Many modern homes are built with sustainability at the forefront of their architecture, landscaping, and amenities. In the modern era, anyone looking to make a home more eco-friendly – whether an individual homeowner or a group of contractors working from house to house – has a pleasant array of options to boost a home’s green credentials.
From creating a home’s energy sustainably to updating its windows, here are some of the most effective ways to enhance a home in 2020 and fulfill a property’s eco-friendly potential.
Create Your Own Energy
Over the past decade, sustainable energy production has soared: this is due to global investments in wind, solar and hydraulic power technology. The benefit of this worldwide endeavor is that it is becoming far simpler and cheaper for individuals to produce their own power. When working on a new home, make sure that you maximize this element in your design, with some of the following options:
- Solar panels: this is by far the most popular method of renewable energy production within the home. Regardless of the climate in your region, solar panels can simply be attached to the roof of a building to start producing energy immediately.
- Solar thermal systems: similar to the solar panel, this system will be attached to the roof, too. But instead of producing all types of power, this system works by using the sun’s heat to warm the home and boost your hot water supply.
- Biomass boilers: biomass boilers work by heating a home through burning wood-based products, which is more sustainable than investing in a log-burning stove to heat a home.
There are many more ways to power a home with renewable energy and it is important that you find the right source of sustainable energy for each property you work on. Producing sustainable energy is the best way to reduce household bills and protect the environment from further damage – and in today’s eco-friendly age, it’s also something that makes buyers happy.
Reducing waste is a simple method of reducing the carbon footprint of a home. If a household is producing a large quantity of recyclable waste, it may be worthwhile investing in a baler or trash compactor. These waste disposal systems are increasingly affordable for homes and they are ideal for larger buildings, shared accommodation, or small businesses that produce a good deal of waste.
Meanwhile, zero-waste stores are a growing trend across the globe as they enable shoppers to reduce their plastic consumption dramatically by using their own containers to fill at the store. Supporting these projects is a holistic way to ensure homes are located near stores that also operate with an eco-friendly ethos.
One extremely popular mantra to help you fulfill a home’s eco-friendly potential is to always borrow or rent – don’t buy. In some communities, residents and social enterprise initiatives are creating a communal library of things to reduce waste and purposeless consumerism within the community.
If you do need to buy an item for a home – perhaps some wood for paneling, or some furniture to make it ready to sell, don’t shy away from the second-hand options you can find in furniture warehouses and online. It’s far better to reuse than to recycle – and old furniture is usually more robust than new, flat-pack options.
This is one of the simplest ways to boost a home’s eco-friendly potential. Aside from ensuring that cracks, holes, and damage are addressed with immediate effect, there is a wide range of ways you can modify a home to ensure that you are not wasting energy. The materials you use to insulate and update a home are of paramount importance, so when you are deciding how to update your interior, it is essential that you consider the energy efficiency that you may be able to build inside the home you’re working on.
Heating a home is a prominent cost – and affects the environment negatively based on how much of that heat energy is wasted. Therefore, in addition to regularly replacing a home’s boiler, insulation should become a priority. There are many ways to keep heat inside a home, but the simplest and most effective methods include double glazing and roof insulation.
It is important to remember that when you’re working on a home or homes in this regard, that you possess adequate contractors insurance to complete the necessary work. If any staff you employ to modify or maintain a property are not correctly insured, you could run into difficulties. Insurance will protect you from the mishaps that are part and parcel, sometimes, of renovating homes.
Expand Your Green Spaces
The extreme decrease in green spaces over the past few decades has resulted in flooding due to the increase in impermeable surfaces made of tarmac and gravel. Therefore, it is highly advisable not to build over grass and plants that are growing around a property. When you are improving a property, try not to expand it over grass verges or foliage – besides, greenery has been proven to have positive mental health benefits.
If you are working on a home in an urban area – for example in an apartment or tenement – you may not have to worry about green space. Many city-center homes lack a garden, and this can have unexpected negative effects for residents who want to spend the summer months sitting in the sun surrounded by greenery. Make sure that any outside space – window ledges and balconies especially – are converted to house plants in order to give your home a more tropical and forest-like feel.
Although this tip involves leaving the home, it is an important consideration when you are trying to sell a home to potential buyers as eco-friendly. If your eco-friendly home is in the middle of nowhere, you’re going to be encouraging new buyers to use their cars every time they use their home. This is difficult to square with the ethos with which you’re selling your home. As such, if you’re working on new builds, make sure you get the local authority to agree to new bus routes past these homes to cut down on personal vehicle emissions – and the thousands of animals that are killed by cars every year.
There you have it: some key ways to enhance a home’s eco-friendly potential in 2020 and beyond.