Green buildings are making headlines and it’s not for the shade of the paint that’s used on their walls“ they’re being talked about because they’re built using energy-efficient methods and sustainable materials, and because they promote eco-friendly lifestyles. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, green buildings emit 35 percent less carbon dioxide and use 35 percent less energy than conventional buildings. While you may not be able to achieve these exact statistics when you set out to build your home, there are ways in which you can adopt green measures to make your home more eco-friendly. A few easily followed green construction methods are:
Buy locally: You may not be able to pick and choose eco-friendly options for all your building materials, but you do have the option of buying those that are available locally or at locations near you. This helps save on transportation energy and costs. Also, the materials are available cheaper because they’re not imported or transported from other locations within the country. So you’re not only going green, you’re also saving costs as a bonus.
Use energy efficient devices: Buy appliances that are Energy Star rated and which save electricity and energy. They may cost a little more initially but your recurring expenses are much lower than usual. Invest in refrigerators, washers, driers, ovens and other appliances that consume less energy, CFC bulbs instead of fluorescent tubes, and fans instead of air conditioners. Set the thermostat to normal levels so that your home is not too hot or too cold. Use natural light when you can by building large windows that face east. Also invest in a solar panel for most of your energy needs if it is cost-efficient.
Use recycled/recyclable materials: If you’re going to use wood for your windows and other building needs, choose options that are salvaged or recycled. Similarly, other materials like plastic, glass, aluminium and steel are available in the recycled forms. When you use recycled materials, you’re also able to recycle them again when you improve or remodel your home a few years down the line.
Make your home eco-friendly: Fresh water is fast becoming a scarce commodity, so when you build a home, install a facility to harvest and filter rainwater. Also, set up a system where your shower water is automatically recycled and diverted to your lawn sprinkler and to water your plants.
Maintain what you’ve built: And finally, once you begin to live in your home, adopt eco-friendly measures like recycling your trash, using your garbage disposal correctly, closing faucets tightly and repairing leaky ones immediately, switching off electrical and electronic appliances when not in use instead of leaving them in the standby modes, and keeping your home neat and tidy.
This guest post is contributed by Nicole Adams, she writes on the topic of construction management degree She welcomes your comments at her email id: [email protected]