Planning to build your ‘green’ home

Some of us have the luxury of building our homes from the ground up. So, with that in mind, we have gathered some energy-saving and eco-friendly tips to help you on your way.

1. FOLLOW THE SUN. Before you break ground, get to know your property and how the sun travels across it. Position your most used rooms so that they will catch most of the sun’s warmth.

2. CONSERVE SPACE. Eliminating rooms that would be rarely used will keep your construction budget low, while also saving you heating and cooling costs.

3. WIDEN WINDOWS. Large argon-gas-filled double-glazed windows will invite rays of sunlight and warmth at the same time.

4. OPEN UP THE FLOOR PLAN. Proper ventilation is key to efficient heating and cooling. Strategically-placed doors and double-hung windows will allow heated or cooled air to pass easily from one area to the next.

5. BE FLUSH CONSCIOUS. Thankfully, new toilets have water-saving mechanisms, allowing for less water used during flushes.
Be proactive with shorter showers and low-flow shower heads.

6. COVERING IT UP. Use water-based paints as opposed to chemical-based paints and coatings. They have less odor and will not aggravate asthma or allergies.

7. RECYCLE. Opt for flooring manufactured from recycled materials where possible, such as rubber with embedded neoprene chips in an entryway.

8. GO NATURAL. Use cellulose insulation made out of plant fi ber instead of fiberglass and Homasote, a recycled newspaper product, as a substitute for drywall. Try linoleum, instead of vinyl, for the kitchen floor and opt for carpet made of wool and sisal (a natural grasslike fiber).

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