Some new homes are being built to be greener. The environmentally friendly components used in the construction are normally energy and water efficient, come from sustainable sources, have less toxins and reduce waste. These components are becoming more easily available, and new products are on the market every year.
One of the first decisions in building a green home is the size of the home. Smaller homes use less energy to build and less energy is used to maintain the home. Less water is also used in a house with fewer bathrooms and a smaller kitchen. Also, fewer materials are used in the construction of the home.
Energy efficiency in new homes is achieved through using insulating windows and wall insulation and installing heating and air systems that use less energy. Passive energy efficiency includes choosing the right site and positioning of the home so that it uses natural light and protects the home from extreme weather. Passive solar heating is also achieved by having masonry walls that absorb the heat of the sun during the day and emit it at night to keep the home warm.
Water efficiency is improved by using low flow toilet and showers. A gray water system also reuses the water from bathing and washing to flush toilets or water a garden. Rain water can also be captured from the gutter system of the home and then used for landscaping. The landscaping should be made up of drought tolerant plants that are indigenous to the region. The proper planning of the landscape can save enormous amounts of water over the years.
Sustainable building materials are used in environmentally friendly home construction. These materials may be recycled or come from woods that are easy to re-grow such as bamboo. Fiber cement siding is a one of the environmentally friendly components that can be used on the outside of the home. No trees have to be cut down to manufacture it. It holds up well to the elements and keeps out the heat to keep the house cooler. Using local natural materials reduces the amount energy needed to manufacture and transport them to the home site.
Environmentally friendly components can also minimize toxins in a home. Materials with fewer chemicals create better indoor air quality, less allergic reactions and better health. Builders of environmentally friendly homes will use fewer manufactured kinds of wood such as plywood because these materials are made with chemicals. Organic carpets, toxin-free paints and natural flooring can all provide a healthier environment.
Environmentally friendly new homes are more in demand than ever. They are not only friendlier to the planet but to the people who live in them.