Using sustainable materials whenever possible will go a long way in reducing the impact your home has on the environment. It’s up to us to create the world we want to live in, and we all have the power to do so if we set our minds to it. That´s the motto of Sir Richard Branson and his company Virgin.
Sustainable Materials and the Richard Branson Effect
Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is part of this commitment and consequently joined the jury of the Zayed Future Energy Prize. Which is all about finding solutions that will meet the challenges of sustainable materials, climate change, energy security and the environment. If you have a great idea apply for the annual US$4 million Zayed Future Energy Prize.
But even without any world changing sustainable ideas, building any new home can take up a lot of energy and resources so using earth friendly and sustainable building materials whenever possible will go a long way in reducing the impact your home has on the environment. Responsible building practices can also be used to ensure you’re using as little energy as possible to build your house and practicing a sustainable lifestyle.
Sustainable building materials for Sustainable Living
Using sustainable construction materials that are cheap and plentiful can save you money while using up less of the earth’s valuable resources. Substitute bamboo for wood whenever possible and use stone, rocks and clay for your foundation rather than concrete. Some aspects of your home may still require wood so try to avoid wood from old growth forests and use your lumber sparingly.
Rammed earth and recycled steel are excellent earth friendly building materials to reinforce the walls and frame of your house. Any recycled materials that you can swap out for the less environmentally friendly ones will give you a greener house that isn’t creating excess waste. For sustainable roofing materials you can use reclaimed or recycled materials which are often cheaper and more durable than traditional shingles.
Examples of sustainable materials in and outside your home
Once you’ve got a sustainable flooring material, found sustainable roofing materials and walls, furnishing your house can be turned into an environmentally friendly endeavor as well. For sustainability the installation of strictly low energy lighting, LED for example. May cost more at first but will save you money in the long run when you discover how rarely you have to replace your bulbs.
The tiles and flooring you use can be made from recycled materials while sinks, counter tops, and cabinets can be salvaged from demolition sites. Last of all, ensure all of your major appliances are low energy and environmentally safe to build yourself the most eco friendly house possible.
Renewable Energy for Energy Efficient Homes
Earth friendly building materials aren’t the only way you can protect the environment from the construction of your house. Using natural energy sources, eco energy, both during and after the building process can save you money and prevent a drain on limited energy resources. Home solar panels, a heat pump, water wheels and wind energy are great ways to provide your house with all or part of its energy.
Determining the types of power sources you’ll be using in advance will allow you to choose the perfect sustainable materials and location to harvest your energy. A house powered primarily on solar power will need to be built in a more sunny region. If you happen to live in an extremely windy climate, a series of wind turbines can offer you an ample green energy source.