As the environment becomes a greater source of concern for homeowners across the country, many are turning to environmentally friendly materials to build their homes. As the demand for green building materials has grown, so have the number of choices.
These days, Lakeview Heights homeowners can reduce their energy usage and their carbon footprint by building with sustainable materials like smart products, locally sourced stone and low flow bathroom fixtures. In addition to improving quality of life and helping the environment, these products also improve property values and make homes more desirable when the time comes to sell. Here's what homeowners need to know.
Locally Sourced Stone
Stone is an environmentally friendly material for a variety of reasons. It's durable and timeless, so it's rarely wasted. Even after decades of use, well maintained stone is still beautiful. Homeowners use stone in their bathrooms, kitchens, foyers and fireplaces. Good stone will outlive the house that it's used in, but luckily it's also recyclable. When it's no longer needed for its original purpose, it can be re-used for something else.
Stone is heavy and hard to transport, so it requires a lot of energy to haul from one place to another. This is the advantage of locally sourced stone: stone that travels short distances is truly environmentally friendly.
Low-E windows are one of the latest innovations in window technology. Low-E coatings prevent heat from penetrating the window during the warm times of year, and also prevents interior heat from escaping the home in winter. Coupled with double or triple panes that have been filled with gas, low-E coatings can dramatically improve a home's efficiency and comfort.
Smart products are very popular right now because they combine convenience with environmentally-friendly technology. There are a variety of smart products on the market today. Some examples of smart products that can reduce energy consumption include:
- Smart thermostat. Smart thermostats "learn" the behaviors of the homeowner so the thermostat can keep the home perfectly comfortable in the most efficient way possible.
- Smart blinds. Smart blinds can be set on a schedule that will lower and raise the blinds based on the movement of the sun.
- Smart lights. Smart light bulbs will turn on and off based on the preferences of the homeowner, and can be turned on or off remotely, so homeowners can always control how much electricity is used for lights.
More smart products are coming out all the time. They're perfect for homeowners who want to keep their home on the cutting edge of technology technology while also keeping their house environmentally friendly.
Steel is an excellent building material that can be used again and again. It's used in the frame of the home and can be found in other places as well. Recycled steel is known for being an excellent material to use in areas prone to earthquakes, and is also very durable in windy conditions. Best of all, using steel can save trees.
Low Flow Bathroom Fixtures
Once upon a time, toilets used over 13 litres per flush. These days, bathroom toilets can use as little as 4.8 litres per flush. Using low flow fixtures helps conserve water and reduce water bills. In addition to low flow toilets, there are lots of other fixtures that can be used to save water. Faucet aerators, low-water washing machines and other fixtures can all help keep a home owner's water bills low and manageable.
The choice of home roofing colour and materials can make a big difference for an environmentally friendly house. Just as the black asphalt will get much hotter than light gray cement on a sunny afternoon, so will a dark gray roof become warmer than a near-white roof. It's said that white coloured cool roofing can dramatically reduce the temperature of the attic in summer, which in turn can reduce the burden on the home's HVAC costs. In fact, a cool roof can reduce a homeowner's cooling costs by as much as 15%.
Rammed earth is a method of building walls by compacting earth into a formwork to force it into a wall-shape. Since rammed earth is nothing but earth, water and a stabilizer, it's incredibly environmentally friendly. It's also a highly durable material that can last for over a thousand years (example: the Great Wall of China). Homeowners looking for a green, inexpensive and tough building material can do well with rammed earth.
There a variety of different ways that home buyers and homeowners can make their property more environmentally friendly. Working with a capable contractor can help. If you're a homeowner who would like to know more about green home building products, contact an experienced contractor today.