What is the Definition of a Green Home?

The term green home is being used more and more often in the residential building industry, but what does it really mean. According to the Green Building Council of Australia a green house is “a high performing home that is energy and water efficient, has good indoor air quality, uses environmentally sustainable materials and also uses the building site in a sustainable manner”. A green home also requires a holistic approach, beginning at the design stage and continuing on through the construction process and the eventual day-to-day running of the home. The main goal of these characteristics is to reduce the environmental impact a home will have over the course of its lifetime.

As mentioned above, a green house should begin at the design stage. Incorporating green design elements at the initial stages of a home construction will ensure the home can take advantage of the surrounding natural environment. By utilising the topography of the site, sunlight and breezes a green home can significantly reduce its dependence on additional heating and cooling sources. This saves the occupants money on their energy bills and reduces the production of greenhouse gases.

Choosing recycled and environmentally friendly building products is another important element of a green home. The type of materials used can affect the homes’ environmental impact and the health of the homes’ eventual residents. A green home utilises recycled timber or sustainable harvested plantation lumber for its structural and cosmetic components. It is also possible to use a range of other natural products in the construction of a green home, such as straw, mud, hemp and dirt. Although some of these materials are not conventional building products, it does not mean a green home has to look very different from a regular home. Many of the materials and finishes in a regular home contain formaldehyde and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). Once installed in a home they continue to release gases which can be harmful to the people living in them. A green home uses materials and finishes with low or no VOCs that ensure good indoor air quality.

A green home also minimises the use of energy and water by using efficient materials and products. Water saving devices in the bathroom, toilet and laundry significantly reduces water consumption. Collection of rainwater and the recycling of grey water can further improve water efficiencies. Insulation in walls and ceilings helps maintain a constant indoor temperature reducing the need for mechanical heating and cooling. Energy and water efficient appliances can also be found in this home. They reduce environmental impacts and keep running costs down for the occupants.

Consideration of these factors and the inclusion of sustainable building techniques and materials make a green home use energy and water efficiently, provide a healthy environment for the occupants and reduce the environmental impacts over the lifetime of the dwelling.

A Green Home Buyer’s Guide On Choosing An Eco-Friendly Home

Eco-friendly living is the way forward, and it is currently the best time for you to follow this trend. So go ahead and own a green abode that reflects your personality. Below, are a few points that you should consider on your pursuit to acquiring a green home.

Building A Home Vs. Buying One: How Do They Compare?

Every house is energy efficient and eco-friendly one way or the other, which usually saves a considerable amount of money. But buying a home does not give you the freedom to use your own ideas on the house from the ground up, as opposed to building a house according to your plan.

Renovation Can Do The Trick

If you have a non eco-friendly house and you want to convert it into an eco-friendly unit, you can spend money on modifying the house based on your ideas. For instance, you could replace an old light bulb with the latest LED ones, which are proven to consume less energy. Note that reworking on your house could cost a significant hole in your bank account, but in the long run, it is definitely worth it.

Other Important Priorities

Living green will likely be next to impossible, if you are on a budget and looking to stay close to popular hubs. The same could be said, if you want to have restaurants and other recreational facilities around your neighbourhood.

Be Ready To Relocate If Necessary

Is living in an eco-friendly house a top priority for you? If the answer is yes, then you need to consider relocating to a location where it is possible, I.e, a place where there’s plenty of sunlight and a place that suits your budget. But most times, this would mean that you would have to relocate to another region. You would have to settle in an entirely new location, where you will need start all over again, which is a bad idea if you are not looking forward to change.

Get Hold Of A Green Agent

Now that green living is becoming more and more popular, there is a rise in the number of real estate agents specialising in the scouting process of such houses. Get in touch with one of them to get a tour of affordable alternatives that are available.

Although eco-friendly living is a great step towards a self-sustaining life, it also requires you to invest a lot of time, effort, and money that is usually not a sound alternative for working-class families. You should go for this lifestyle, only if you are absolutely sure it is a serious decision, and not just a hobby.

What Makes a Home Green?

Many are promoting green living. This is due to the destruction that Mother Nature is undergoing. We may not know it but simple activities at home can contribute to the deterioration of our environment. The movement to go green has been repeatedly promoted. But what makes a home green? And why is it important to support such movement?

A green home does not literally mean having green walls and gate. It simply means that your home was built using eco-friendly materials. The primary objective of building a green home is to uphold what is good for the environment by choosing the right materials and the right manner of home building.

This does not stop in the building of the property as it continues to the other items in the house. This continues to the choices of devices and appliances used by the property owners. So what else are the characteristics of a green home? First and foremost, a green home is a property that utilizes less energy. In addition to that, it also utilizes less water and natural resources and most importantly, it discharges fewer waste, making it a healthier place for its occupants.

How will you achieve a green home?

It is about time to have a green home, but how will you achieve that? Here are some ways to do that:

1. Replace your old appliances with a more eco-friendly devices. The old appliances use up more energy. If you change it with a more energy efficient device, you can save up more in your energy consumption. Such appliances include refrigerator and air conditioning unit.

2. Mind your heating and cooling expenses. This is normally among the biggest energy consumers. During the winter, heating expenses are high, while cooling expenses skyrocket during the summer. There are different ways to deal with this. One is to improve the insulation of your home. Attend to the drafts of your property as well.

3. You should also be mindful of your water consumption. There are simple ways to save water. You can use low-flow toilet, use glass when brushing and repair the leaks or drippings right away.

4. Use energy efficient light as well. In fact, you can also use devices that allow you to benefit from the natural light. You can also make adjustments in your window, to let the natural light in. Moreover, there are bulbs that produce brighter light while consuming less energy. These bulbs do not emit a lot of heat as well. They last longer too.

5. Make sure that you choose products that are environmentally friendly. Check the labels of the cleaners you pick. They may contain toxic materials that can put you at risk. Choose cleaners that are eco-friendly.

You can apply various ways to make your home greener. Other examples include planting trees and growing an organic garden. The use of organic product can also help you achieve a greener home. Although these are simple ways, it can greatly help improve the condition of our environment.

Green Architecture: Changing the Home Design Trends of Today

Whether you are considering a home renovation or exploring designs for a new house, one of the common suggestions that you will get both from architects and engineers is to make it adaptive and earth-friendly. For those who may not be too inclined on the technical details of home designs, “adaptive” and “earth-friendly” are just words, that also often appeal to be expensive and complicated to achieve.

However, with the ever changing trends in home designs, we need to start equipping ourselves with knowledge on economical yet safe home design choices. With this, we will try to look into the basic concepts of earth-friendly and adaptive homes – two concepts that are closely interrelated.

Earth-friendly Home Designs

These designs are born out of the campaigns of several countries for an environment-friendly lifestyle or sustainable living, which of course includes house designs. Along with this, professionals in home construction and design have also innovated their skill set to meeting these new standards.

When we speak of environment-friendly home designs, this has a lot to do with the materials used to build or renovate the house. For instance, some architects have been practicing the use of biodegradable materials in house interiors.

These design techniques closely resemble that of the ancient times, when majority of the house materials come from natural sources. Even the paint products for the house have to be eco-friendly, which is not only safer for the walls, but for the occupants’ health, as well.

Other strategies being applied by architects is the creation of outdoor rooms in the house.

This means using natural light and air to save on energy for the room. All these, along with eco-friendly household practices easily contribute to having an environmentally sustainable lifestyle.

Adaptive Home Designs

This type of home design deals with two major things:

1) the ability of the house to adapt to the changing lifestyle of its residents, and 2) ability of the house to adapt and withstand the various environmental changes.

Also operating around the concept of sustainable living, these designs are meant to make the house last longer and the family living in it safer. Common feature of these homes are sturdy lumber and concrete, insulated panels, and dome-shaped ceilings. These type of house built has been proven to be more resistant to storms, tornadoes, and even earthquakes by the Wind Engineering Research Center. With natural calamities hitting the country almost every year, it pays to be keener in the construction materials used for your house.

When it comes to adaptive spaces for home, this is where secret rooms and sliding door comes in. This is also an innovative trend that architects and interior designers are looking into, in order to make a house with limited floor area still spacious enough for a growing family. Aside from choosing space-saver and multi-purpose furniture, it is also important to choose a house design that is easier to renovate in case the need for expansion arises. And this is exactly what your architect mean when they speak of adaptive home design.

Factors To Consider When Buying A Green Home

Due to the increased levels of global warming it’s wise to think of buying a green home. Other than saving the environment, a green home also saves you a lot of money by cutting down on the need of many resources. When buying the home you should consider a number of factors such as:

Flooring materials

As rule of thumb you should buy a home with a floor made from renewable or recycled products. These products should be safe to the environment and people. They should also be installed in an eco-friendly manner without causing harmful gas emissions. Some of the best flooring materials that you should go with are:

Cork: cork is made from stripped tree barks thus leaving trees intact. The good side with it is that it’s warm and inviting. To ensure that it lasts for a long time, you should prevent it from coming into contact with water.

Bamboo: bamboo is grass; it’s not wood. The good side with it is that it can be easily nailed, stapled, and glued. It can also be made in different patterns. For the floor to last for a long time, you should ensure that the bamboo is premium and it’s made from adhesives that don’t contain formaldehyde.

Linoleum: linoleum is made from natural raw materials such as renewable wood products, jute, ground limestone, and pine trees. Linoleum floors are stain resistant, biodegradable, and don’t absorb water. The floors are also long lasting as can last for up to 40 years.

Building material

It’s also important to consider the materials used in constructing the house. The best material to go with is salvaged lumber. This is lumber that has been obtained from older homes that are on the verge of collapsing. Salvaged lumber is great because it’s aged to a density and has hardness that you can’t find in new lumber.

Solar energy

You should not buy a home that doesn’t have solar energy. In addition to conserving the environment, solar energy also saves you electricity costs.

Energy-efficient products

If you are buying a fully furnished house, you should consider the energy-efficiency of the electronic devices in the house. You should ensure that the microwaves, dryers, washers, refrigerators, iron boxes, and any other appliances are energy efficient. If they are not, you shouldn’t buy the house.

Conclusion

Flooring materials, building materials, solar energy, and energy-efficient products are the factors that you should consider when buying a green home. To ensure that you buy a high quality home you should buy it from a legitimate real estate company.