Three Ways to go Green in Your New Home
Green home building is more than the new on-trend fad. Along with long-term savings, green homes reduce overall consumption, especially with energy and resources. There are three components to consider for your new build: water, energy, and design.
For years, water has been overlooked as a precious resource, but recent countrywide droughts have brought attention to the glaring problems of how we manage this limited resource. As Americans become increasingly aware of fresh water consumption and conservation, many home builders are taking further steps to reduce water consumption. To do this one should consider fixtures and appliances that conserve water, such as low flow faucet aerators, tankless water heaters, and Energy Star rated washing machines. When building your new home, another option to consider is capturing rainwater on your property. Collected rainwater can be used to fill water features, irrigate gardens and maintain landscapes. Innovations in onsite water management technologies include using a rain garden in place of merely piping water off the property and as a natural way of filtering runoff in your yard.
To reduce a home’s impact on the environment many people’s first thoughts go to solar panels. The sun is the ultimate source of clean, low-cost energy. By making solar power native technology in your new home, you can take advantage of the bright hill country sunshine to get the most efficiency and energy for your investment.
If upfront funding for solar panels is not available, there are other ways to reduce your energy consumption and costs. You can start as small as using LED light bulbs and choosing energy star certified home appliances. The next level is installing triple-glazed windows or installing high R-Value insulation (R-Value is a measurement of the insulation’s ability to resist heat flow through it) inside your exterior walls. Finally, you should consider your roofing material. You may want to find a product that reflects the sun’s energy away from the roof, cools faster at night and holds less heat for less time to help reduce energy costs and usage related to heat. Slate, terracotta, white tiles, special membranes, and metal roofing are a few of the roofing products available with varying degrees of green benefits.
Of all the components and dimensions that go into the building of a sustainable home, experience has shown us that it all starts with a thoughtful design. Some of the key design components we implement are not simply architecture, but site orientation, house placement and utilizing passive solar features. Other simple design ideas include using well-insulated skylights, ceiling height, and flooring options. No matter how green you build a large home; a smaller home with the same energy-efficient and eco-friendly construction techniques will have a lower environmental impact. That doesn’t mean that you need to build a tiny house instead of an expansive dream home, but be thoughtful about how you use your space. Plan your home around your lifestyle, and keep the space manageable and cost-effective.
Ready to get started on your new home? Contact Tri-Built today.