There are always many innovative building products and designs that can contribute to making homes and buildings more environmentally friendly. Even if you’re not investing in a new build, existing homes can still take advantage of a number of green technologies available on the market, such as improved insulation, power monitoring and efficient water usage systems.
A green roof is a roof that has plants such as grasses and lichens to cover your house. You may think that would look slightly strange, but there are environmental and financial benefits in the long term. The main advantage of installing a green roof are the savings around heating and cooling. During summer, this can amount to a 25 percent reduction in energy costs. Other benefits of a green roof include: reducing stormwater runoff, sound proofing and manufacturing clean air. The only drawback is they are quite costly to install.
Many people are starting to consider eco-bricks as an alternative to traditional bricks for building homes. Eco-bricks are easy to manufacture, quick to lay and save time and labour costs on construction. They are lighter than traditional bricks and on average cost 20 percent less. They also offer good thermal insulation that helps to keep ongoing energy consumption costs down. Usually made from high-density PIR foam, they have fire resistant qualities and provide noise insulation for semi-detached homes.
While new technology is all very well, making use of recycled materials is also a popular design choice to create a unique home. While it may cost more to fit the design of the house to the materials, the savings you make on using recycled worktops, floors and windows could be well worth it. You may choose to only have part of the building made from recycled materials, and use new for the rest.
House and window design
Houses in the past have not always been designed to take full advantage of sunlight, especially in winter. The current way of thinking is to design houses with better layouts so all rooms get some sun. Innovative window designs allow better penetration of sunlight to back rooms, and higher positioning of windows works to light homes more efficiently. Making sure your roof is at the right angle can also be beneficial for heat absorption and for allowing more efficient charging of solar panels.
Homes these days can be configured to be smart buildings. Innovative lighting systems sense when to turn off lights when the room isn’t being used, and air conditioning and heating systems can direct heat or cooling to where it’s needed without wasting power. Many systems can be controlled externally with a Smartphone too, so even if you’ve forgotten to turn something off, this can easily be remedied with just a tap of a button.