Sustainable housing : you can start from your own house

green homes

Sustainable housing refers to the using of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life cycle to reduce the environmental impact of the building. And unlike many have assumed, going green in your home does not necessarily require complex, too-technical approach.

Here are a few basic concepts one needs to note when constructing a new sustainable housing or retrofitting an existing one :

Insulation

A well-insulated house tend to have constant and comfortable temperature. There are a number of possible options which offer rebates loans to help energy saving and reduce heating and coolings bills. This can be realized through practices such as insulation application on exterior wall to blown-in cellulose, energy-reflecting cool roof system, as well as roof and interior attic foam insulation.

Window

Improved glass performance can actually result in substantial cost savings in heating and cooling. Apart from applying window shades to reduce sun ray exposure, applying low-E film to your windows can be an option. This type of film enhances the window’s ability to reflect heat, rather than absorb it.

Solar

In this context, two types can be brought up : passive solar and solar itself.

Passive solar depends on how your house is positioned and landscaped, and how architectural features work to collect, store and distribute heat in the cold weather and reject heat during hot days. This feature adds no to very little cost upfront but can result in thousands of dollars of energy savings over the life of your home.

Meanwhile the term solar heating usually refers to technologies that collect and store energy sourced from the sun, often with the use of photovoltaic (battery) systems which can be used to generate electricity or heat water.

Low (or zero) VOC

VOC or Volatile Organic Compounds, a chemicals found in paints and flooring, tend to vaporize and emit gases for long time periods. As for a starter, you can choose eco-friendly paints that are low on VOC emit (and also odor-free).

Low-Flow Water Fixtures

Installing low-flow fixtures save both water and money. It uses less water per minute than traditional fixtures and conserves water by adding air into the system to produce a strong flow while using less water. The installation of these devices requires an investment, but will likely get the ROI within its first year after installation.

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