Simple Design Tips for an Eco-Friendly Home
Eco-Friendly and sustainable housing is becoming more popular and common, and for good reason. Designing your home with eco-friendly elements not only helps the environment but can mean significant savings in energy and maintenance costs. By building homes to merge
into the natural surroundings rather than replacing it, architects and home builders are using new and exciting techniques to create eco-friendly structures that enhance the living spaces and save resources. If you are planning your new home, utilizing a few simple tips can bring big benefits and livability to your home.
Trees are a great way to add interest to your landscaping. They can also save you in energy costs by positioning them to provide shade for your home. Keeping your home cool during the heat of the afternoons by the placement of trees and other landscaping can save you hundreds each month in energy bills.
Of course, you already know that the quality of your windows matters to your energy costs. Energy-efficient windows are an important investment to keep costs down. But what about the positioning and style themselves? Placing angled windows in a living area allows maximum light to pour in, allowing you to use natural light to brighten your home. Windows with small, vented sections at the bottom can allow for airflow which could reduce or eliminate the need for air conditioning.
Consider the local environment when choosing exterior materials also. Pick materials that are appropriate to the weather while providing a durable, low maintenance home. For instance, cedar-plank siding is resistant to both water and pests which makes it both
strong and low maintenance. Over time, it ages to a beautiful soft gray color which
eliminates the need for paint.
By flipping the traditional floorplan and moving bedrooms to the lower level you gain several energy-saving benefits. The living area on the top floor can take advantage of more natural light, while the bedrooms can stay cool and peaceful with more shade. Careful placement of landscaping can also reduce or eliminate the need for curtains and allows beautiful views of the outside.
Green building practices are becoming more common in and over the next decade will be even more important. Taking advantage of all your options, including energy-efficient appliances and home systems is one step, but there are simple design techniques that can also bring big savings. Working with Mother Nature is one way to increase your quality of life while reducing your energy bills.