Our idea of a green home has undergone many changes in the last few years. What was once derided as a kind of laziness is now widely recognized as a necessity, especially in light of the looming climate crisis. Today, we’re seeing more and more homeowners building eco-friendly homes, and the numbers keep on rising. If we want to tackle climate change head-on, we need to start with where we live.
If you’re looking at housing loans in the Philippines, it might be a smart idea to consider a green home. A house is the biggest investment you’ll probably ever make, so you want to make sure it lasts for a long time. A recent report has shown that 1 out of 3 general contractors now incorporate eco-friendly methods into their construction practices. Demand for green homes is projected to rise in the next few years, and soon we’ll start seeing fully sustainable single-family homes.
And if you think that eco homes are only for the rich, you’re mistaken. The same report revealed that construction costs for eco-friendly homes have steadily declined. Costs will only go down further as more people build green homes and construction materials become widely available.
Even if the final price tag is marginally higher than those of a regular home, homeowners will still save more money down the line once you factor in the energy savings. If you’re thinking of building an eco-friendly home, here are a few pointers to get you started:
1. Go for a smaller home
The average home is roughly 2,000 square feet, and the cost of maintenance and cooling can place an undue burden on homeowners. A larger home requires more water and energy, and no amount of green construction can compensate for the waste. If you’re truly serious about sustainability, you need to build a smaller home.
Smaller homes are better for everyone for several reasons. Not only are they cheaper to run and maintain, but they’re also more energy-efficient. They also cost less to build. Wasteful consumption has contributed to the climate crisis, and it pays to be more thoughtful about how you use your available space. Pick a design that fits your lifestyle.
2. Invest in renewable energy
If you’re looking for a cheap way to reduce your power bills, you only need to look upward. The sun is one of the best sources of cheap and clean energy. If you’re building a new home, consider installing solar roof panels to take advantage of the sunlight you get every single day. You can even leverage existing technologies to maximize your investment.
Consult with a solar power specialist about the right way to position the panels. Where you place the panels can have a big effect on the amount of power you can collect. And if you think solar panels are an eyesore, you can cover your entire roof in panels with solar shingles. They’re less obtrusive, and your neighbors won’t notice them at all.
3. Focus on your roof
Your roof isn’t just for protection from the elements. With the right upgrades, you can improve your home’s energy efficiency by leaps and bounds. For instance, using a roofing material that reflects heat away from the structure helps keep your home cooler and reduces the amount of energy needed for cooling. While terracotta and slate are more expensive than conventional roofing, you save money on energy and maintenance costs.
If you want something more functional, you can also build a living roof. A living roof is a roof that’s been designed to hold soil and vegetation. The soil can help absorb rainwater and improve the structure’s cooling capabilities.
4. Use sustainable techniques
It’s not enough to use sustainable materials, however. You also need to use sustainable techniques. A truly green home is one that’s been built with eco-friendly methods and sustainably sourced materials.
Every part of your home, from the frame to the windows, must contribute to your home’s eco-footprint. For instance, even if your home is mostly made of wood, a renewable source, if the wood was harvested from the rainforest, it can’t be called sustainable.
A final word
These are just some things you can do to make your home greener. Focus on value-adding upgrades that improve function and reduce your home’s environmental impact. Finally, make sure to talk to an architect so that they can help you achieve your goals.