Four Ways to Make Your Home More Sustainable
Sustainable construction is when a contractor or construction company adopts environmentally responsible and resource efficient practices throughout a project’s duration. Standard construction practices rely heavily on cheap oil, regular logistics, several types of materials, large amounts of electric energy and water. By having sustainable construction practices, a company will help in the enhancement of local flora and fauna, effectively and efficiently use resources, reduce pollution and incorporate renewable sources of energy. Not to mention, sustainable construction practices will help counter climate change and global warming.
If you’re an individual that is looking to complete a home remodel but wants to be environmentally conscious throughout the process, considering working with contracting company that practices sustainable construction. Not only will it save you money month-to-month after the project, but it will also help you reduce your carbon footprint. Knowing that you saved energy, materials and money when completing your remodeling project is a win-win for yourself and the environment. If you’re looking to give your whole house or a couple of spaces a new look through a remodel, here are four ways to work in sustainable construction practices:
Work with a Certified Green Professional
Going green often comes with the notion that it will cost you more green. For a Certified Green Professional, this is not the case. The Certified Green Professional™ designation recognizes builders, remodelers and other industry professionals who incorporate green and sustainable building principles into homes— without driving up the cost of construction. You read that right. Certified Green Professionals complete your remodel without increasing the price of your project. CGP coursework is closely aligned with the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard, which includes chapters on energy, water and resource efficiency, indoor environmental quality, lot and site development and homeowner education and is the core curriculum for the required CGP classes. This distinction is not an easy one to achieve, so working with a Certified Green Professional almost guarantees you’re working with someone who’s passionate about their work and the environment.
Simply put, a Certified Green Professional has the tools, knowledge and resources to make your home as sustainable and energy efficient as possible without increasing your budget.
Select the right materials
While working with your sustainable contractor, you can select the right materials that will get your project off on the right foot. First, consider selecting recycled products or products from local sources. The materials can be virtually anything from renewable products like bamboo floors, to recycled woods and other flooring materials that will put a unique twist on your custom home. If you’re looking to add wood floors, check to see which trees typically grow in our close to your area. By choosing locally sourced products, you’re reducing the amount of fuel it takes to get the product to your door.
Construction processes are heavily reliant on water whether it be for curing concrete, preparing process or clean up post-project. To reduce the water used from local resources, consider harvesting rainwater during construction for these processes. If you live in an area where it rains often like Southwest Florida, there will be plenty of water for your project. To reduce water usage after your project is complete, have your contractor install water-saving dual-flush toilets, low-flow faucets and other water-saving features.
Incorporate renewable sources of energy
It’s important to note that depending on the climate in your local region and the size of your home, you may not be able to power it entirely by renewable energy. But something is always better than nothing! However, incorporating these practices into your home are guaranteed to save you money and help the environment. There are some things to consider when adding renewable energy resources to your home such as HOA and zoning regulations. Be sure to work with your contractor, do your research and ask questions before getting started. Here are eight renewable energy options to consider:
- Rooftop solar panels
- Wind turbines
- Solar ovens
- Solar water heating
- Solar air conditioning
- Tesla powerwall
- Tubular skylights
More information on these eight renewable energy sources can be found here.
Practice smart designing methods and considerations
Technology is nearly inescapable in today’s day and age. While some may see it as a hindrance, the technology that can be used in construction is more advanced than ever and can help make the process more sustainable. This is known as smart designing methods and considerations. These advancements include the utilization of latest technologies such as BIM (Building Information Modeling) which can help estimate the materials required to complete a project. This reduces the chances of over ordering materials and reduces waste. For those who live in colder regions, proper insulation will reduce energy loss. During a remodel, a homeowner may consider a smarter placement for their windows. Strategically placing windows throughout the structure to let in more natural light will reduce the need for artificial light during the day. Additionally, thick, high-quality glass that keeps heat and cold air in will reduce energy usage in the home. If you’re in a state prone to bad storms like hurricanes, having thick glass in your home will also benefit you during hurricane season from a preparedness and safety standpoint.
If you live in Southwest Florida and are looking for a contractor who cares not only about the environment but about you as a homeowner, look no further than Varian Construction. Bill Varian, President and CEO, is not only a talented contractor but a Certified Green Professional™. Contact Varian Construction at (239) 514-0103.