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Community a sustainable house  what does it take to build | Newsletter Green Architecture

A Sustainable House: What Does It Take To Build

by: Sharai Hoekema
a sustainable house  what does it take to build | Newsletter

Throughout the past few decades, construction has been one of the most polluting activities on our planet. As building procedures became more sophisticated, their footprint on the environment grew substantially. Now that the industry has come under closer scrutiny by global environment watchdogs and governments alike, it was only a matter of time before sustainable building practices emerged.

A Sustainable House: Is Not Even Remotely Difficult

The meaning of sustainable housing varies depending on the person who is telling you about it. Still, generally, it has something to do with the efficient use of resources and energy, having a minimal impact on the environment. Throughout the building process, there will be benefits, including less waste, better reliability, less maintenance, and more reuse of materials.

Actually, the process of creating a sustainable house is not even remotely difficult. Most of it is pretty straightforward. Even if a house has already been constructed, there are ways of improving its sustainability. And for new houses, well, the sky is pretty much the limit when it comes to possibilities.

A Sustainable House: Helpful Improvements

You can either create a sustainable house by building it up from the ground or improving on an existing house. Several helpful improvements can be made regardless - and that will go a long way in making your house more sustainable. Let’s look at some.

  1. Insulate walls and floor

Perhaps a pretty obvious one, but it will make a big difference in comfort, heating bills, and sustainability alike. By insulating the walls and floors, you prevent heat from escaping the home in the winter and coming in during warm summers. Insulation is likely your #1 choice if you are looking for a quick and efficient way of making your house more sustainable.

  1. Use double-glazed windows

While it is already considered an official ‘building standard’ in most areas, double-glazed windows are a must-have for keeping the heat in - or out - the home, depending on the weather. They will keep you nice and warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Additionally, they reduce draft, which is another common complaint amongst homeowners. The process of replacing all windows is a bit costly, so that thermal blackout curtains can be a solution.

house-with-yellow-window-frames

Recommended: Green Buildings Worldwide: Sustainable Highlights

  1. Use the sun for heating.

This is harder to do for existing homes, but if you are building a new home, you will do well to keep the sun's path in mind. This way, you can build your home to capture the maximum amount of sunlight, allowing natural lighting and heating. Architects will know what to look for when you tell them that you would like to capture as much sunlight as possible.

  1. Install solar panels

While you are already looking into ensuring that your house has easy access to sunlight, you can enjoy the benefits it poses even more by using solar panels. 

  1. Install windmills

No, we do not mean those huge giants. Just small, home-use friendly mills that can adorn your backyard and prove pretty useful in powering your home with more renewable energy sources.

  1. Opt for energy-efficient devices

When installing a new kitchen or placing other hefty electrical appliances in your home, always check the energy label. Some appliances might be cheaper, but if their energy label is abysmal, this will - in the long run - turn out to be the more expensive choice. Therefore, figure out which products are certified energy-savers, and you will be golden.

  1. Opt for energy-saving bulbs

A small effort with a huge reward. Switching out all the lightbulbs in your house for LED bulbs is guaranteed to impact the environment and your sustainability.

three-lightbulbs-hanging-on-a-wire
Photo by Christian Dubovan Unsplash

Recommended: Empty Batteries, A Source Of Energy: Reborn Light

  1. Select non-toxic building materials

It was quite common for building materials to be used that turned out to be pretty toxic. With science progressing and techniques improving, we now have access to proven non-toxic building materials that also diminish your house's environmental impact.

  1. Select local building materials

First, see if any local manufacturers make the materials that you need for building your home. If the quality is comparable to that of manufacturers further away, always opt for your local option - this really helps limit your carbon footprint due to transportation.

  1. Waste no resources

Easier said than done, I know. But it should always be your goal to use as few resources as possible and avoid wasting them. This includes the waste of resources such as water and your building materials. Always try to figure out how you can recycle the leftovers.

  1. Compost your waste

While cooking, you generate quite a bit of (organic) waste. Instead of adding this to the ever-growing pile of trash that ends up in landfills, you could consider building your own compost. Reducing waste, reducing money spent on waste collection, and great for your garden!

  1. Collect your rainwater

With solutions that can be anywhere from really easy and cheap up to top-of-the-line expensive systems, you can get started on collecting your rainwater for use in your bathroom and garden. This way, you will be re-using water that already ‘exists’ instead of relying on tap water.

rainwater-barrel--in-garden

Recommended: Biggest Garden Trends For 2021 And Beyond

  1. Get organic bedding

Did you know that one of the largest (mis) insecticide users is your very own bed linen? The production of your regular cotton sheets accounts for about 30% of the world’s insecticide. This massive - and you can play your part in reducing this number by changing to organic cotton or bamboo materials.

  1. Plant spider plants

They are not just great for decor. Spider plans also serve as a natural air purifier, eliminating the need for an artificial one. And that is not to mention the great effect it has on your mood and health.

  1. Use programmable thermostats

A relatively simple way of limiting your energy use is by getting programmable thermostats in your home. These can monitor when you are home and adjust the temperature accordingly - making sure that you only use as much energy as you strictly need.

  1. Use low-flush toilets

Staying with the spirit of only using what you need, low-flush toilets are another great option for sustainable homeowners. These reduce water waste, only requiring 4.5 liters or less per flush - whereas ‘regular’ toilets use at least 6 liters for the same action.

Recommended: Human Waste As Fertilizer Is Good For The Environment

  1. Find sustainable roofing options.

Some roofs are well-known for keeping heat inside or outside, whatever you need. These are great insulators that are invaluable in keeping your home cool or warm.

  1. Get local sustainability experts involved.

Most areas will have local sustainability experts who are more than willing to help you out with location-specific sustainability tips and tricks. They probably also know what subsidies or grants may be available for your efforts.

Sustainable Living As The Next Step

Most of the tips listed above might sound like common sense. While that is certainly so, it is staggering to see just how many houses do not actually incorporate all, if any, of those. Many homeowners put it on the long-term plan’ or on their ‘nice to have listed.’ This should not be the case. Greening up your home is not just important from a sustainability point of view; it also goes a long way in bringing down your bills - while boosting your home value.

So even if the intrinsic motivation of living greener does not do it for you, the promise of monetary returns might.

Cover photo by Randy Fath Unsplash

Before you go!

Recommended: Top Tips To Find The Best Builder For Your Home

Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below.
We try to respond the same day.

Like to write your own article about building?
Send your writing & scribble with a photo to [email protected], and we will write an interesting article based on your input.

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Breaking News, as the world changes…

In our world, WhatsOrb refuses to turn away from the changes in our society and environment which succeeds each other at a rapid pace.

For WhatsOrb, publishing on the environment is a priority. We give reporting on climate, nature, waste, lifestyle and sustainable solutions the prominence it deserves.

At this turbulent time for ‘all’ species and our planet, we are determined to inform readers about threats, consequences and solutions based on facts, not on political prejudice or business interests.

WhatsOrb Breaking News will be published as soon as urgent events from around the world and startling sustainable innovations reach us.

If there is anything we should know and publish about, please send a note to: [email protected] or write your own story on: www.whatsorb.comthe only news site which gives you a ‘sustainable voice!’

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More like this:

A Sustainable House: What Does It Take To Build

Throughout the past few decades, construction has been one of the most polluting activities on our planet. As building procedures became more sophisticated, their footprint on the environment grew substantially. Now that the industry has come under closer scrutiny by global environment watchdogs and governments alike, it was only a matter of time before sustainable building practices emerged. A Sustainable House: Is Not Even Remotely Difficult The meaning of sustainable housing varies depending on the person who is telling you about it. Still, generally, it has something to do with the efficient use of resources and energy, having a minimal impact on the environment. Throughout the building process, there will be benefits, including less waste, better reliability, less maintenance, and more reuse of materials. Actually, the process of creating a sustainable house is not even remotely difficult. Most of it is pretty straightforward. Even if a house has already been constructed, there are ways of improving its sustainability. And for new houses, well, the sky is pretty much the limit when it comes to possibilities. A Sustainable House: Helpful Improvements You can either create a sustainable house by building it up from the ground or improving on an existing house. Several helpful improvements can be made regardless - and that will go a long way in making your house more sustainable. Let’s look at some. Insulate walls and floor Perhaps a pretty obvious one, but it will make a big difference in comfort, heating bills, and sustainability alike. By insulating the walls and floors, you prevent heat from escaping the home in the winter and coming in during warm summers. Insulation is likely your #1 choice if you are looking for a quick and efficient way of making your house more sustainable. Use double-glazed windows While it is already considered an official ‘building standard’ in most areas, double-glazed windows are a must-have for keeping the heat in - or out - the home, depending on the weather. They will keep you nice and warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Additionally, they reduce draft, which is another common complaint amongst homeowners. The process of replacing all windows is a bit costly, so that thermal blackout curtains can be a solution. Recommended:  Green Buildings Worldwide: Sustainable Highlights Use the sun for heating. This is harder to do for existing homes, but if you are building a new home, you will do well to keep the sun's path in mind. This way, you can build your home to capture the maximum amount of sunlight, allowing natural lighting and heating. Architects will know what to look for when you tell them that you would like to capture as much sunlight as possible. Install solar panels While you are already looking into ensuring that your house has easy access to sunlight, you can enjoy the benefits it poses even more by using solar panels.  Install windmills No, we do not mean those huge giants. Just small, home-use friendly mills that can adorn your backyard and prove pretty useful in powering your home with more renewable energy sources. Opt for energy-efficient devices When installing a new kitchen or placing other hefty electrical appliances in your home, always check the energy label. Some appliances might be cheaper, but if their energy label is abysmal, this will - in the long run - turn out to be the more expensive choice. Therefore, figure out which products are certified energy-savers, and you will be golden. Opt for energy-saving bulbs A small effort with a huge reward. Switching out all the lightbulbs in your house for LED bulbs is guaranteed to impact the environment and your sustainability. Photo by  Christian Dubovan  Unsplash Recommended:  Empty Batteries, A Source Of Energy: Reborn Light Select non-toxic building materials It was quite common for building materials to be used that turned out to be pretty toxic. With science progressing and techniques improving, we now have access to proven non-toxic building materials that also diminish your house's environmental impact. Select local building materials First, see if any local manufacturers make the materials that you need for building your home. If the quality is comparable to that of manufacturers further away, always opt for your local option - this really helps limit your carbon footprint due to transportation. Waste no resources Easier said than done, I know. But it should always be your goal to use as few resources as possible and avoid wasting them. This includes the waste of resources such as water and your building materials. Always try to figure out how you can recycle the leftovers. Compost your waste While cooking, you generate quite a bit of (organic) waste. Instead of adding this to the ever-growing pile of trash that ends up in landfills, you could consider building your own compost. Reducing waste, reducing money spent on waste collection, and great for your garden! Collect your rainwater With solutions that can be anywhere from really easy and cheap up to top-of-the-line expensive systems, you can get started on collecting your rainwater for use in your bathroom and garden. This way, you will be re-using water that already ‘exists’ instead of relying on tap water. Recommended:  Biggest Garden Trends For 2021 And Beyond Get organic bedding Did you know that one of the largest (mis) insecticide users is your very own bed linen? The production of your regular cotton sheets accounts for about 30% of the world’s insecticide. This massive - and you can play your part in reducing this number by changing to organic cotton or bamboo materials. Plant spider plants They are not just great for decor. Spider plans also serve as a natural air purifier, eliminating the need for an artificial one. And that is not to mention the great effect it has on your mood and health. Use programmable thermostats A relatively simple way of limiting your energy use is by getting programmable thermostats in your home. These can monitor when you are home and adjust the temperature accordingly - making sure that you only use as much energy as you strictly need. Use low-flush toilets Staying with the spirit of only using what you need, low-flush toilets are another great option for sustainable homeowners. These reduce water waste, only requiring 4.5 liters or less per flush - whereas ‘regular’ toilets use at least 6 liters for the same action. Recommended:  Human Waste As Fertilizer Is Good For The Environment Find sustainable roofing options. Some roofs are well-known for keeping heat inside or outside, whatever you need. These are great insulators that are invaluable in keeping your home cool or warm. Get local sustainability experts involved. Most areas will have local sustainability experts who are more than willing to help you out with location-specific sustainability tips and tricks. They probably also know what subsidies or grants may be available for your efforts. Sustainable Living As The Next Step Most of the tips listed above might sound like common sense. While that is certainly so, it is staggering to see just how many houses do not actually incorporate all, if any, of those. Many homeowners put it on the long-term plan’ or on their ‘nice to have listed.’ This should not be the case. Greening up your home is not just important from a sustainability point of view; it also goes a long way in bringing down your bills - while boosting your home value. So even if the intrinsic motivation of living greener does not do it for you, the promise of monetary returns might. Cover photo by  Randy Fath  Unsplash Before you go! Recommended:  Top Tips To Find The Best Builder For Your Home Did you find this an interesting article, or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about building? Send your writing & scribble with a photo to  [email protected] , and we will write an interesting article based on your input.
Stay Updated on Environmental Improvements And Global Innovations