People are becoming more and more aware of their impact on the environment, from the transport they use and the food they eat to lifestyle choices that they make – and building a home is no different. For many people, building a home that has a minimal impact on the environment is a dream come true – but it can cost a whole lot more to achieve. Here are some tips from a leading residential architect on how to keep your Green home on budget.
- Look at your landscape: The land you buy is more than simply a place to put your home. Its individual features can be used to help make your home more affordable and reduce the need for less environmentally friendly materials. For example, laying your foundation on a level is cheaper than a slope. Building a second story is also cheaper than building on a single level, as you need less foundation and a smaller roof.
- Orientate your home: Positioning your home correctly ensures that you maximize your use of the environment while reducing your energy costs. To get the most energy-efficient heating and cooling, position your house with the longest side facing south, allowing it to catch the most sunlight. An overhang on your roof will keep the higher angle summer sun out while still allowing natural light in. A South-facing roof also allows for the best positioning of solar panels for heating, cooling and electricity.
- Low cost renewable materials: While there are some incredible eco-friendly materials on the market, there are low-cost ones that are just as effective. Recycled steel is beautiful and robust, even in the face of strong winds. Using this material saves space in landfills and reduces the energy produced in making steel by 75%. Insulating concrete forms provide great energy savings, 20% more than wood-frame buildings in cold climates. If you want to avoid concrete, structural insulated panels could be your answer, offering a fire-resistant foam insulation that can save you over 50% in energy costs.
- Go local: If you’re prepared to put in the work, you can also find local sources of building materials that not only meet your Green requirements, but also offer a lower carbon footprint as they don’t have to travel far to get to your site. Local stone, wood, and manufacturing companies will also appreciate your support!
- Set your sights on incentives, tax breaks and certifications: Going Green is supported by the state government, and there are programs in place that can help make your home more affordable. Get to know your area’s rebates and incentive programs, and work with your architect to ensure that you qualify.
Custom Home Plans from your New Jersey Residential Architect
With 20 years of experience, the architecture firm of Seth A. Leeb knows that the secret to creating outstanding homes is building a great client relationship. As a full-service architectural firm, we are able to assist our clients all the way from site analysis and design conception through the construction of their home itself. For more information on our residential architecture design services in New Jersey and to start planning your Green home, please contact us today or visit our website at http://sethleeb.wpengine.com/