As we develop new technologies and find better ways to conserve our energy the more advanced our homes become. Imagine building a house which is almost completely self-sufficient and which is built from as many natural or recycled materials as possible. Well, now it is possible to do just that. Some of the more advanced eco-house developments might be a step too far if you’re only making alterations to your existing home but if you have the dream of making an eco-home from scratch then take a look at some of the handy hints we have for you below.
It is widely known that, after your loft, your windows are one of the key places in a house which we lose heat through. This means higher energy prices, colder rooms and annoying drafts. The good news is that there has been a government led march towards eliminating the worst rated windows in terms of energy efficiency. But while double glazing has long been a mainstay for modern homes you can now go one better and get triple glazing, this will reduce the energy you use dramatically – the other alternative is secondary double glazing if you can’t actually do any work on your windows.
Traditionally we use foam or manmade mineral wool as insulation but there are a range of natural materials you can use as insulation. Our lofts and walls are all points in which heat leaks from our homes so you’ll want to be sure you get the right amount of insulation in at all points when building or renovating your walls. Alternatives include sheep wool, wood fibre and recycled paper, these are natural materials which do not have a negative impact on the environment and perform the job just as well.
The location in which you plan to build your eco-home, or make eco-friendly improvements, is important to the kind of renewable energy you can take advantage of. When your home is located further to the north – Scotland would be a good example – then you’ll be better off utilising wind turbines for your energy. When you’re in the midlands or anywhere further south you will see more sunshine and therefore solar panels will be a better option. Of course you can always use both and get the best of every season but this could be costly to have installed. Always do your research to find out which renewable energy would benefit you most.
It has already been mentioned in previous points but it’s worth hammering home. The more natural materials you use the more eco-friendly your home will be. This extends beyond your insulation however in the very building blocks of the home – wood can be naturally sourced from the area in which you intend to build your new property. You can even install a green roof to give something back to nature and protect your home.
For the furniture and materials which will go in your home you can visit local scrap yards. They will usually have plenty of materials and items which can be reworked or lovingly restored to bring them back to life; it offers a rustic charm and ensures less waste goes into landfill.
If you’re unsure about how to get the most environmentally home possible when renovating or building a brand new home then speak to your builders. They will have local knowledge and can tell you which materials you can use and which are best for your purposes.