Learn to Build Sustainable Homes
Building a sustainable home is often a priority to many home builders in the present day. When constructing your home sustainably, you consider the impact on the environment. Consequently, you minimize your footprint and ultimately create a more durable, reliable, and superior quality home for generations to come.
When embarking on your sustainable home building journey, there are a handful of key factors to consider while pursuing sustainability in your design. Below are a handful of key components consider when designing your sustainable home.
1. Powering with renewable energy
Powering your home with renewable energy minimizes your ecological footprint while also proving cost-effective. Incorporating renewable energy into your home’s design can power your electricity, water heating, and even cooling systems. FRANK takes tHere are a few concrete ways to harness renewable energy sources in your home:
- Solar panels can harness the sun’s energy to provide your home’s electricity. Significant advancements have been made in solar energy in recent years, allowing some homeowners to power their homes off the grid completely. Additionally, the average cost of solar panels is nearly half of what is was a decade ago. The investment in solar energy is one that is cost-effective and highly-sustainable
2. Windows for maximum natural light (and heat)
Designing a home with plenty of windows will optimize natural light and reduce the need for electricity. Purposeful orientation and properly placed windows can capture the sun’s energy to heat the home during cold winter days, and keep the sun’s rays out during warmer summer months. Adding a low-emission coating to the windows will also conserve heat in the winter and keep your home cool in the summer.
Double layer windows or even triple layers windows can significantly reduce energy transfer. The extra panes of glass help your home effectively regulate temperature through the seasons.
Frank's experts can help your home leverage passive heating and cooling with strategic window placements.
3. Sustainable insulation
Quality insulation is key to building a sustainable home. R-values in insulation refer to resistance to heat passing through a substance. Insulation is caused by capturing air molecules. The more air pockets, even though smaller in size, the better insulator the material becomes. Based on this principle, blown-in cellulose has become even more effective. It was excellent insulation prior, but now technology has taken it further to produce one of the best products on the market today in insulation.
Dense pack cellulose insulation makes for green, non-toxic, and sustainable insulation instead of foam or fiberglass. Cellulose insulation is typically made up of recycled materials like paper, cardboard, hemp, wool, or newspaper. Designing a home with cellulose insulation will ensure minimum air infiltration and can protect against fire, mold, and insects. Dense-packed cellulose takes insulation to a newer level and should be considered as part of a sustainable house. It is a great insulator with an excellent Resistance factor to heat or cold passing through.
4. Eco-friendly heating system
Novice home builders may be overwhelmed at where to begin when selecting a heating system for their home. It is also common to overestimate the necessary heating unit size for their homes. Choosing a heating unit that is too large can waste valuable heat and energy. However, incorporating the correct size into the plan can help operate your home with maximum energy efficiency, creating long-lasting sustainability. Using a BTU calculator (British Thermal Unit) can help determine the correct appliance size.
Additionally, state-of-the-art heating systems are a great way to incorporate sustainability into your design further. Radiant floor heat and mini-splits are highly effective, cost-reducing, and eco-friendly solutions.
Radiant floor heat is an incredibly comfortable and eco-friendly solution to heat your home. The system essentially circulates warm weather in tubes underneath your floors to heat the room. It is highly controllable but requires a specialized designer to install it.
Mini-splits use heat pump technology and possess the dual capability of both heating and air conditioning. Each mini-split has its own zoned areas, which makes it easy to obtain just the precise heating and cooling for each specific area of your home.
5. Durable flooring
Incorporating durable flooring like hardwood or polished concrete into your home is aesthetically pleasing and contributes to minimizing the eco-footprint of the overall design. Concrete flooring is an inexpensive and sustainable flooring solution as it is incredibly durable and never needs replacing.
Hardwood flooring such as bamboo or reclaimed wood can also be a durable and green flooring option. Both concrete and hardwoods can also be customized to your home’s decor, integrating style without sacrificing sustainability.
Partnership in sustainability
The idea of building a sustainable home goes hand in hand with the designer that you choose to help you with your project. From start to finish, your design and build team should share completely in your vision for a sustainable home. Your best asset to help you determine a course of action is a good designer known for using eco-friendly products and procedures.Design with Frank takes the mission of sustainability in homes to heart. By using less energy and natural resources, FRANK can help make your new home and the planet a better place. FRANK home designs are created with ecological sustainability in mind and will be the perfect starting point for your sustainable build project. Contact our team today to create a partnership to pursue sustainability for your new home.