The new trend in residential home building and renovating is a green one. This is essential because:
- Construction, which is traditionally an industry with a heavy carbon footprint is evolving into something much more environmentally friendly involving all aspects from design to best building practices to end product.
- Homes that are constructed and renovated in this environmentally conscious manner are of a better quality and therefore are more durable; they have an extended time period before repairs are required, also making them cost effective. Environmentally conscious built and renovated homes are also a healthier place to live because they are free of chemicals and substances that traditional building materials contain.
- Green residential construction and renovations protect natural resources like water and energy, create less pollution and improve the built environment as a whole by ensuring that society and the ecosystem can both flourish and grow stronger.
More emphasis placed on energy efficiency
The foundation of any proper green building project should be energy efficiency. Environmentally conscious building and renovating should place a lot of emphasis on using energy wisely for many reasons like reducing the use of fossil fuel-based power as it is one of the largest contributing factors of air pollution and climate change.
Energy efficiency and using alternate forms of renewable energy are an excellent means to:
- Improving air quality,
- Reducing black outs and energy supply interruptions,
- Reducing the demand for more power plants, and;
- Helping mitigate climate change.
Above and beyond helping the environment, the homeowner will also find advantages in choosing green building because of the added emphasis placed on energy efficiency; cheaper utility and maintenance bills from improved power performance, quieter atmosphere from superior window installations and less drafts from enhanced insulation just to name a few.
Consider renewable energy systems
Another green element for the homeowner to consider in relation to energy efficiency is investing in renewable energy systems. These systems are capable of providing electricity, heating water, and heating/cooling air using clean renewable sources of energy.
Residential solar panels are a simple way to implement renewable sources of energy in the home
Solar panels are an excellent place to start when considering an investment of this variety. Solar panels, also called solar modules, are large collections of solar cells that are adhered to a sheet of glass and wired together to create a panel. The panels are then placed in an optimum area so that they collect sunlight. The radiant energy from the sunlight is then converted into electricity.
The beauty of the system is in its simplicity. Installation is easy; the only professional services needed are from an electrician in the final stages when the panels need to be directly wired into the house. As for components, even the most elaborate system may only require:
- Mounting equipment
- DC to AC inverters
- Tracking mounts
- Disconnect switches
- Wiring and fuse box connections
- Utility power meters
It is also important to note that a few of the components listed for the solar power systems are optional depending on the needs of the homeowner. For instance, tracking mounts, as mentioned above may not be necessary for the average residential project.
Adding a renewable energy system like solar panels to a new home or renovation project is an excellent way to get involved the green building and renovation trend!