5 Ways to Include Sustainable Materials and Technology in Your Home
by Michael Perna
on Monday, October 19th, 2020 at 10:12am.
If you're building a new home, you will likely want it to be built entirely to your specifications. This is also your opportunity to make your new home as eco-friendly as possible. Environmentally friendly design saves money, reduces the impact to your local environment, and improves property value.
There are so many eco-friendly materials and technologies available on the market today that it can be hard to choose the best materials for your house. The following are some of the most popular, effective, and inventive green materials and technologies for new home construction.
Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats have been available for years, but they're only getting smarter as time goes on. Smart thermostats connect to smart phones via an app, which enables people to control the temperature of their house, even from a distance. Additionally, smart thermostats have a feature that can save money: some smart thermostats learn the preferences of the homeowner and act according to their actions.
After the thermostat knows what the homeowner prefers, there's no need for them to pre-program the thermostat while they are away from the home. When the homeowner is away from the home or at work, a smart thermostat will change the temperature of the house to save money. When the homeowner is on their way home, the thermostat will change the temperature again to be more comfortable for the homeowner. This is an automatic process, so the home is comfortable and efficient at the same time.
Install Bamboo Flooring
Bamboo flooring is a popular hardwood flooring alternative that has become available to homeowners in the last 10 or 15 years. Whereas hardwood trees take approximately 20 years to reach the age that they can be harvested, bamboo reaches the age of harvest in just five or six years.
Bamboo flooring looks and performs much like hardwood, especially if good quality bamboo flooring is purchased. Bamboo flooring comes in different types, so homeowners have to be careful to purchase flooring that is durable and long-lasting. Stranded bamboo is the premium form of bamboo hardwood flooring. Other types, especially engineered bamboo, is not as long-lasting. Homeowners should do their research before buying bamboo flooring for their home.
Use Wool Insulation
Wool is an entirely natural and organic home material that can help keep homes well-insulated at times of the year when temperatures outside are extreme. Insulation is a very important building material because it allows homes to stay comfortable year-round without wasting energy on climate control.
Wool is an especially eco-friendly home construction material. It doesn't burn, it lasts a long time, and helps purify the air in a house. In this way, it serves more than one purpose. It also won't form mold or mildew in high-moisture conditions.
Include Solar Shingles
Solar power helps new homes reduce stress on the electrical grid. Solar power is a clean energy that also helps homeowners save money by enabling them to generate their own electricity. However, solar panels have their downsides. They require holes to be drilled through a roofing material and have a high up-front cost.
Solar shingles sit in place of standard shingles, but do the job of solar panels. They're more subtle than solar panels, and sometimes can't even be distinguished from standard roofing shingles. Because this material is not as common as solar panels, homeowners who want solar shingles on their new home may need to do research and pay premium prices for installation.
Add a Shower, Not a Bath
Baths have long been known to waste water, and recently, bathtubs have fallen out of favor with homeowners. Those who want to reduce their water consumption can save money by installing a shower only, and foregoing the bathtub.
The average bath uses about 80 liters of water, whereas the average shower uses about 62 liters. The amount of water used also depends on the type of shower head installed. A homeowner who wants to ensure that they're using the least amount of water possible should install a low-flow shower head to help control their water consumption.
Work With an Experienced Home Builder
The best way to construct an eco-friendly home is to work with a home builder who has experience with (or who specializes in) eco-friendly construction. Work with your home builder to create a home that saves energy, water, and money.