The Best Eco-Friendly Construction Strategies to Help the Planet and Cut Costs
By: John Garcia | Date Posted: October 19, 2022
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In 2022, environmentally friendly construction is more important than ever. Amidst the climate crisis and rising living costs, pursuing eco-friendly strategies while building your home pays off in the long run. It benefits both the planet and your wallet.
Here are five approaches to help you minimize your home’s environmental impact and cut costs in the long term.
Harness Sustainable Materials
First off, opt for sustainable building materials during construction. Examples include sustainability-certified wood products and recycled materials such as reclaimed wood.
For your interiors, ensure that the materials you select for carpeting, wall coverings, paints, and stains are low in volatile organic compounds (VOC) and air pollutants. Low-VOC paints and hard-wax oil aren’t just good for the environment. They also help you gain the best air quality in your new home.
Distributors such as Materials Market can help you pinpoint the most environmentally-friendly choices in each category.
Carefully Consider Renewables and Lighting
Another factor to consider is how to integrate renewable energy sources into your home best. In 2022, options include solar panels, residential wind turbines, and micro-hydroelectric generators. Government subsidies are available for some of these.
Even if renewables aren’t an option, you can harness the sun’s energy through strategic lighting choices. By orienting your windows and room layouts right, you can minimize the amount of lighting needed. What is necessary can be covered through energy-efficient appliances such as LED lights.
Factor in Water Conservation
Water is one of the most valuable natural resources. As the 2022 heat wave demonstrated, it can also quickly become scarce. Therefore, factoring in water conservation when constructing your home is key.
For instance, you can opt for electronic faucets, low-volume fixtures, and low-flow toilets. Invest in quality fixtures and plumbing to minimize the chances of leaks and associated water losses.
Plan for Thermal Insulation
Next, optimal thermal insulation is another eco-friendly strategy to pursue during home construction. It helps you prevent energy losses and reduce overall energy costs.
Properly insulating your roof, walls, doors, ground floor, and windows help prevent heat loss. Considering the skyrocketing energy prices of recent months, these investments quickly pay off.
Optimize Your Exterior Design
Finally, there are also several eco-friendly adjustments that you can make to the exterior of your future home.
For example, consider strategically placing greenery around your house.
With the current climate trends, temperatures will keep rising, and heat waves will become more frequent. Well-placed vegetation, especially trees, can help you avoid direct sunlight exposure and minimize the need for air conditioning.
Similarly, you can grow a hedge to provide shade and use low-conducting materials such as wood for exterior elements like terraces.
Some Eco-Friendly Building Materials to Consider
Wool from sheep grows rapidly and is entirely natural. Typically, wool is used to make blankets and sweaters that are cozy and warm.
The fibers of this material also serve as excellent home insulation, trapping millions of tiny air pockets. Attics, walls, and ceilings usually contain wool.
One of the commonly used types of building materials. It gives a sense of nature indoors, looks good, and is simple to use. Timber harvested from recycled or reclaimed sources is much less environmentally harmful than timber harvested from new sources.
It is important to source new wood from sustainably managed forests. In addition to being used for building homes, it also makes an ideal material for exposed beams or natural floors.
In eco-friendly architecture, it has become an increasingly popular material.
One of the many environmentally friendly and renewable resources is cork, produced from the cork oak tree. Cork ceiling panels, acoustic walls, and flooring are fantastic uses for this buoyant material. Don’t let the cork end up in the trash next time you drink that tasty wine.
As a natural material, cork insulates from moisture and is resistant to liquid (hence the wine’s use). Its structure can absorb vibrations. Global warming can be mitigated by cork harvesting.
A straw bale is also an excellent insulator. In the same way, wool is placed in walls and attics to maintain a constant temperature, straw bales are also placed in walls and attics. The harvesting and replanting of straw have minimal impact on the environment because it is a renewable material.
After harvest, farmers often burn off their straw to get the straw material. This by-product of waste can be repurposed into wall panels and compressed ceiling and wall panels instead of releasing its carbon content into the atmosphere upon destruction, which increases carbon emissions. By doing so, it maintains the greatest amount of carbon in the most environmentally friendly manner possible.
Straw-bale construction is a sustainable building method in terms of energy efficiency and sourcing. Straw can be compressed and insulated cladding into ceilings and walls in addition to bales. There are many sustainability benefits to compressed straw, including the fact that it is recyclable and biodegradable. A straw panel’s life cycle can be extended by mulching it down and using it in gardens as compost or by recycling it into something you can reuse again.
It takes only 3-5 years for bamboo to grow back. As long as it has not been chemically processed, it is antibacterial, eco-friendly, and 100% biodegradable. Thus, bamboo is an excellent choice for construction.
Due to its axially oriented fibers, bamboo has high strength.
The main ingredients of hempcrete are hemp fibers, sand, and lime. Construction and insulation are typical uses for it. It is easy to work with hempcrete blocks because they are super-lightweight. Due to hemp’s fast growth, hempcrete is great for the environment.
Amidst changing climate conditions and rising living costs, pursuing eco-friendly strategies during home construction is more important than ever. By following the advice above, you’ll be able to minimize your home’s impact on the planet and gain long-term financial benefits.
Thank you for reading!