Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ideas to Go Green While Building a New House

Green building practices or materials are gaining huge popularity among both, home builders and homeowners. Incorporating these materials or methods can greatly improve the energy efficiency and air quality of your house, while protecting the environment at the same time. Due to mounting popularity of green building trends, availability of renewable construction materials, as well as builders practicing green construction, has also increased. This has further resulted in decreasing the total cost associated with building a green house. The best part is that most of the house plans are easy to adapt for an eco-friendly building. Thus, going green is not difficult for the homeowners, if they want to. Given below are some simple ideas that can help you go green while building a new house.

Look for a builder, who uses FSC certified wood. Using lumber, grown as well as harvested in a safe and ecologically sound way, is one of the most important aspects of sustainable building. Also, make sure that shelving, floors and counter tops of your new house are built using low or zero VOC materials. Products that contain low or no VOCs in them improve air quality inside the house and thus, reduce pollution. Those, who have pulmonary problems, may be allergic to off-gassing, caused due to materials like paints. So, it is important to be very careful while choosing such products.

Likewise, while selecting appliances, doors and windows for your new house, make sure to pick the ones with energy star ratings. The doors and windows should be dual pane, so that minimum amount of heat escapes from the house during winters. Besides, solar hot water heater can make a wonderful alternative for the traditional water heater, which uses a lot of energy. You can even conserve water by making certain choices, like low flow toilets, faucets and shower heads.

Landscaping with drought resistant shrubbery and growing native plants would help you conserve water. Native plants would even require less fertilizers and pesticides. Besides, insulating the roof with materials that are recyclable is also a great idea to go green, while building a new house. Soy beans, old denims and newspapers are some of the most easily available and safe materials that can be used for insulation. Lighting the house with Compact Fluorescent bulbs, instead of the old tradition bulbs, which consume a great amount of energy would be better.

You can also plan to have some extra space to create a kitchen garden. There is nothing like cooking food with home grown vegetables. Just think about not having to get ready and drive to the grocery store for purchasing fruits or vegetables. It would not only offer you many health benefits but also save a great deal of money that goes into groceries every month. Not to mention, the fuel you will save by not driving to the grocery store every other day. So, implement these ideas and you are sure to have a wonderful green life in your new home.


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