by Megan Wild, reposted from New Homes & Ideas.
It’s becoming less of an alternative lifestyle and far more commonplace to go green. It’s recognized both on international, corporate and grassroots levels — we each have a responsibility to ensure the way we live our lives is not to the further detriment of our planet.
Earth has been mistreated with quite some ferocity, especially since the first of the industrial revolutions in the mid-1700s. Now, the UN Security Council and friends have the ability to reflect on what was previously regarded as the softer side of policy, and take heed of the undeniable evidence of global warming and natural resource depletion.
We may all be recycling and wishing for that Tesla, but given the rate of melting ice caps, deforestation and dwindling fossil fuels, we also need to expedite a major lifestyle change. It’s time to mitigate the potential global disaster which faces Earth imminently and some people every day.
Our lifestyles start with our homes, where and how we live and in what. Green building is the idea of building properties through processes that are environmentally conscious and with sustainable resources. A green building is essentially a project that allows you to preserve the natural environment and produce a home to serve its purpose, according to the U.S. EPA.
So, why might you want to build a green home now or in the near future, and what should you know beforehand?
How Do You Live?
Before even embarking on the idea of building a green home, you and your roommates or family will need to determine how energy and other resources are treated in your current home life. Are televisions and computers left on permanently? Are the kitchen lights always on and is the air-conditioner’s breeze more of a permanent fixture than an occasional but necessary helper?
If you and other occupants in your home are guilty of these sorts of behaviors, you may need to hold back on big plans such as a house build. Yes, green buildings provide lower utility bills and better indoor air quality, but if you don’t shape up your existing attitude toward energy usage you won’t be doing much good in the long run.
You’re in Good Company
So, you’re guilt-free or nearly so in the energy-conscious department, and now you’re gearing up to build green. Luckily enough, there is plenty of information out there, starting with your local green home building association. Educational nonprofits are the perfect first step in gathering the basic but critical information to ensure your greenbuild is well thought through and as effective as possible.
It’s All About the Location
The location of your new green build really will make all the difference. To capitalize on all the benefits your new house will bring to you and the environment, consider building close to public transport links, thereby reducing you and your family’s energy and money expenditure.
Furthermore, orientation of your home is imperative to exploit the natural power of the sun, as well as to regulate the temperature in your home year-round. This will help reduce requirements for energy-hungry appliances.
Size Does Matter
You may have grandiose ideas of living walls two blocks long, but going smaller is simply a better, more energy-efficient design. There is a general trend in the industry to move away from major builds, toward smaller, cozier options, which are designed smarter. Smaller houses also require fewer resources in the actual building process.
It’s a very exciting time to choose green construction. It couldn’t have come at a more critical stage. Just be sure you do it the right way from the start and equip yourself with the best advice.