How to Make Your New Home Construction Greener

Rammed Earth Construction Rammed earth construction is an eco-friendly construction technique that is gaining popularity. It’s green because it uses local dirt and materials to cut out the need for …

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Rammed Earth Construction

Rammed earth construction is an eco-friendly construction technique that is gaining popularity. It’s green because it uses local dirt and materials to cut out the need for lumber, stone and brick from long-distance sources. Using local dirt and stone, a contractor will compress a mixture into an external frame to build walls that have slightly less strength than concrete but are strong enough for domestic buildings. While the local materials make these houses much greener, it may typically cost 5 -15 percent more than conventional building materials.

 

Controlling Dust at Your Home Site

Dust is one of the major pollutants created at home construction sites. Dust can be irritating on a construction site, but it can also be harmful to your neighbors by causing allergies, asthma and other respiratory problems. While there are a number of dust sources on any construction site, including concrete and wood dust from drilling and cutting, road dust from heavy machinery and vehicles can be a significant health hazard. Using water-based sprays like Soil2O for road dust control can improve health and keep your neighbors happy during construction, so make sure to find a contractor who uses strong dust control measures.

 

Going Green in the Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most energy-intensive rooms in your house, so it’s a smart idea to build it green from the get-go, rather than remodeling it later. Use engineered wood or reclaimed hardwood for flooring and bamboo cabinets as green alternatives in the kitchen, but make sure they are treated for humidity and moisture. While you may be bringing some appliances with you, it may be best to replace them with Energy Star appliances that will conserve energy and save you a ton of money down the road.

 

For a nifty water-conserving trick, think about installing foot pedal controls for your kitchen sink. Many people don’t link adding low-flow aerators to your faucet, but foot controls can help you be more efficient in the kitchen while saving a lot of water during everyday tasks.

 

Go Solar

Adding solar panels to your home is a great way to help make your house more energy independent, and it is not as difficult as it once was. While rooftop solar panels used to be prohibitively expensive, many residential solar solutions pay for themselves within 5-10 years. Even if you don’t want to install bulky panels on your roof, companies like Plug N Save offer solar window shutters that resemble normal wooden blinds.

 

Choose Your Building Materials

Here are a number of green building materials that can help you cut costs and make a positive impact on the environment.

  • Heavy timber can usually be salvaged and re-sawed to be used again in your home.
  • Fly ash is a waste material produced from burning coal, but it can be used to replace up to a third of the cement needed to make concrete.
  • Insulation is incredibly important in reducing future energy use, so don’t skimp. There are a number of green alternatives included recycled denim and cellulose insulation like Nu-Wool, but remember that it may be greener in the long run to use non-recycled insulation which will increase your home’s energy efficiency.

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