Some Tips For Ecofriendly Design & Construction

By Adriana Noton

The way that buildings are designed and constructed has much to do with how much water and energy they use. Thus, utilizing ecofriendly design & construction can minimize a house's effect on the environment and can make it eco-friendly. Designing homes to be sustainable can significantly help the environment. Proper architectural drawings are needed.

The way that a building is shaded can significantly affect its energy usage. If a house is faced north, it can have maximum shading during summer and more sunlight during winter. Also, utilizing shades over windows can help keep heat and glare from coming into a home. This can reduce the energy used for heating and cooling a house, as the home will have a more stable temperature. Drafting can help reduce temperatures during summer.

Solar panels can help a home reduce its environmental impact. When solar energy is used as a home's main energy source the home is in turn powered by a completely sustainable form of energy. Solar power also does not cause the harmful emissions that other forms of energy do. By utilizing other forms of energy along with solar power, a home can be powered with solar panels all year long.

New heat-trapping windows can prevent heat from getting into or out of a building. These windows use a new type of glazing that, like shading, can reduce the heat of a house during summer and increase it during winter. When sealed, the windows can reduce energy costs because the home stays at a more stable temperature so that the air conditioning and heater do not need to be used as much.

An eco-friendly home is always designed to have water-efficient appliances. Many people have negative opinions of water conservation appliances because they have been faulty in the past. However, today water-efficient appliances are very effective; shower heads have good pressure and toilets do not need to be flushed twice.

Insulation is another great eco-friendly technology that traps heat. It serves to keep a house warm for the winter and cool for the summer by protecting the home with a layer of protection. A building can be quite affected by outdoor weather without insulation, which can increase home energy costs. Therefore, any eco-friendly home should use some form of insulation.

For the outdoors, xeriscaping is a great choice. This technique uses certain plants that are native to the area, which means that they will live "in harmony" with the soil and other elements. Xeriscaping also utilizes water-efficient plants. Sadly for some lawn-lovers, traditional lawns are rarely if ever used for xeriscaped gardens because they use up so much water. However, native grasses can be used in place of a lawn if necessary.

One last tip is to utilize rainwater harvesting, which basically captures rainwater. It can then be used for gardening. Because landscapes do not need filtered, pure water, the use of rainwater is perfectly fine for gardens. Thus, harvesting rainwater instead of using hose water can help to save a significant amount of water. The water collected in rainwater tanks is both convenient and free; the tanks are thus a wise investment for any serious landscaper. - 29857

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