Designing and Building an Eco-Friendly Home

Designing and Building an Eco-Friendly Home

Posted by Alex Morrison on 11th Apr 2020

Awareness of climate change and the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere has now earned its place in construction design. People now want eco-friendly homes that are healthy, and that don’t pump carbon dioxide and other harmful gases into the air.

Intelligent design is key when it comes to building an eco-friendly home. Save money and lighten your carbon footprint by choosing the right design, technology and materials from the start. Eco-friendly design begins with the use of biodegradable, sustainable, and recyclable construction materials where you can. Products such as biodegradable plastic and recycled glass and timber are good choices which are less damaging to the environment.

Use Smart Design to Reduce Building Costs

Environmentally aware home builders are moving away from McMansions since smaller buildings are usually more eco-friendly and a lot less expensive to run. Smart (or intelligent) design makes good use of the available space, which means developers can be more creative. Cob homes, earth-sheltered, straw bale, and rammed earth homes are now more popular, however, concrete, stone and brick have a long life expectancy and are also eco-friendly.

Whichever style of eco-friendly home you choose, here are two important considerations:

Windows

Where the windows go seems simple enough, but it can make a huge difference to a room’s ambience and eco-friendliness. The most strategic position can be gauged using innovative technology to take advantage of natural breezes and sunlight.

Insulation

Appropriate insulation can keep an eco-friendly home cool in the heat of summer, and warm in the depths of the winter, which minimises the need for constantly running heating and cooling units.

Choosing Eco-Friendly Buildings and Materials

Cob

Cob is made from a combination of sand, straw and clay and is a common, all-natural material commonly used to build eco-friendly homes for its self-sustainability. Foundations are usually stone or concrete.

Strawbale

Here’s another eco-friendly construction material, although as with cob, the foundations are made of stone or concrete. The bales can usually be sourced locally, which cuts the cost of haulage and building time. They also make the home fireproof.

Underground/sheltered

For the most eco-friendly home, go underground like a Hobbit! Many are built using concrete, and take advantage of the earth’s thermal heat. You’ll be protected from fire and storms but make sure the site is safe from floods. Other types of earth-sheltered homes include rooftop deck gardens.

Rammed earth

Humans have been building rammed earth homes since ancient times. They’re constructed by making layers of moistened soil and compressing them into a dense and compact framework for your house. Rammed earth homes are still found on all continents, except Antarctica and can withstand many different climatic conditions.

Flooring Material Ideas

●Bamboo

●Cork

●Natural Fibre Carpet

Solar? Consider Panel Position and Location

Using the sun to power your eco-friendly home is both economical and energy-saving. Installing solar panels is becoming cheaper in Australia and they can save you heaps in the long run. However, the best way to harness the power of the sun is to make sure the panels are placed in the correct locations and at the most appropriate angles. The software can help you assess how much power can be collected from the various locations available to you, and batteries can help to save the power for later use.

Cool Roofing Strategies For Eco-Friendly Homes

Australia is famous for its abundant sunshine, which makes it great for homes to run on solar energy. But if the roof design isn’t right, the heat can be trapped, causing an overheated house. The answer is a green roof, which is achieved by using heat reflective coatings, rooftop grass or gardens to cool the building in summer, and in winter to keep the warmth inside.

Heating and Saving Water and Money

Install fixtures that will lessen the flow of water. Buy eco-friendly products and calculate your future water savings. And as for water heating, rooftop solar panels are great. A geothermal system, which gathers heat below ground for warming the home and heating water, is also an eco-friendly, cost-saving choice.

The Use of 3D Printing in Construction

3D printing technology is developing fast, and the use of this innovation in the eco-friendly building industry shows great promise. For instance, a company in China used 3D printing technology to make 10 concrete houses from recycled materials in only 24 hours. These developments have a light carbon footprint compared to the general methods of construction. 

Alex Morrison has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in-depth understanding of many different industries including home improvement, financial support and health care. He has used his knowledge and experience to work for clients as diverse as Dafra, Cosh Living and ME Bank to help them reach their business goals.