Green home plans are more than just an energy efficient version of your neighbors home. Which green home building materials are most affordable? Which are most eco-friendly?
These green home designs offer an integration of green living guidelines with the amenities we as people have grown to love.
When choosing a green home design for your next build, it is best to understand what makes a home green so you can plan those features into the home.
Plans for green homes start with interior design. The home needs to be open and airy in order to take advantage of natural light and heat.
Sky lights are often placed in every room to increase this natural light and reduce the need for lighting fixtures.
Breezeways and view through walls are often used to help move air through the home. This reduces the need for cooling systems.
The square footage specifications of these green home designs are smaller than traditional homes. This is because larger homes require larger open spaces which are not friendly to the surrounding animal habitat.
Once the interior design is complete, the building materials will be chosen. This is where many home plans lose their eco-friendly appeal.
Materials used for walls, ceiling and floors are often recycled or sustainable. These materials can cost more than mass produced versions that are used when building a traditional home.
Cheaper choices that are still eco-friendly can include concrete, straw, plaster. Extremely green homes known as Earthships, use tires, mud, glass bottles and other recycled containers to build homes with nearly no carbon footprint on the Earth.
As the home is being erected, the heating, cooling, water and electrical systems will need to be installed. While electric hungry alternatives are the cheapest, these choices are far from the greenest.
When possible, well water is used in eco-friendly home plans. Rainwater collection units are often used as the primary source of house water with the wells only being used when necessary.
Filtration systems can clean grey water; water drained after washing dishes or laundry, and reuses this water for toilet flushing. Water heating systems should be on demand and tankless.
Solar panels, water energy and wind energy are all options for moving the home off the grid. The grid refers to the electrical system provided by local utility companies.
Green home plans aim to reduce the need for man-made utilities and thus decrease the effect of their production on the Earth. Many homes will power appliances with propane in order to ensure enough power is available for other needs in the home.
There are varying levels of green home plans available to home owners and builders. The most extreme will use 100% natural materials and no outside utilities when building or inhabiting the home.
While these homes may be better for Mother Earth, they can cost up to $125 a square foot or more which can be quite expensive. The cost is often returned, however, with the reduction of up keep and utility costs.
These are some additional articles on our site that can help you learn more about green and sustainable house design. In addition please see our green home articles on the right hand side of our page.
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