Benefits of Green Home Design

Sustainable building and green building practices come with an array of benefits and we hope that as more technology advances and information becomes more readily available, the costs of green building will decrease and become mainstream.

The built environment and infrastructure has a great influence on our natural resources and environment, directly impacting human health and our standards of living. Picture a world built primarily on sustainable practices and intentions. Waste should be considered a crime because we are directly harming one another through harmful building methods. Instead, we hold the power to integrate green construction methods to any building at any stage, from design to construction, deconstruction to renovation. The potential benefits of sustainable building may be unleashed if we just set our minds to it as a whole. It will take the joint efforts of government officials, design and construction teams, and consumers to work together from an early stage of a built project to significantly optimize the sustainable benefits of green building.

The most obvious benefit is environmental. From protecting the biodiversity to delicate ecosystems to improving air and water qualities, the ways in which we gather building materials, the way we construct, the buildings we create, and the technologies we use all play a role in sustaining resources. Reducing waste streams and reducing by-products as much as we can is the most sure-fired way of conserving and restoring our limited natural resources.

A healthier home and living environment should be enough of an incentive for anyone looking for a reason to support and implement green building. Green homes use toxin-free building materials to help resist indoor air pollution. Green homes also have far fewer problems with mildew or nasty toxic mold. While natural ventilation in green homes are widespread, mechanical ventilation systems bring in more fresh air from the outside in while filtering out stale air. A cost efficient home is at the priority of every home-buyer these days and if you calculate all the costs of owning a home, a green home is comparable to and in some circumstances cheaper than owning a standard home. Though you may be dishing out higher upfront costs, in the long run you will be saving on your electricity bill to offset the initial costs.

Insurance companies are more likely to offer lower home insurance rates due to the greater durability, and energy efficiency of green homes. Among other cost saving factors, consider the local, state and federal government incentives and tax breaks for green features to your home, as well as building certified LEED homes. An environmentally friendly home further reduces our dependence on conventional energy while generating alternative sources through green materials and energy sources like geothermal energy, wind and solar power. As green homes gain momentum, so will the survival of our species and quality of life improve.

Green Home Plans – What They Need to Include

Nurturing our environment, achieving a sustainable future and reducing global warming have been growing topics of concern for all of us. The need to protect the environment is in all of our hands and this responsibility needs to be exercised in almost everything we do and in the choices we make every hour of our lives. Actions we take now can lead to benefits later. When we all choose well and change our behavior to nurture, conserve and sustain, the effect can be enormous. The home in which we live is one such area where we have the ability to make a range of nurturing choices. In this article we will look at some of the more desirable elements that need to be included in green home plans.

Durability is a key tenet of a good green home plan. A green home plan will strive to use eco-friendly building materials and furnishings and will incorporate leftovers wherever possible. A green home design will make use of materials that are renewable and long lasting. The less often you have to replace materials, then the less material and effort that needs to go into maintaining them, resulting in a diminished cost of upkeep and less frequent replacement. Cork, bamboo and eucalyptus are examples of earth friendly and renewable materials that feature prominently in environmental building designs. Recycled materials should also be used wherever possible. This is relatively easily achieved when it comes to flooring as you can sand and refinish or even paint and stencil what is already there. Recycled glass (vertrazzo) looks attractive and comes in a range of colors. It can be used for both kitchen countertops and as a backsplash.

Efficient energy use is another key component of a green home plan. Using energy efficient appliances is a must and most manufactures these days will label their products with an energy star rating. But the biggest difference we can make is by leveraging that great bundle of natural energy called the sun. A solar power system can deliver most of an average household’s daytime energy needs and any excess energy that is created can be fed back into the electricity grid. Rebates for the installation of solar panels and also their improved efficiency are seeing the cost of installing residential solar power systems come rapidly down. The energy savings we can achieve by installing a solar panel array will be complemented by installing energy saving windows and ensuring that our homes are properly insulated. Both measures are designed to trap heat inside the house during cold weather and reflect heat when it is hot, leading to a reduction in heating and cooling costs respectively.

The third pillar of a good greenhouse plan should be the efficient use of water – something that is particularly pertinent for those living in drier climates. An enormous amount of perfectly good drinking water is wasted each day on activities like clothes washing and flushing toilets. These activities could just as soon be done using grey water (recycled water). Home water treatment systems such as a wet compost system or a sand filtration system will achieve the aim of using water efficiently.

Tips For Green Home Design

With more and more people getting conscious about their carbon footprints, it may seem a lot harder to make home design choices. From raw material sources to sustainability value, there’s really a lot to consider if you want a completely green décor theme. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours poring over labels when shopping for your home. It just means you have to do a bit of research, know your choices, and choose items that give you the best value for your money.

Start by keeping your choices as natural as possible. Simply choosing natural materials over synthetics can already make a big difference. So pick stone or wood counters instead of laminate, soft rattan furniture over metal frames, and other design elements. Most of the time, it will also save you money upfront. Note, however, that not all “natural” items are completely free of synthetics-sometimes they’re treated with plastics and other chemicals to make them more durable. Check the labels carefully or ask your dealer which choices are the most environmentally friendly.

If you’re on a budget, you can minimize your spending by choosing fewer items with a bigger visual impact. For example, instead of changing your entire floor, simply lay out an area rug that goes well with your current décor theme. Area rugs come in all shapes, colors and sizes, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding the right piece. They also come in a range of eco-friendly materials such as bamboo, wool, cotton, and mountain grass. Check out design magazines or catalogs to see how designers use area rugs for spaces similar to yours.

Another way to go green is to make the most of natural lighting. You don’t have to forgo artificial lighting altogether, but whenever possible, get your lighting from natural sources. If you have large windows, open them up and let in as much sunlight as possible. Sheer curtains in bright colors help diffuse the light and make the room even brighter. If your windows are small, maximize whatever light comes in by installing mirrors and reflective surfaces to help bounce it around the room.