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What is a Sustainable House and How Do You Build It?

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If you are considering building a new home, you may be interested in sustainable homes. With a growing need for more eco-friendly homes and practices, a sustainable house will contribute to the cause and reduce your utility bills. With a more energy-efficient home, you will use less water, gas and electricity, which benefits everyone. 

What is a Sustainable House? 

What is a sustainable house? Essentially, what makes a house sustainable is the way it is built or renovated. When a home is built with energy conservation in mind, it is fitted with features and appliances that optimise resources, which means saving now, but also extending the lifespan of the products within a home. 

So, what makes a home eco-friendly? High-performance, low-impact appliances, materials, and techniques. It’s all about efficiency when it comes to the manufacture of products, as well as the shipment and installation process of these materials. Less waste is inevitable when something is designed using higher-quality materials. 

If you are planning a sustainable home, be sure to consider building methods, building materials, insulation and windows, HVAC, appliances, lighting and plumbing, and smart systems. Even your choice of décor can impact whether your home is considered sustainable and it extends into how you maintain your home, landscape and look after your yard, and how you clean. 

Why is a Sustainable Home Important? 

We are in a constant battle against climate change and should do everything we can to contribute to an eco-friendly society. If you’re building a home or renovating it, it should be with sustainability in mind. Sustainable homes are more efficient in energy usage, but they are also made using more durable materials, meaning homes last longer and require less maintenance. The money-saving aspect is simply a happy bonus. 

What are the Different Types of Sustainable Homes? 

When building a home, the style options seem endless, but what if you’re keen on making your home eco-friendly? There are several specific types of sustainable homes, including the following, but remember you can make any home sustainable by focusing on the features.

Tiny Homes

What is a sustainable house? Tiny homes are an obvious choice when it comes to what makes a home eco-friendly. With a small footprint, they use fewer materials when being built, but also have a low carbon footprint when it comes to usage. Tiny homeowners save money at every turn and when you design yours from the outset, you can include plenty of sneaky storage spaces and take your show on the road if necessary. 

Prefabricated

What is a sustainable house? A prefabricated home is. These are built in a factory setting before being transported to the owner’s property. They take less time to build, making them both eco-friendly and cost-efficient. 

Shipping Containers

Shipping containers have become a popular choice – once their job is done they are recycled to create brand-new, functional, eco-friendly homes. Instead of slowly decomposing in a landfill, eco houses made of shipping containers are versatile and fully customisable.  

If you’re looking for an off-grid eco-friendly, sustainable house then an earth-ship might be more your speed. With these, there are advanced techniques to collect water and rely on solar for additional power. Additionally, straw bale homes are an excellent option. These offer extreme insulation and are built using low-impact materials. Not to mention they are quick to build and fairly low-maintenance.

 While these are interesting options, any home can be sustainable if you build or renovate with eco-friendly features in mind. 

Main Features of a Sustainable Home

 So, what is a sustainable house and what does it include? Here are some of the key elements that can make a home sustainable. 

Insulation

It’s one of the most important features of a sustainable home because it plays an important role in building an eco-friendly home. By insulating well, you improve your home’s thermal performance, which influences how much energy you use and carbon emissions. There is a wide range of options when it comes to insulation, including eco-friendly options like cork, recycled plastic, and wool. 

Water Conservation

Installing a water conservation system is a must – it helps you reduce water consumption and energy usage. A system to harvest rainwater can provide you with plenty of water for toilets, car washing, and garden watering. You can also install low-flow shower heads, taps, and water-saving toilets. In addition, there are energy-efficient washing machines and dishwashers that will reduce your water consumption easily.

Renewable Energy

One of our biggest impacts on the environment is fossil fuel dependence, so investing in renewable energy is a major part of building a sustainable home. Opting for heat pumps, solar panels, and similar solutions allows you to both generate energy and save money. They have a higher initial outlay but will repay you in the future.

You can also make sustainable efforts by choosing energy-efficient appliances throughout your home and embracing smart technology to regulate temperature and set lighting timers.

Of course, the building materials you choose can also make a difference, whether you prefer reclaimed wood, mudbrick or recycled material. Double glazed windows, hydronic heating, rainwater tanks, greywater systems, EV charging stations are also on wish lists for sustainable living. 

How To Build A Sustainable Home 

The key to constructing a sustainable home is improving efficiency, reducing waste, and increasing reliability. There are many ways to achieve this. You can apply passive solar design tips to heat and cool your home naturally using the right building materials. There’s no need for equipment or appliances, it’s using materials that will absorb and transmit or reflect the sun. High-performance windows are an excellent way to reduce your energy usage, with windows often the cause of half of lost energy. The key feature to look out for in warmer climates is low solar gain. 

In addition to energy-efficient appliances. Eco-paints, a cool roof, and high-quality décor are helpful to the cause. You can also make smart landscaping choices, such as a drip irrigation system. 

Before you design your home, sit down with a sustainability expert for advice and tips on how best to proceed. Also, talk to your builder to see what options they can provide.

Provincial Homes Can Help! 

Whether you are interested in a tiny home, a duplex, or an acreage design, if you want to build a new home with sustainability in mind, Provincial Homes can help. As an award-winning custom home builder, we offer experience, value for money and always deliver high standards and stellar service.

FAQS 

What is an example of sustainability at home?

Anything that answers the question: what is an eco house? For example, invest in energy-efficient appliances at every opportunity, from your washing machine and dishwasher to your boiler system and refrigerator. 

What is a life cycle assessment (LCA)?

An LCA is an analysis of how a product impacts the environment throughout its life. 

What makes a sustainable home sustainable?

 

The materials you choose that go into the build, as well as the building techniques and appliances used throughout.