Going Green what does this mean to a homeowner?
Going Green what does this mean to a homeowner – building and investing in houses that are not harmful to the environment, houses that are energy efficient and use resources wisely.
With constantly changing weather patterns impacting our lives we hardly need reminding that climate change is a dominant factor in our lives. So it has become important that we are environmentally aware. The worldwide ‘Going Green’ initiative has presented many green principles for designing homes in a sustainable way. Using these principles we can reduce our impact on the environment.
What is in it for the homeowner?
By investing in green principles the homeowner can increase the value of his or her home. Buyers are becoming more aware of the benefits of green principles and it makes a green-designed home a more attractive option.
Below are few green principles for the Homeowner.
Choose carefully when buying a property keeping in mind the property’s position in relation to the sun. By minimising sun exposure, you can help to keep your home cooler. Consider the proximity of the main amenities that are important to you – work, schools, and shops. This will help you avoid having to travel long distances every day, reducing pollution and saving on traveling costs.
A smaller home will have to have a smaller environmental impact. A much larger house will cost a lot more to keep cool or to heat. So it is a matter of finding the right size that is needed for the family and trying to keep the place manageable and cost-effective.
Good insulation is a key factor when building a green home. Heating and cooling account for 50% of a home’s energy consumption. Air leaks such as around windows, doors and ductwork are responsible for building heat loss. Proper insulation will reduce energy consumption and help reduce monthly bills. Using an insulation material made from renewable resouces such as old and used materials will further reduce your impact on the envirnment.
4. Sustainable Building Materials and Methods.
Choose sustainable materials for your home. As with the insulation above there are products such as reclaimed lumber, recycled plastic, recycled glass, or natural products such as bamboo or cork which are made of natural, renewable materials. In addition, there are Sustainable construction technologies that can lessen energy consumption. The construction of buildings with wood, for instance, is a more sustainable option in comparison to those of steel or concrete. The material used on your roof can make a huge difference to your use of energy. Choosing a product that reflects the sun’s energy away from the roof, cools faster at night, and holds less heat for less time will, help reduce energy costs. Slate, terra cotta, lighter-coloured tiles, special membranes, and metal roofing are a few of the roofing products available with varying degrees of green benefits.
5. Use Solar Energy!
Solar energy is a renewable source of energy and Solar panels are being used more in domestic construction. Although the installation of solar panels may be expensive at first, the long-term savings will help to mitigate the outlay. When building a new home the cost of installation can be included in the overall cost of construction. A solar geyser supplies the homeowner with water heated by the sun. There are a variety of systems that can be installed for a homeowner with the simplest being a geyser and panel on the roof so that the hot water can be piped directly into the house. Other more sophisticated installations are now available and if these are installed when building the home the costs can be reduced.
6. Save water!
Low-flow taps, toilets, and showerheads are a few of the systems that you can use while building a green home to conserve water. When buying washing machines and dishwashers consider those which have low water and low energy settings. Installing water tanks to capture and store rainwater on your property or when building your green home will reduce your dependence on your Council’s water supply. The collected water can then be used for many purposes, such as toilets, general washing, and sprinkler systems.
7. Use eco-friendly electrical devices.
The geyser is one of the highest users of electricity. Programmable timers for geysers reduce the hours that the geyser is heating and thus reduce electricity consumption. This will require you to work out the hot water requirements of the family and select times in the day that the geyser can be off. Checking the thermostat temperature on your geyser and lowering the temperature will also be more environmentally friendly. Both LED and CFL lightbulbs cost more upfront but use less energy and last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Since they offer significant cost savings in the long run, they can be ideal for your new green home.
This ‘Going Green’ initiative is not a passing phase and as it gathers more momentum properties that adhere to the green principles will be in high dmand.
Going Green what does this mean? A summary
- Green homes are more durable
- You and your family will breathe cleaner air
- Saving money on your water bill
- Saving money on your electricity bill
- Increasing the value of your home
- Preserve your surroundings