Constructing eco-friendly homes has become extremely popular these days due to the plethora of benefits they offer – from being more energy efficient to using fewer amount of resources in their making. Thus, a green home is not just a home, but is actually composed of sustainable materials that save the precious natural resources and your utility bills.
However, green construction requires a thoughtfully planning of various aspects in the absence of which you might not be able to get what you really expect. Several common mistakes occur while making a green house. Given below is a list of 6 such pitfalls and ways to avoid them.
Wanting things “larger than life”
One of the most common mistakes that we make while planning a house is making it larger than we actually need. This has several disadvantages such as it requires unnecessarily larger number of natural resources, more amount of energy required for the house’s heating and cooling, lots of unused space, more carbon footprint and greater maintenance.
However, you also need to foresee the future expansion of your house especially if you are about to use it for a long period of more than 20-25 years. Thus, best is to built a house that meets your present requirement and can be modified in the future without being massive and over exaggerated.
Selecting the wrong piece of land
The location of the house has a great impact on its construction and on the environment too. Many of us think to have a house built near a lake, away from the clutter of the city. However, this might not be as pleasing as it sounds. Building near the countryside disturbs the natural ecosystem and wild life causing them great damage due to construction of roads and utilities. In order to stop causing extra harm to the environment, try to build your eco-house near the town.
Being ignorant towards the use of the sun
Not understanding the importance of solar energy is yet another of the commonly made mistakes in green home construction. Solar energy can greatly benefit the residents of a house provided the house is designed strategically. Whereas, building without considering directions would cost you more in future too.
A south facing home, for example, receives ample heat in winter and hence saves utility bills required in heating the house. During summers, you can make use of shades, awnings, overhangs and HVAC systems to keep the house cool and airy. Planting trees around the house is also a good way to keep your house cool naturally
Improper or poorly done insulation increases the amount of energy required for heating and cooling the house. This leads to wastage of both, money and energy. Heat loss occurring due to building materials such as wood, drywall and masonry can be easily prevented through the use of glass batting, blown fill and rigid insulating sheets. Before selecting any insulation material, look for its R-value, which is a measure of its insulation capacity. Greater the R value, higher is the insulation.
Use of energy efficient appliances
The use of energy inefficient appliance is another common mistake that leads to higher utility bills and energy consumption. Energy efficient appliances such as tank less water heaters are now easily available. These appliances require less electricity and thus help to save energy.
Improper roof design
A roof is a very essential component of any construction and its shape is very essential in determining the energy efficiency of a home. Building flat roofs will only help to accumulate water there by posing damage to the structure whereas as roofs left un-insulated will deter its heating and cooling capacity. Hence, you should opt for sloping roofs that facilitate easy drainage
Constructing a green home and being energy efficient without damaging the environment might seem pie in the sky, but it’s not so difficult if you keep a track of the above mentioned things while constructing your dream green home.