Have you been planning on building a new home? This is quite an achievement and it can cost you some money and nerves. But, what’s most important, this could be a safe and a cozy little shelter for you and your family, only with just a few tweaks involved.
Of course, there are costs that cannot be avoided – think of builders, architects, permits... but, what about reducing costs that come after all that is sorted?
Maybe you didn’t know, but there are plenty of opportunities to make your new home energy efficient. Not just by reducing the need to use electricity, but by proactive planning and building of the whole construction. For us, the only way to build an energy efficient home is actually building it from the foundation to the top. This way, you will gain control over the whole "system" and find a custom solution to lower energy bills. This could also increase the value of your home and create pleasant, healthful living conditions.
Clean energy ideas and solutions have been circulating the construction and housing community for some time. It included any building technique or building material that can keep the house warm on a cold winter night or cool on a hot summer day. Or not losing all hot water minutes after it was heated.
There are some preconditions for not experiencing that. First thing first, we’ll start from the foundation.
Foundation and walls – starting an energy-saving envelope
When we think of a home foundation, the first thing is that it should be rock-solid and built with quality materials. And when thinking of an energy-efficient home, it also should be fairly insulated in order to increase energy efficiency and make your home warm and cozy.
Nowadays you will use insulated concrete forms with foam insulation layers for your home’s foundation. Any walls connected to the foundation, like basements and so should also be insulated, no matter their purpose.
Walls play a major role in a home’s energy efficiency. They might not get the attention they need, but they are an important part of every home. There is a handful of energy-efficient wall framing techniques. Some of them utilize less wood than standard walls without sacrificing the quality and also leaves more room for builders to add insulation.
Windows and Doors
When selecting which doors and windows you should buy for your new home, always keep energy efficiency in mind. An energy efficient door usually has a steel skin and a foam insulation center. And by all means, forget the sliding glass doors! Glass doors are everything but energy efficient, as you just cannot stop sliding glass doors from leaking air.
When choosing windows, check for the energy performance ratings to ensure they are appropriate. If you want your windows to be even more energy efficient, you can add blinds, drapes, or window films.
Solar Power Perks
Energy costs are just getting bigger and bigger. So, the good thing to include in your new home planning is providing your own full or semi -heating system and water heater. Or, why not generate your own electricity using PV systems? Maybe just have a thermal system installed?
Technology systems in the future could provide an option to store your self-generated power. This could be later used to reduce your heating bills. Choosing an efficient heating system is one of the most important decisions which will affect your budget and living conditions.
What you could do next? Try some features which will provide you with autonomous control of the heating plant. These could be things like thermostats, weather compensators, etc.
Getting to the (roof) top
This could be a finishing touch put on your energy efficient home. So you could go green – and by that, we don’t mean adding a green roof covered with vegetation! Instead, why not consider adding a cool roof, designed to reflect less sunlight and absorb less heat than traditional roofs. You could get the wanted temperature without the help of air cooling devices so you can reduce your energy use and energy bills.
Going green and energy efficient isn’t an easy task - but the results are well worth the fuss of planning and investing.