Our planet is in danger.
As human beings, everything we do and create affects our environment. Sadly, we’re currently not living in a way that protects our world. All that needs to change, for our present and our future.
The good news is that more and more people are trying to turn things around. One of the ways we can protect our environment is through sustainable design.
What is sustainable design or sustainable building design? According to the US GSA, sustainability in design aims to reduce the negative impacts on the environment. A design must include ways to reduce waste production and consumption of non-renewable energy sources.
Architects and designers employ different strategies to achieve this goal. Please continue reading to learn more about the different types of sustainable home design.
1. Passive Sustainable Design
Passive design strategies use what nature offers for free to keep a home comfortable. Sustainable house designs reduce or even eliminate the need for purchased energy. They work with the local climate to provide natural heating and cooling throughout the year.
Passive designs put a lot of thought into building features that take advantage of natural sources of heating and cooling. For example, architects plan window placement to maximize daylighting and control ventilation. Landscaping elements like tall trees for natural shade reduce solar heat gain during the hottest parts of the day.
Careful consideration of thermal mass is another important aspect of passive design. Thermal mass is the property of a material, for example, concrete, to absorb, store, and release heat. Along with insulation and glazing, proper use of thermal mass can save money on heating and cooling costs.
2. Active Sustainability Design
Active designs incorporate systems that generate energy from renewable sources. Examples include solar panels, wind generators, and geothermal energy exchangers. By installing these systems, you’re not relying as much on grid power coming from fossil fuels or nuclear energy.
While active design features can be a substantial investment, they can save you money in the long term. For example, installing solar panels can lower or even erase your electricity bills. You can even make money by selling the excess energy back to the grid through net metering policies.
Another active sustainable strategy is setting up high-efficiency systems for your home. These include your heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing systems. It’s important to choose components that have a low environmental impact.
3. Green Material Options
Each product we use today will usually have an eco-friendly alternative. These include building materials such as lumber, steel, and concrete. Using local, natural, and recycled materials to build our homes makes a huge difference.
Choose companies that use manufacturing techniques that are kind to our planet. This applies to sustainable interior design as well. As much as possible, buy furnishings like carpets and outdoor rugs that are environmentally friendly.
The Time to Act Is Now
We must all do our part to protect our natural resources and environment. Using sustainable design to build our homes is a terrific start. It’s never too late to live in a way that preserves our planet for future generations to enjoy.
For more home improvement tips, please feel free to browse our site.