As people become more environmentally conscious, the demand for sustainable housing has increased. Sustainable or “green” homes have become a trend in modern housing. These homes are designed to be efficient, comfortable and sustainable.
For home buyers, it can be difficult to differentiate between homes that are actually sustainable and homes that are marketed as sustainable. This blog post provides you with tips on how to tell what sustainable architecture features are.
Look for Passive Design Features
Passive design refers to the use of natural resources to create comfortable living environments, without the need for active (i.e. electricity-powered) heating and cooling. One common example of passive design is the installation of large windows on the south side of a home to maximise solar gain.
Another example is the design of a home with strategically placed walls, windows, and doors for optimal cross-ventilation. When touring a home, look for passive design features like these that use the sun, wind, and natural ventilation to reduce energy use and create a more sustainable home.
Check the Materials Used
Sustainable homes often use eco-friendly materials that reduce environmental impact during construction and throughout the home’s lifetime. Some examples of sustainable materials include recycled wood, energy-efficient windows, low-VOC paint, and insulation made from recycled materials.
When touring a home, ask the developer or real estate agent for information on the materials used in the building process, and do some research to verify that these materials are indeed sustainable.
Look for Energy-Efficient Appliances
A home’s appliances make up a significant portion of household energy consumption. Sustainable homes usually feature Energy Star-rated appliances, which are designed to use less energy than their conventional counterparts. When touring a home, take note of the appliances and ask about their energy efficiency. Look for the Energy Star logo on appliances like fridges, dishwashers, and ovens.
Search for Water Conservation Measures
Water conservation is another crucial aspect of sustainable home design. Sustainable homes are designed to have low flow fixtures, which use less water than traditional fixtures. Additionally, you can look for homes that include rainwater harvesting systems or greywater recycling systems which allow for the reuse of water and reduce reliance on municipal water supply.
Check for Renewable Energy Sources
Finally, sustainable homes often feature renewable energy sources like solar panels or wind turbines. These renewable energy sources can reduce a home’s reliance on traditional energy sources, which in turn reduces carbon emissions and energy costs. When touring a home, ask about the use of such renewable energy sources, and check for solar panels or wind turbines on the property.
In conclusion, sustainable homes are becoming more and more popular, especially among environmentally-conscious home buyers. However, not all homes that claim to be sustainable are the real deal.
By looking for passive design features, eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient appliances, water conservation measures, and renewable energy sources, you can determine whether a home is actually sustainable. When buying a home, it’s always important to do your research and ask questions. By being an informed buyer, you can make responsible and environmentally friendly decisions that will benefit you and the planet.