Each year, Americans become more aware of the need for environmentally-friendly housing and home design, and paying attention to the needs of the world around us often leads us back to questions regarding sustainability.
New construction offers an opportunity to build eco-friendly designs from the ground up, from energy-saving designs to recycled building materials.
So, why is it important to design a sustainable house?
1. Sustainable Homes are Friendly to the Environment
As precious natural resources are consumed in great quantities each year, it is quickly becoming apparent we must act now or face very serious problems within the next few decades.
To avoid contributing to this problem, do your part and consume as little as possible of the resources that cannot be replaced easily.
In order to be classified as sustainable, the house must be designed using materials that can easily be replaced.
It also implies that the home’s materials are more durable, and will not need replacing or repair nearly as quickly.
This often includes recycled materials, green building supplies, and surplus building materials.
Hardwoods, pine floors, cork countertops or flooring, toilets and showers that use less water, environmentally-friendly fabrics, and more are examples of sustainable materials for a house.
2. Sustainable Houses are Cheaper in the Long Run
Because they are much more energy efficient, a sustainable house will have fewer and lower utility bills.
Efficient insulation requires less energy consumption to warm and cool the space.
Combined with solar power as a naturally renewable energy, sustainable homes won’t have an electric bill.
Those that are able to have a well and septic tank may also avoid paying the water and sewer utility bill as well.
Although the initial setup may be expensive for these options, they quickly pay for themselves in other ways.
Similarly, sustainable homes cost much less to heat and cool in the winter and summer, respectively.
Their earth-friendly design uses the earth’s rotation and the sun’s zenith to take advantage of hot and cold, and this creates lower demands on the heating and cooling systems during the hotter and cooler months of the year.
If the home is in a very hot or cold part of the world, this becomes even more important.
3. Sustainable Houses are Easier to Maintain
It has been proven that sustainable houses are cheaper to maintain than non-sustainable homes.
The materials last longer, are stronger, and are cheaper to take care of, in addition to maximizing the potential of the building materials in an innovative way in many cases.
This creates some major savings in the long run, and can be a great selling factor for those seeking a reason to switch to a sustainable house.
4. Sustainable Homes are Often More Aesthetically Pleasing than the Traditional House
If you are looking for something out of the ordinary, many sustainable house designs are available in unique shapes and fashions.
Round homes, domes, earthbags, straw bale houses, earthships, “tree” houses, and much more are available, in addition to more traditional looking homes, proving there really is something for everyone.