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Build Green with These 5 Techniques

Reduced costs of green materials have made green homes a popular investment.

With green challenges constantly shifting, it is important to be informed about the environmental problems and active in helping the environment. Legislations are motivating companies to adopt environmental policies, often encouraging them towards sustainable business models.

However, it’s important that individuals make their contribution as well. Building a green home is a great way to reduce your environmental footprint, as well as save money by not wasting resources. The green homes of today are not what they used to be.

Instead of alternative, often artistic and conceptual designs, they have become mainstream, with green remodelling projects being as popular as building green from scratch. If you are planning to build a green home, here are some ideas worth considering.

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Use sustainable materials

Everything from your house frame to the flooring can be made of sustainable materials. If you have settled on wood, find a supplier who follows sustainable planting practices. Sustainable flooring materials like bamboo, cork and linoleum are great for home insulation ratings and climate control efficiency. Linoleum is getting increasingly popular with both designers and homeowners due to its anti-allergic properties, long lifespan and total recyclability.

Use solar energy

One benefit of building from scratch is that you can take advantage of solar energy in ways that you couldn’t with old homes. While in the past, photovoltaic panels were often added to a building as an upgrade, the development of Building Integrated Photovoltaic Technology (BIVP) allows the whole envelope to act as a solar collector. BIVPs can be used as a façade, shingles and even integrated into glass windows, reducing the use of materials. In combination with other green ideas, solar power can generate enough energy for you to start selling the surplus to your utility company. And there are also grants, tax breaks and other government incentives.

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Keep the roof green and cool

The choice of materials on your roof can make a huge difference in your home’s energy efficiency. A product that reflects the sun’s energy away from the roof cools faster at night and stores less heat. Slate, terra cotta, white tiles and metal roofing with special membranes all have varying degrees of green benefits. Although they are a bit more expensive than traditional roofing options, your expenses will likely pay off through energy savings and minimal maintenance needs. If your home project allows for it, you should definitely consider the ‘living roof’. It is a modular system constructed in grid-like patterns made to hold plants that catch and filter rainwater and insulate the home.

Choose smaller designs

Even though you’re building a green home, a smaller green home will have a smaller environmental impact than a bigger one. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should confine yourself into an energy-efficient hut. Build your dream home, but think about how you’ll use your space. Plan the home around your lifestyle and expand the square footage only where you need it most.

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Buy recyclables

By using recycled materials, your initial cost will often be lower than it would be for ‘virgin’ materials. Total-fill insulation made of recycled materials pays off both in the short term and in the long term. Materials like wood pulp, cotton, wool, and soybean by-products are often found in both spray-on and roll insulation. At the same time, it is important to take care of the debris and leftovers from your building site. By hiring a company that specialises in construction debris removal, you will make sure that the waste from your site is disposed of safely and in an environmentally friendly manner.

Reduced costs of green materials have made green homes a popular investment. By adopting these ideas, you’ll be able to build a home that is more of a greenhouse than an emission-producing powerhouse.

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Diana Smith, the author of this article, is a full-time mom of two beautiful girls.
Diana is interested in topics related to home improvement and DIY.

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