In today’s world of construction, building with sustainability in mind is more important then it ever was. With climate change making a big impact on our earth, we as consumers, builders and educators have an opportunity to make an even bigger impact - a positive one. Here are some ways you can improve your new home or current home sustainably:
1. For new builds, a good option is to insulate walls, ceiling and under your flooring to help the internal heating and minimize the use of energy and its costs.
2. Install double-glazed windows. Thermal-backed curtains are a great alternative if double-glazed windows are too expensive.
3. Use natural lighting! When building your new home, orientate the new house to gain maximum sun exposure. Having a lot of natural light come into your space will minimize the need to light your space electrically, saving energy.
4. Install a solar water-heating system as well as passive heating options.
5. Choose appliances that have high energy-efficiency ratings.
6. Swap out your light bulbs for LED lighting.
7. Choose environmentally friendly building materials. (Non-toxic)
8. Install a rainwater collection tank.
9. Choose water-efficient appliances and low-flow sanitary fittings
10. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle where possible when renovating and building a new home.
11. Build with the future in mind. You do not want to renovate in 5-10 years because you made material selections that quickly become outdated or allow you to lose interest fast. Choose furniture and materials that will stay around for many years to come! When it comes to changing your decor, sell or donate your items! Do not throw them out. There are many organizations that gladly accept all items.
12. Choose materials and items that are local. Minimizing travel pollution on goods is better for the environment.
13. Install solar panels and temperature regulating walls.
14. Buy organic materials. For example, cotton linen or bamboo made materials.
15. Install monitor sensing lights.
16. Install skylights
17. Have lots of plants. Plants help regulate the indoor air quality.