When you're planning a new house, you have the opportunity to make your future home both comfortable and easier on the environment. Factors such as roofing materials, insulation choices and the home's footprint can greatly impact how big the carbon footprint of your home will end up being.
Home planning choices give you plenty of options to consider the environmental impact of the space. For example, you can install a Grasscrete driveway instead of concrete or asphalt to increase rain absorption and cut down on stormwater runoff in your neighborhood. A solar-power-system installation will be much easier to manage in the original construction than trying to retrofit it onto an existing home. A second way to think about consumption reduction is to use recycled materials. While newer windows will reduce how much power you need as the seasons change, recycled wood flooring and trim can beautify your home and negate the need for new lumber milling in certain areas of your home. Also, straw-bale construction can greatly reduce your heating and cooling expenses if the climate in your area allows for this type of construction.
Use Equipment Properly
Tools needed to clear away topsoil and dig foundation footers generally run on diesel, which can produce a great deal of exhaust. In addition, parking heavy equipment on existing turf can negatively impact healthy root systems. By using construction mats, companies that use heavy machinery can reduce the damage they do to the local environment. These mats disperse the weight of large tools and limit the impact on root systems.
Footprint and Orientation
How much house do you need? This question is critical for those who have environmental concerns. The more house you have, the more energy it will take to heat and cool. In addition, the layout of your home in relation to sunrise and sunset can increase your heating and cooling needs. As possible, consider adding overhangs and awnings to the western windows of your home to reduce heat build-up. Finally, check out local ordinances and consider adding features to your home that will reduce your water usage and make it easy to collect available rainwater for landscaping use.