In response to international initiatives to combat pollution and climate change, increasing amounts of people are seeking to reduce their carbon foot print by building eco-friendly, environmentally sustainable homes. But building a new home can be a daunting task for even the most experienced homeowner, and building one that is truly environmentally friendly can be even more so.
Reducing the carbon footprint and increasing the sustainability of a house is all in the details. Builders must not only consider the building materials, but also the design of the house of the house itself – passive designs that maximize natural light, heating, and cooling are best, especially in climates as variable as those in Australia. Check out the guide below for more tips and tricks to maximize the efficiency – and minimize the environmental impact – of your new home.
Energy Use and Waste Management
One of the easiest ways to make a home more environmentally friendly is often one of the most overlooked; installing the proper waste disposal and water and energy system can make all the difference. When building your home, make sure to take advantage of the plethora of new energy systems on the market that are designed to reduce cost and consumption. Many, like solar panels, allow you to harness the power of nature, reduce your carbon footprint, and save money.
When it comes to waste management, do your research. Choose a company whose environmental ethics mirror your own; many companies claim to be environmentally friendly but use some very damaging waste disposal tactics. You’ll want to choose one that that goes above and beyond the base requirements for environmental safety, such as Perth Waste Disposal.
Any realtor will tell you that location is everything, and indeed, it is one of the biggest factors in homebuilding. Choosing a location is about much more than just the length of your commute or the quality of the schools in your neighborhood; it will also dictate the size, shape, design, and function of your home.
When picking the location of your future home, it is important to keep the local environment in mind – homes built in the bush will have different needs than those built in the suburbs. If you already have a specific design in mind, work with your realtor and builder to find the location that will suit it best.
Design and location go hand in hand. Houses designed to complement their environment are often more energy efficient than those that do not. Those striving for environmental sustainability will want to avoid fad designs that, while popular, might be better suited for a different type of locale.
Passive designs – like the single-story ranch homes often found in the bush – take advantage of nature cooling and heating and help reduce energy consumption. Multi-story homes take more energy to cool than their single-story counterparts and are better suited to more temperate climates.
Depending on the structure of the house, an open floor plan may also help reduce energy use and your overall carbon footprint. Open floor plans are great because they allow maximum circulation, which will help your house maintain a steady temperature year-round.
Market Value and Curb Appeal
The last important thing to keep in mind has less to do with sustainable living, and more to do with financial responsibility. A house is one of your largest assets, and its many unique qualities often reflect those of the families that build them. But, while you should build a house you’ll love, to get the most for your investment, you should build a house that will also be attractive to someone else.
In other words, a house that has curb appeal. Curb appeal adds value to your home and will help increase the potential profit – and therefore, return on your investment – should you ever decide to remortgage, rent, or sell.