When designing a new home, it is important to consider its impact on the environment. Sustainable design strategies can lower your energy usage, reduce waste and help fight climate change.
Aside from the environmental benefits, eco-friendly homes are also more durable and require less maintenance. This extended lifespan and lower need for repair will save you money in the long run.
Air and Moisture Barriers
Air and moisture barriers are a key part of any home design. They help keep conditioned air in and unwanted air out. They also help reduce noise transmission, making a home quieter to live in.
The most effective air barrier is the continuous one, spanning the entire building envelope from the basement slab to the ceiling, over and around walls. This requires the use of a variety of different materials, including gaskets and tapes as well as caulking.
Another essential element of any home is a vapor barrier, which prevents the movement of water vapor. This is because it helps to prevent rot and mold from developing. Vapor barriers also slow the diffusion-driven transfer of moisture through building materials like gypsum board and insulation.
Insulation is one of the most important factors in home design. It improves the energy efficiency of the building, reduces noise levels and saves up to 25% on your energy bills every year.
The basic idea of insulation is to prevent heat flow from entering or escaping through spaces in the home like walls, ceilings and floors. This can help keep your house warm in winter and cool in summer.
Insulation can be made of a variety of materials including foam, fiberglass, cellulose and rock wool. Depending on the type and R-value of the insulation, it will determine how effective it is at reducing heat flow in your home.
Energy efficiency is an important consideration for any home design, especially for a new build. Using less energy means lower utility costs, and it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Increasingly, homes are being built with energy efficiency in mind from the start. These houses are often ENERGY STAR certified and can use 20% less energy than other homes on average, which is a significant savings.
This type of building design also focuses on making the most of natural light, as well as positioning rooms in relation to the sun’s rays. This is done through the window placement and the orientation of the building’s walls to maximize solar gains during the day and decrease solar gains during the night.
Generally, energy efficient designs are built to higher standards than typical buildings, and they tend to be more durable. They also increase the value of the home by providing a high level of comfort and safety, and reducing environmental impacts.
Designing Your Own Home
When you design your home, you can create a space that’s just right for you. You can make it bigger or smaller, or you can add features that aren’t possible in a pre-built house.
For example, if you live on a lot that has a beautiful view, you can design a house that takes advantage of the scenery. Creating windows that frame your backyard’s views or privacy fences are great ways to get the most out of your lot.
Whether you’re building a new or re-working an older home, you have to budget for repairs. Buying an older home is more likely to require extensive maintenance and repairs.