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Green Home Remodeling Tips

5 Tips to a Greener Home

Things have changed about the way we look at remodeling our homes. Green home remodeling has become the best way to improve the value of your home while reducing the cost of living overall. “Smart houses”, sustainable lifestyles” and “green building” are phrases that are appearing more and more in the housing and construction market.

Green is the new black as far as smart investments in home remodeling. We are keenly interested in keeping the cost of living down as well as making our homes “smarter” by redesigning the way they function. Alternate forms of energy like solar panels or wind turbines, energy saving appliances, windows that can take advantage of cross breezes instead of using air conditioning, using recycled building materials and even downsizing a home are all ways we can reduce our carbon footprint with green home remodeling. And, there is no better way to prepare a home for resale or to increase its value nowadays than by making it as “green” as possible.

Here are some green home remodeling tips to make any home more energy efficient and improve its value:

Remodeling Design
The design of your home remodel is crucial. Elements such as: room size, recycled or sustainable building materials, non-VOC paints, placement of windows and doors, insulation, and passive heating and cooling considerations are all factors that can make a difference in green home renovation.

Windows and Doors
Up to 35% of your home’s heating or cooling is lost through windows. This makes it essential that you increase the thermal performance of your windows. Placement of exterior windows and doors can be optimized to take advantage of natural light and heat and to open up air flow. Double glazing will reduce heat loss in the cold of winter and louvered windows can catch a breeze in the heat of summer.

Alternate Energy
The cost of electricity to run lights and electricity or using gas and oil has a huge impact on both the budget and the carbon footprint. Photovoltaic panels catch the sunlight and transform it into energy which can be used in place of traditional energy sources. Water heating can be one of the biggest heating expenses. By replacing an old water heating system with a more energy efficient system that employs the use of solar energy or a high efficiency tank your savings can be significant.

Rain and Grey Water
An exterior rainwater tank to harvest rainfall is one method of getting free water. This can be critical, especially in areas where water is scarce. Water collection tanks don’t have to be fancy. They can be as simple as those you find through agricultural outlets. A grey water system which recycles waste water into the garden or sewage system is also a valuable consideration.

Energy Efficient Appliances
Refrigerators, dishwashers and cooking appliances are among the biggest energy consumers in the home. Downsize and replace these with higher efficiency rated or smaller appliances to reduce consumption. You can check the energy costs of your refrigerator and other appliances at http://energysavers.gov/.

These green home design tips and green remodeling ideas are a step in the right direction for sustainably redesigning your home. If you find a good green builder and make a small investment in renovations you will find the value of your home will increase, you will save on energy expenditure and your impact on the environment will be gentler… and greener.

Building Green With Straw: Where to Start With Green Home Building

When you are considering green home building or renovating and remodelling it can sometimes be difficult to know just where to begin. A good place to start, is to do a bit of a brainstorming exercise. This will help you get a lot clearer on what it is you actually want to build, the kinds of things that are important to you and the other people you will be building and living with and help you get some inspiration along the way.

Here are a few of the important things you might like to consider to get you one step closer to your dream of building green with straw.

Get Clear on the WHY of Green Home Building.

This is an interesting exercise to go through. List all the reasons that green home building is something you think is important and worth considering. The reasons will be different for everyone but some common reasons are: concern for your health and wellbeing, the natural feel of such buildings and lower energy bills as a result of good design.

What Do You REALLY Need?

The trend these days, even for people who are being environmentally conscious is to build bigger and bigger homes. Taking the opportunity to look at green home building is a good chance to look at what you really need in a home. While all those rooms may be nice to have, do they really help you create the life you are looking for? Getting clear on what you really need, what would be nice, what is an indulgence and what is just plain crazy will help you as you begin to create the plans and schemes that may one day be your dream eco home.

Design Principles for Green Home Building.

Once again there are some pretty basic principles to consider when making your first attempts at a floor plan or design for your green home building project. Don’t be daunted, you CAN do this at home. You have some of your elements selected such as bedrooms, living areas and outdoor spaces, now all you have to do is put them together. Solar orientation, window placement, cross ventilation, and your lifestyle will all impact on your design. Don’t worry, start drawing.

Select Your Materials.

Now comes the fun bit. What green building materials are you going to consider using for your green home building project? Building green with straw is just one potential aspect. You could incorporate recycled materials, natural timbers, bamboo, locally sourced hardwoods and even mud brick, cob or rammed earth. You have almost endless options for wall, window, roof, floor and other finishes. There are many things to consider but looking at pictures and books and visiting other eco homes, will give you lots of inspiration.

Look at Ethics.

This is more difficult and in the end is fraught with compromise. The decision to use locally sourced, environmentally friendly and low toxicity materials are all ethical considerations. So to be such ideals as using local labour for those jobs you just can’t do yourself. Take a look at your ethical wishes and list them in order of importance to you, this will make all those future compromises easier to make as you will have a ready-made priority list to hand.

Your Green Home Building Project – DIY?

Many people opt to employ a contractor to build their eco home for them as they think it would be too difficult to consider doing it themselves. This is a valid point of view. Take some time to look at the plan you have drawn, the materials you have selected, the finishes you wish to employ in creating your eco home and see if they are conducive to owner building or DIY. Perhaps a combination of approaches will suit you best. Having these thoughts in place will assist you when you approach the formal design and application process.

Talk To Others.

As you begin to consider the options available to you it is well worth remembering that there is probably already a community of people in your local area who are also considering green home building as an option. There will also be people who have successfully completed their eco homes and it is worth making contact with them to help you as you begin planning your project.

Speak with your Local Authority.

It’s a good idea to make contact with your local planning authority nice and early in your planning process. They have had a lot of experience and can be a real source of information about green home building along with what is and is not possible and acceptable in your local area. They are the people you will need to convince in the end so it is a good idea to develop a positive working relationship with them right from the start.

Buy, Trade and Barter.

Building a green home, like any building or remodelling project, is a huge task. However, most people are up to the job if they plan it properly and have the right advice. One interesting outcome for a lot of people is the opportunity to share materials, trade labour and barter (exchange) goods and services with other people who have also embarked on their own green home building adventure.

Green Home BuildingAdvice Is Everywhere.

You can find excellent information and advice on green home building, sustainable materials and owner building everywhere these days. Look at your local council or building authority website as a place to start. Many government departments at state and national levels also have good information available on alternatives, sustainable materials and good design principles on website. Much of this information is for free.

As you can see there is a lot to consider when you decide that green home building is something you want to do. With a little thought, good planning, careful sourcing of information and materials and keeping an open mind to where the help you need might come from, you will find your green home building adventure to be one of the best things you ever did.

Green Homes – Green Home Building For Eco Friendly Living

Green homes are houses that are kinder to the planet. They use lesser energy, produce less waste, and are a healthier environment for the people inside. Green homes come out of a philosophy of being more eco-friendly to the environment. They save on electricity, find ways to cut down on carbon-waste and general energy consumption. Green homes can put money in your pocket, and give you the peace of mind you are doing your bit to help sustain our planet.

Energy

Most of us would to make the world a little “greener” by reducing our home energy consumption. There has been improvement in building techniques and materials over the last couple of decades, which means that homes are becoming more energy efficient. Do you dream of a house with no carbon emissions and zero-net-energy use? This can be achieved with a strategy that includes alternative energy sources, and conscientious fabrication methods and standards. We can channel in green energy into our homes without breaking the bank. There are DIY home energy programs that cost thousands of dollars but there are also DIY Solar and wind turbine schemes that will only cost a few hundred dollars, and that can be implemented without great technical skills. You can reach your goal of a Zero Energy Home, and it maybe just a couple of steps away…

Design: Living Green Designer Homes

When we think of eco friendly homes, or sustainable homes, we probably have an image of an odd-looking place? Too many panels and windmills all over it, maybe half buried on a hill, or too high tech for our budget? That may have been the case once but it’s now possible to design a home that is beautiful, and will give you a degree of independence from both present and future water and energy cost increases and shortages There is evidence of a growing concern about environmental and design issues. There is information available from government from which you can learn about design of green buildings for energy conservation. Good modern design standards readily integrate sustainable features such as rainwater collection, alternative power sources, grey water recycling, solar hot water and water efficient landscaping.

Sustainability

In December 2006, The Code for Sustainable Homes was introduced as a voluntary code in the UK and by May 2008 has become a national standard. It rates the key elements of design and construction which impact upon sustainability and efficiency. It is used by architects, builders and consumers alike in helping them plan and design new homes. The code awards new homes a star rating from 1 to 6, based on their performance against 9 sustainability criteria which assess the overall environmental impact. These are model green home building guidelines!

Building regulations require at least One Star. Six Stars reflects exemplary sustainability.The sustainability criteria by which new homes are measured are:

Energy and CO2 Emissions

Water H20 & Surface Water Run-off

Materials

Waste

Pollution

Health and Well-Being

Management of the environmental impacts of the construction and operation

Ecology

The key is to achieve sustainability without compromising either design or quality. The Code introduces minimum standards for energy and environmental factors affecting the sustainability of a home, and the rating takes into account different elements of sustainability. These include energy, transport, pollution, materials, land use and ecology and health and well-being. The UK Government has set the industry a target of delivering zero-carbon homes by 2016.

The aim of sustainable homes is to deliver real improvements in key areas such as carbon dioxide emissions and water use.

Carbon

Carbon reduction is high on the political agenda of all nations, yet there is a clear struggle for governments to come to terms with the measures that must be taken to achieve the reduction goals that our best science tells us is needed. Much can be achieved by action at the household level that can drastically reduce the enormity of the tasks that faces governments looking at the problems on a macro scale. Motivation for the changes that are needed is key, as it is in anything great but difficult that we strive for. One ‘carrot’ in the budget for households is the direct benefit of reduced energy bills achieved by making an effort to reduce their own carbon pollution. In the UK, London Green Homes service uniquely offers a free telephone advice service, a website and a paid-for green service to provide a free tailor-made package of carbon saving lifestyle improvements. The service has great flexibility, offering Londoners advice on a broad range of actions to reduce carbon emissions from lifestyle changes; and explains how best to save money on energy bills. It is the UK’s first one-stop-shop for information on how to make homes more carbon efficient.

Environmental

A US survey has shown that 87% of home buyers want to know how their homes rate in terms of environmental performance in order to make an informed decision when moving house. Further, 84% would pay an average 2% more for an eco-friendly home. Environmentally friendly homes are no longer a luxury reserved only for the richest Americans. Environmental concerns, dependence on foreign oil, water shortages, vanishing species, are all factors in an increasing the awareness of the call for us to be better stewards of the earth and its resources.

In this environmentally aware world, we are hearing more about green homes, eco friendly living and sustainable homes. Green homes that are designed to be energy efficient, use environmentally friendly and healthy materials and conserver water are becoming the standard. In addition to new building standards, there are simple environmentally friendly, DIY projects that will help curb energy costs, and improve your homes value.

Space is still the most important consideration for home buyers, but environmental considerations and use of eco-friendly materials are very high on the list of priorities. Architectural firms today are often committed to developing creative yet environmentally sustainable components of space for the betterment of lifestyle and family in a way that supports responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources. Green living and building, with an emphasis on health, energy efficiency and environmental conservation, has never been more relevant than it is today. As time goes on, there will be more attention given to advocating for socially just and environmentally-minded rebuilding solutions. Home-building imposes very significant environmental and social costs at all levels. Impacts of new home construction include:

quarrying to provide basic raw construction materials like aggregates,

water consumption, and the widespread use of toxic

chemicals in building materials.

Conclusion

Green homes can put money in your pocket, they don’t need to be thought of as an expensive way to do what’s demanded of us for the environment. Sustainable homes give you peace of mind from knowing that you are doing everything you can to help sustain the planet. Sustainable homes don’t have to be unattractive anymore, and unsuitable for residential architecture. Green homes are better for the environment because they use less energy, less water, and have a lower impact on the environment