Green Home Building
Basics of Green Home Building
These days, we all want to do what we can for the environment. Ultimately, going green starts at home — building a new property is an opportunity to make smarter, more efficient choices that reduce your carbon footprint from the ground up. Here are some important considerations related to design and planning for a more eco-friendly home.
Build What You Need
The first — and arguably most important — decision you need to make when building green homes is to choose a design. A smaller home requires fewer materials to build and causes less environmental disruption. It’s also more efficient and cost-effective to heat and cool on a month-to-month basis. Even with the best HVAC appliances and most advanced green technology, small is always better when it comes to environmentally friendly house plans.
That’s not to say you have to live in a tiny, cramped box. Rather, look realistically at the needs of your family and your plans for the future, and consider how much space you actually require to be comfortable.
Choosing a Lot
The specifics of your lot, and your home’s placement on it, will play a key role in overall efficiency. Strategic exposure to the sun can help you control heating and lighting costs. Making space for plants and trees — whether it’s a lush garden or a green wall — will purify the air and lower your carbon footprint. It’s also important to look at broader lifestyle considerations — what will your commute be like? Are there transit options nearby, or walkable shopping?
If you already have a lot selected, there are ways of tweaking your home design to get the most out of it. Speak with your builder about landscaping, design and placement options that will make your home easier to heat and cool.
Make Strategic Investments
Unless you have an unlimited budget for your build, you’re likely going to have to make some compromises when designing your home. When it comes to value for your money, investments such as high-efficiency insulation and windows may be the smarter long-term choice over, for example, a more flashy solar array.
Some things to prioritize include HVAC appliances, lighting, insulation and roofing. Smart thermostats and home controls are worthwhile investments that will lower your utility bills and your energy use. If a solar array or geothermal heat pump is in the budget, those are both great options that will take your green home design ideas to the next level.
Choosing a Builder Partner
Building a new home can be overwhelming — there are a lot of decisions to make and many things to consider. The best way to make informed green home design choices is to work with a partner you trust.
SDL Custom Homes is a longstanding leader in energy-efficient home design for the central Pennsylvania area. We provide expert advice and excellent communication at every step of the build process. Let us help you make your dream home a green home — contact our office to request a consultation today.