Here are five must-have green features that seem to be favored by designers, architects, and developers when building sustainable homes:
1. Living Roof
A living roof can support the growth of plants, such as grass or moss. A healthy and well-maintained living roof can improve your home’s energy efficiency, reduce your utility bills and improve air quality in your home. Additionally, a properly designed and installed living roof improves stormwater management by reducing runoff from impervious surfaces like asphalt shingles.
Living roofs should be part of any sustainable home because they are excellent at capturing rainwater so that it does not flow into storm drains. This means less money spent on water treatment plants because less polluted runoff enters local waterways. In addition, a green roof provides insulation against extreme summer and winter temperatures, which help keep heating costs down during those seasons.
The green roof atop Chicago’s 11-story City Hall is a model for what homeowners might do with green roofs, albeit on a much smaller scale.
2. Solar Panels
Solar panel installations have become one of the most recognizable symbols of the environmental movement and a powerful tool for harnessing clean energy.
Solar panels are a simple and cost-effective way to reduce your carbon footprint. Solar panels are an excellent option to save money on utility bills or “go green” without making major lifestyle changes.
The first step for homeowners who want to install solar panels is to find a qualified installer. The installer will come to their home and determine the best location for installation: on the roof or in the yard (or both). If they need more space on their roof, this solar roof expert may suggest installing solar panels in a garage or other unused areas.
3. Greywater Recycling System
The term “greywater” describes any wastewater not contaminated by fecal matter, such as water from the washing machine, shower, bathroom sink, and bathtub. As such, “greywater recycling” describes purifying water from these sources for later use in irrigation or flushing toilets.
While numerous companies can assist homeowners in installing this system, they should first determine whether greywater recycling is permitted in their area. Homeowners may be compelled to obtain a permit if necessary, as unpermitted work could become a problem in the future, particularly if the homeowner decides to sell the property. This is why it is essential to get professionals to perform this for you. They would know the system specs that specify how water will be caught, stored, and distributed per municipal regulations.
4. Use of Sustainable Construction Materials
Eco-friendly construction materials are any materials that have been produced with a minimal impact on the environment. This could include using recycled, sustainable, or old building materials that have been re-purposed for new projects. Bamboo, wool, cork, and even recycled wood are becoming increasingly popular in home construction.
It’s important to note that eco-friendly construction isn’t just about being kind to Mother Earth; Sustainable materials are frequently more long-lasting and require less maintenance than standard materials, which means they can save you money in the long term.
5. Wise use of Insulation
Proper insulation keeps the interiors climate-controlled in all seasons, which reduces energy consumption because homeowners won’t need to use their heaters or coolers as much.
Expert advice is required here, as it is their business to know how to handle all minor details, such as which shingles to use, the best placement of windows and shades, or how to seal seams properly. Insulation, when done correctly, will improve indoor air quality and create a more comfortable and healthy indoor environment—a must for any sustainable home.