When it comes to leaving the world better than we found it, we can all do our part. From recycling plastic water bottles after lunch to bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, small adjustments to our daily routines have the power to create lasting change.
How can we take it one step further? It’s possible to be more environmentally conscious in the way we build houses. Learn more about sustainable architecture, “green” building materials and how you can make earth-friendly updates to your existing home.
What is sustainable architecture/green design?
Sustainable architecture actively minimizes negative impact on the environment and human health. Home builders play a key role in this collective “doing our part,” and more programs are pushing for a greener future. For example, the United States government promotes more sustainable design through LEED, a program through the US Green Building Council, and The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) has a design guide that includes strict sustainability practices.
Common characteristics of green design include:
- Energy-efficient lighting
- Water-saving plumbing
- Landscaping with native plants
- Alternative energy sources, such as solar or wind
- Rainwater harvesting
- Minimal waste in demolition/building process
- Recycled and non-toxic building materials
- Green roofs
How to achieve your “green” home
A green home can truly help your home become a dream home! Like living green on a budget, creating a more environmentally-conscious home doesn’t have to be complicated. Consider these earth-friendly modifications:
- Swap your existing light bulbs for energy-efficient bulbs.
- Fix that leaky faucet and turn off the sink when shaving or brushing your teeth.
- Install insulated glass units (IGUs) for energy-efficiency indoors.
- Ensure your landscaping is comprised of local plant life – when in doubt, ask a pro!
- Invest in a programmable thermostat to monitor energy consumption.
- Coat your walls with eco-friendly paint options.
If you’re building a new home, you’re in the perfect place to create a green home from the ground up. Consider incorporating green materials like grasscrete, ashcrete, timbercrete, hempcrete, bamboo, wood and recycled plastic into your structure.
At Neighborly, we’re committed to helping you achieve the (green!) home of your dreams. For assistance with environmentally-friendly updates and any other home service need, visit our home page and connect with a local pro.