Eco Homes, Improvement Ideas

Green building design process works with the natural landscape. A series of informed decisions that recognize the site and materials use to reduce cost, maintenance of the place and energy usage. Eco homes are safer, healthier and more comfortable to live in and of course, cost less to operate.

Eco homes connect the people to the community and the land around them. There are several green living ideas available on the market today, one just has to research well and be aware to be able to help the environment.

An example of this is passive solar design, which is a natural heating and cooling system, it is energy efficient and easy to adapt.  The practical use of building orientation, stone floors, window placement, reflective barriers and other eco home technologies to control solar energy help preserve our natural resources.

In warm climates, the broader side should face north or south – this will avoid excessive heat gain during sunrise and sunset. Use solar sunscreens and deep overhangs to shield glass areas. In colder climates, eco homes can capture heat and store them in materials like concrete or stone and be slowly released during nighttime.

Eco homes should have an open floor plan that optimizes the effect of passive heating and cooling.  Doors/windows should be strategically placed to catch breeze and allow for cross ventilation.  Also, double glass panes will provide insulation for air space between the glass panes, thereby reducing heat transfer.

Attic spaces, especially in hot regions, can accumulate heat and transfer it to rooms below. An AC duct in the attic will efficiently absorb the heat.  Proper attic insulation and exterior walls are very important in making indoor temperature comfortable.  For a livable eco home, remember that lighter colored roof materials will absorb less heat than darker ones.

Eco homes also reduce water usage.  Catch rainwater by using RWP and gutters; store water that falls from the roof and terrace.  Also, use front loading washing machines, low flow toilets and lower shower heads to reduce the use of water and energy.

To build your eco home, be sure to use recyclable, locally produced and renewable materials whenever possible.  Consider alternative materials such as straw bales, rammed earth or structural insulated panels.  Also use recycled wood floors and bamboo floors, which can grow rapidly in selected rainforest.  Hard surface floors are also advisable as they do not hold dust, allergens or molds and are very durable.

Trees, bird habitats and vegetation on site should not be harmed during eco home construction.  Dispose of construction waste properly. Never bury waste on site.  Native trees, rocks and grasses can be incorporated into the design or act as natural drainage.  Eco homes are an implementation of green practice which make homes more cost effective, sustainable and enjoyable to live in.

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