficient than larger structures because they require less electricity to heat and cool. Builders can also design a system to be airtight, which requires careful attention to detail but doesn’t require a large upfront cost. These measures can make a significant difference in lowering energy bills for hard-working families. Additionally, they can increase a home’s market value.
Indoor Air Quality
Homebuilders are using sustainable strategies to help families save energy. One common feature is installing low-e windows that reflect harmful UV rays and keep homes cool without using power to run air conditioners.
Many other sustainability features focus on improving indoor air quality. For example, builders use products that don’t release formaldehyde into the air and provide vents for gas appliances to carry their pollution out of the house. They also use durable-press fabrics instead of foamed-in-place insulation and wash those materials to remove the chemicals from their surfaces.
In addition, they use high-efficiency furnaces and air ducts that deliver more heat with less energy. They also incorporate green roofs that absorb water vapor and return it to the atmosphere and self-mending concrete made with recycled concrete and limestone that grows into its cracks. These and other strategies make a new home’s interior healthy, comfortable, and beautiful. Biologic pollutants like molds, bacteria, dust mites, rodent dander, and cat saliva; gases such as volatile organic compounds and carbon dioxide; and particulate matter are all linked to various health problems, including worsened cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and infectious diseases such as measles, chickenpox, and influenza.
Homeowners want a more eco-friendly lifestyle, and real estate investors will look for properties with energy-efficient features to appeal to this large pool of buyers. Whether it’s a cool roof, low-water landscaping, or even repurposed materials like reclaimed wood, sustainable property features can attract future tenants and increase rental revenue.
One of the most effective ways to make a new home more environmentally conscious is through its architectural design. For example, designing rooms for their sun orientation can help reduce the energy used for heating and cooling. Multifunctional living spaces are another popular sustainability trend, with built-in storage and flexible layouts that allow rooms to function as multiple areas in the home.
Green technology continues to be a significant component of modern residential new homes. Homa cites photovoltaic solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling systems as examples of green technologies that can be built into homes or added later.