5 Ways to Integrate Sustainability into Your New Home

Lauren O'Grady
January 13, 2020

The sustainability of your new home influences more than just the environment. While we aim to better the planet in the long run, you can also increase the quality of your day-to-day lives by building an eco-friendly, low impact home. By implementing more sustainable features into your home, you can lower expenses, make your home more comfortable, and create a beautiful space.

Whether you’re looking to build a new home or renovate your existing home, we’ve compiled five ways you can integrate sustainability into your new home build.

1. Choose to reuse and recycle materials

Recycled materials can add character and charm to a new or renovated home.

When sourcing raw materials like timber and stone, you might be tempted to go for the easy option – like buying them through a conventional retailer, but why not take the time to look around for legitimate recycled or second-hand options? Not only could this save you money, but, in the hands of experienced builders, high-quality second-hand materials can create spaces that are truly unique.

Adding character to your new home through reused materials doesn’t stop at large features – smaller details and interior design features like fixtures and fittings can be sourced from second-hand shops too. New doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality. Vintage items were often made with extreme care and quality materials. By choosing this more sustainable option, you are also increasing the beauty of your new home.

2. Pay close attention to insulation

Quality insulation is integral in creating a passive and sustainable home.

Because the building process is so complex, it can be tempting to focus primarily on the way your new home looks and leave the other details to project managers. One detail you should take care to research, however, is insulation. How efficient is your home at retaining an ideal internal temperature? This is largely determined by how you choose to insulate your home.

Choosing a building material based on how it can make your home look is one thing, but a good builder will work with you to source materials that match your vision and provide good insulation based on where you live. Good insulation not only ensures your home is comfortable, but it also lowers your energy bill, saving you money and reducing your impact on the planet at the same time.

3. Make sure all your fixtures are efficient and energy saving

Energy saving fixtures are an essential feature of any sustainable home.

The beauty of working with a custom home builder is that you have control down to the smallest detail. This can prove a major benefit if you’re looking to build a home that will help you live a sustainable lifestyle.

Being mindful about sustainability can be hard when you’re caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life. That’s why electing to install features like water-saving showerheads and flow-controlled taps can help you decrease the resources you consume, whether you’re thinking about it or not. This is particularly helpful if you have a young family – you can rest assured that your children’s consumption of utilities is being regulated without you having to think about it.

4. Use passive design principles

Build a home that draws upon passive design principles.

Something that comes hand in hand with building a sustainable home is taking the time to consider where your home sits in relation to natural elements. For example, where does the sun rise and set? What does wind-flow look like in your particular climate? How much shade does your house receive during the day?

These are questions that can affect where you put windows, walls, and doors. For example, if you know the wind flows naturally in a certain direction around your home, you can keep it cool by encouraging airflow through the layout of your home without the use of electricity.

This is called “passive cooling.” Passive design principles to make sure spaces are ideally cool or warm and lit without excess electricity. When you’re building a custom home, be sure to talk to your builder about implementing passive design principles.

5. Make sure your windows are temperature-regulating and efficient

Your windows are more important than you may think.

One feature that can do wonders for a new home or a renovation is windows. They can fill your space with natural light, depending on where they are placed, but more than that, they can play a major role in regulating the temperature of your new home.

If you choose to have floor-to-ceiling windows, you need to make sure that the windows themselves don’t allow all the heat to escape in the winter and have the appropriate treatment to keep your home cool in the summer sun. Doing so can cut down on the electric consumption used to artificially heat and cool your home.

Any of these five options can help you integrate sustainability into your new home build this coming year, but you can’t do it alone. Get in touch with the team at L. O’Grady Constructions, who can help guide you in your sustainably home building journey today!

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