Bob Barcelos' Blog
A newly built green home offers a great way to use less energy overall and enjoy a healthier living environment. When you’re having new construction built, there are several ways to incorporate green design into your home. Keep the following ideas in mind to help ensure that you have a new home that is as green as possible.
Windows and Insulation
Windows and insulation can go a long way toward providing a more energy-efficient home. When deciding where to place your windows, consider putting more than half on the south-facing side. Doing this helps this area of your home stay warmer without having to keep running your furnace or heating system. With energy-efficient windows, such as ones with low-E windows, you can also prevent these areas from becoming too hot in summer. Having a well-insulated home combined with energy-efficient window placement can help you reduce energy usage even more. Insulation helps prevent heat from escaping your home in winter, leading to lower energy usage for heating.
Smaller Square Footage
New homes come in a wide range of sizes, but you don’t necessarily have to go with a larger one. Think about how much space you really need for everyday living in order to be comfortable. You might find that you can get a smaller new construction home that fits all of your needs. For example, you might choose a floor plan with one less extra room or two rather than getting one with rooms you might not even use.
One of the first ways to make your home energy-efficient is by using eco-friendly, sustainable materials during the building process. Find home builders who use locally sourced, reclaimed or organic materials for new homes, such as reclaimed wood or bamboo. This helps reduce the impact of new home construction on the environment.
Solar panels provide new homes with a clean source of energy and help reduce the amount of energy households use. More and more new construction homes are using solar technology in place of traditional electrical systems. Having solar panels installed is a complex process, but it’s much easier to do when you’re having a new home built compared to installing them on an existing home. Consider exploring options for solar panels for your new home if you’re looking for additional ways to reduce energy usage in your green home.
Geothermal energy offers an efficient way to heat and cool your home, since it relies on heat in the ground instead of fossil fuels. If you’re purchasing new construction in an area that’s suitable for a geothermal system, consider having one of these systems installed rather than a traditional HVAC system. You’ll be using a cleaner source of energy for heating and cooling while also using less energy overall to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
The landscaping at your newly built home also plays a role when it comes to energy efficiency. For example, having trees planted to block direct sunlight on the south side of your home can help keep the interior cooler in summer, so you won’t have to use air conditioning as much. When it’s cold out, more of the sun’s heat will be able to reach your interior through the bare branches, allowing you to use your furnace less often.