Taking an eco-friendly approach to building your home is good for the environment and saves money in the long run. Home builders around the country are opting for green construction methods and building designs and are reaping the benefits of reduced energy usage, a lower environmental footprint and the feel-good factor that living in an eco-friendly home brings.
What is green and eco-friendly building?
A green home is, in essence, a house that is constructed to be sustainable and environmentally friendly. Taking a green approach to home building is done with the intention of reducing the environmental impact that constructing and living in a home has. It involves carefully thinking through all the design aspects of your home, from the roof that you install through to the insulation, building materials used and the selection of the building site.
Energy efficiency is one of the top factors when building in an eco-friendly fashion, and many homes are equipped with solar panels to harvest energy from the sun. Solid insulation is key here as it reduces the need for heating or cooling in your home. The materials used in construction also matter, as cork, bamboo and recycled glass are less harmful to produce than construction alternatives.
Find an eco-friendly building team
Eco-friendly builds require an understanding of what it takes to reduce environmental impact through the building process, and how to design a home that has the least impact on the environment. To start off with, find an architectural practice that has a record of eco-friendly projects and that can design your home according to these principles. Eco practices can design a house that has little impact on the environment by, for example, keeping in place existing trees and by reducing the need for moving large chunks of earth.
When dealing with construction contractors, make your intentions to build green clear from the start. Explain why you have chosen to build an eco-friendly home, and be specific about the types of material that you want to see employed in your new home. Many contactors will have done courses and achieved certification in eco-friendly building, which is worth looking out for. Contractors that can showcase their green expertise will make the process of building a green home substantially smoother.
If you’re hiring independent contractors, think about hiring ones that are registered with an umbrella company as this can make the process of managing contractors easier. An umbrella company helps you to avoid the sticky questions around contractor taxation such as IR35, and makes processing invoices and payments much easier.
Benefits of eco-friendly building
Feel-good factors aside, your eco-friendly home can bring substantial economic benefits. Though the initial investment in building an eco-friendly home is slightly higher, the savings involved in reduced energy consumption, the possibility of tax credits and savings on maintenance can make eco-friendly construction a financially sound choice. Combine the financial incentive with a healthier indoor environment, improved air quality and the benefits of toxin-free building materials and it is easy to see why eco-friendly construction is so popular.