The Four Elements of Green Architecture

As more people begin to wake up to the reality of global climate change, green architecture is becoming more popular. The younger, more eco-conscious generations are beginning to buy property, and there is an increasing demand for homes that can be sustainably built and run. Location, materials, and design all affect the energy efficiency of your home. There are four elements of green architecture you can use to make your home more energy efficient.

The Elements of Green Architecture

1. Optimizing for Energy Efficiency

When you are building your home, there are many components that can be optimized for energy efficiency. Pipes, appliances, insulation, lighting, and more must be considered when you are building a sustainable home. Eco-friendly versions of these components can be purchased to make your home more energy efficient.

Selecting efficient lighting, eco-friendly insulation, and Energy Star appliances are just a few ways you can make your home more efficient. You can also install a programmable thermostat, insulate the pipes near your water heater, and use the advanced framing method when you are building your home. Energy efficiency must be considered before construction begins to ensure the finished structure is sustainable and green.

2. Choosing Sustainable Materials

When you are building a green home, it’s important to select environmentally friendly materials. Brick, engineered wood, plastic lumber, and fiber cement siding are all excellent building materials that you can use in green construction.

Brick is a good choice because it produces little waste and lasts a long time. Engineered wood produces less waste than traditional wood, and plastic lumber is perfect for building weather-resistant decks and fences. Fiber cement siding is made of recycled wood scraps and cement.

Recycling should be practiced during construction to conserve natural resources and reduce waste.

3. Decreasing Water Usage

Toilets, showers, dishwashers, and outdoor hoses use a lot of water and energy. When you are building your green home, water conservation should be top of mind. Low-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads, rainwater irrigation, and porous sidewalks can reduce your home’s water waste, cut energy usage, and save you money.

4. Improving Indoor Air Quality

Once your home is built, maintaining indoor air quality is one of the most important things you can do to reduce energy usage. Indoor air pollution is caused by smoke, mold, pet dander, and other toxins. According to the EPA, indoor air pollution is one of the biggest threats to the environment. There are several causes of indoor air pollution that can be avoided while the home is under construction.

When you are building your home, be sure to select low pile carpet. You can secure it with tacks instead of glue to reduce toxins in the air. Many green homes don’t have carpet because it is notorious for trapping allergens that reduce indoor air quality. When you are building a green home, opting for hardwood floors can reduce allergens and particles in the air caused by carpet.

Another common way to ensure your home will have excellent indoor air quality is to use low-VOC paint. Green homes are well-ventilated and equipped with proper drainage systems to prevent mold and mildew growth. Window treatments in green homes are easy to clean and resistant to dust. By making the correct choices during construction, your finished home will be green, clean, and energy efficient.

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