Dashboard

Dashboard

Log In Instantly...

New Search X

Building a Sustainable House? Information For Getting Started

By Ryan Poppe - Last Updated: Thursday, April 12th, 2018.

Information For Getting Started on Building a Sustainable HomeMany of today's homeowners consider energy efficiency to be a critical issue when building a home. A sustainable home costs less money to maintain and helps protect the environment. There are many things to consider when trying to build a home that is sustainable. Size, materials used and proper insulation all come into play during this type of construction project. These tips will help home buyers to design a home that is good for the environment and capable of lasting for a very long time.

Modest Size is Important

Homes that cover a wide area will have more heat loss than homes that cover a small area. Large homes are also harder to heat and cool. The smaller a home is, the less energy it requires to maintain a comfortable temperature. Therefore, a sustainable home will be modest in size, providing the room and storage homeowners need to live life happily, but not providing more space than is needed.

Those who aren't sure how much space they need in order to be comfortable should spend some time down sizing before starting the work on their sustainable home. Downsizing can take several months or even years. Homeowners must learn to get rid of those things they've held on to that they no longer need. This may involve selling off valuables, giving sentimental items to friends and family and recycling or giving away the rest.

Pick the Right Location

A sustainable home must be located in the right place. Access to public transportation helps homeowners save energy and reduce their carbon footprint. This enables the occupants of the sustainable home to avoid excessive energy use to get to and from their property.

It's also important to consider the how the location will affect the home. For example, a home that is built very close to a coast may need regular repair because of salt water in the air, and may even be threatened by rising tides at some point in the future. The more problems the location creates, the less sustainable the home really is.

Use Reclaimed and Locally Sourced Materials

Reclaimed materials are materials that have already been used once in the past and are now ready to be used again. Reclaimed wood is the most common type of reclaimed materials. Often reclaimed wood has a character that newer woods do not. Reclaimed materials may have pock marks, scratches, gouges and stains that give the material a life and history all its own. Many homeowners who build with reclaimed materials appreciate the character and beauty of reclaimed wood.

Locally sourced materials, like stones that have come from a local quarry, require less energy to transport to the building site. Locally sourced materials may also cost less money to purchase, since they don't have to be transported from a long distance. Finally, many homeowners enjoy telling guests and visitors about their locally sourced materials. These materials can become a topic of conversation and help give the home character that can boost property value in the future.

Sealing the Home Is Critical

Insulation and sealing is very important in a sustainable Cortez home. This makes it easier to control the environment inside the house and also prevents energy loss. There are many different ways that a home must be sealed. Proper insulation is very important. Insulation helps the home retain heat and cool air, and also protects the inside environment from the temperature extremes outside. Many sustainable homes will install as much insulation as is required by local building codes and then some. Good quality windows are important as well. Double and triple paned gas filled windows with low-e coatings can help deflect UV rays while also preventing energy loss.

Finally, it's important for cracks to be properly caulked to prevent water and air from leaking between seams of the house. Caulk must be replaced on a regular basis because it will eventually start to deteriorate. This is why it's important to use good quality caulk that's designed to last for a long time in the type of environment where the home is constructed.

Work With the Right Design-Build Contractor or Architect

Working with the right design-build contractor or architect is critical for the success of a home building project. Home buyers who want to build a sustainable home must seek a professional who has experience designing sustainable projects.

Home buyers just getting started must check references and look at portfolio pictures that show the professional's experience. It's also very important to check licensure to ensure that the professional is qualified to do the work. Following this process will help ensure that the home will last and retain its beauty for many years to come.

Leave a Comment