How to Build a Home with Less Environmental Impact


Shelter is one of the basic human necessities. Because of the domestication of society, humans have enjoyed and taken pride in being able to build and decorate homes, thus turning them from just basic structures to keep the weather out into comforting spaces that serve many purposes and allow for self expression. The building of homes, however, can have some negative effects when it comes to nature and the environment. Luckily, there have been a great many advances to try to stem the flow of environmental problems caused by building homes.

For those looking to lessen the negative environmental impacts that come from building a home, recycled materials and certified wood can help to stem the flow of waste. Using "green" products can help in many ways, and not just the environment. Many folks who look into different building techniques and implement them find that their homes save on utilities and are more energy efficient.

Reducing the footprint of building a home requires more thought than just the materials as they are used in the building process. Sourcing materials from companies that take care to minimize the harmful effects that can come from harvesting them is the first step. By supporting companies that are trying to give back to the environment and disturb as little as possible, homeowners are helping those companies to continue to make a difference.

Homes built in certain areas run the risk of disturbing local habitats and delicate ecosystems. It is a good idea to keep these things in mind and research prior to buying a lot on which to build. There may be ways around disturbing the wildlife and plants- talking to the builder about these concerns can help to make them aware of the situation and can help those building the home to feel more confident with a plan to lessen the potential harm to the area.

Resource efficiency during the construction process can help to save money as well as reduce waste. There are many resources available to those who want to implement higher resource efficiency. Plus, some builders specialize in using more eco-friendly techniques and practices. It's important to realize that using green products and techniques may have a higher price tag initially. Though using these products can lead to large amounts of savings over time, buying energy efficient appliances can cost a bit more to purchase and install.

Not all aspects of an environmentally friendly home must be purchased specially. One great way to save on electricity is to build a home that allows for lots of natural light. Installing large windows with double panes can keep the heating and cooling in the home more regular as well as eliminating some need for extra lighting. During the day, it's a great idea to utilize the natural lighting from outside. Plus, natural light can have positive effects such as brightening moods and instilling calm into a home.

Taking care to orient a home in a practical way can be an easy way to cut down on energy usage as well. Keep in mind that direct sunlight from the west can cause the home to be warmer than a home facing a different direction. If the climate is a cold one, then this can be a great way to harness natural heating, but if there is a higher likelihood that the home will get too warm then it may be better to find a property that isn't directly facing west.

Though it may seem counter intuitive, buying a property in an established area can reduce the disruption of other areas that have not been developed. Once land has been prepared for building, the ecosystem has been disturbed. Buying a lot in a neighborhood is a more eco-friendly idea than buying a plot of land outside of the main drag because that plot of land can remain untouched. Plus, homeowners who live closer to town are more likely to be able to find public transportation and can use alternate methods of travel such as biking, running, and walking, not to mention carpooling.

Part of the draw to having a "green" home is that there is a higher level of efficiency. Because of this, building a home that is larger than necessary can be detrimental to environment. Plus, it costs more money to build and it costs more money to maintain. Sit down with the builder prior to choosing a floor plan and decide exactly how much space is actually needed. Doing so opens up conversation about how the flow of the rooms will work best as well as deciding how many rooms are needed to best accommodate everyday living.

Various types of clean energy are becoming more available to the general public. Often utilities companies offer green initiative that don't cost a lot more than the standard options. For example, some companies have solar or wind power at their disposal. Some people even purchase solar panels for their own roofs. Once again, this can be an expensive start-up cost, but in the long run it can save money and can even have some tax benefits.

Although it's impossible to build a home that has no impact on the environment, society has come a long way through science and technology and can make home building have much less of a negative burden on surrounding ecosystems. Going green can take a bit more thought and planning, but it can be beneficial financially as well as physically.

Sources

https://greenbuildingsolutions.org/life-cycle-assessment/environmental-issues-construction/

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/homebuilding-environmental-effects-65999.html

https://archive.epa.gov/greenbuilding/web/html/

http://freshome.com/2013/06/21/10-mistakes-to-avoid-when-building-a-green-home/

http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/top-15-green-home-building-techniques-and-ideas.php