Sustainable home designs have multiple benefits: reduced environmental impact, reduced electrical and water consumption, improved quality of life, less wastage of resources, and many others. This explains why it’s not surprising that more homeowners find sustainable home design plans attractive. If you’re planning to build a sustainable home, there are a few critical pointers you need to take note of.
This article will help you learn all you need to know to make your home sustainable to do your share in conserving the environment.
How to create sustainable house plans
What makes a green home?
Energy-efficiency – a sustainable home uses less energy for heating, lighting, and running appliances. With an energy-efficient home, you can enjoy a properly-heated home without worrying about high heating or electricity costs.
An easy way to do this is having at least 60% of your windows facing south. This passive home design allows your home to absorb as much sunlight as possible so you can heat your home without relying too much on electricity. However, be sure not to overdo it, so you don’t have an overly stuffy home.
Proper insulation can also keep your home warm during winter and cool during summer. You can achieve this by using double-pane windows with insulating properties. Double-pane windows also insulate against noise, making it ideal if you live in a crowded neighbourhood or near a busy street.
Properly-sized house – a house of the right size is also an element of a sustainable home, meaning a home with just enough space for your needs. It uses fewer materials to construct. It also requires less electricity to maintain.
This is easy to achieve through careful planning and building a functional home. A small house with every inch properly utilized is more sustainable than a large one with many empty and non-usable spaces.
Flexible home layout – Your family changes as the years go by, and so do your needs, making having a flexible home layout more practical. Having a flexible home layout lets you easily make changes in your home layout to serve your family’s evolving needs. You can use walls that you can easily tear down to combine rooms or enlarge an area. You can also go with a layout with provisions for additional rooms, so you can add a guest room or granny suite if needed.
Using green materials – constructing your home using recyclable materials and local materials can also help you attain a sustainable home design. Green building materials like wood, bamboo, recycled plastic, and ferrock are excellent choices when creating sustainable home design plans.
Homeowners can also reuse old building materials like old bricks, repurposed wood, old windows, and others for sustainable home design plans. If you plan to reuse old materials, you can contact contractors who handle demolitions of old houses as they often salvage materials from demolition sites. Get a free quote and start planning your dream home.
Critical factors in a green home design
Mechanical systems are crucial to any home and greatly affect how sustainable a house is. Mechanical systems include those involved in heating and insulating homes. Unfortunately, mechanical systems can be expensive, and most homeowners tend to go with affordable options while sacrificing quality. The downside is most affordable mechanical systems consume more energy making them costlier in the long run.
If you want to ensure that you have an excellent mechanical system, hire an engineer to help you. Heating and cooling contractors often install oversized systems ensuring they don’t receive complaints about systems that don’t provide enough heating or cooling effect. However, oversized systems consume too much electricity resulting in high utility bills. An engineer can help you choose a system that provides enough heat for your family without bloating your bills.
Appliances, lighting, and electronics contribute significantly to your electricity bill, making choosing energy-efficient electrical devices crucial. While shopping for appliances, carefully read the tags on your purchases to look for green options like those with ENERGY STAR certification. LED lights are also excellent alternatives to conventional light bulbs because they are brighter while consuming less electricity.
Having house plans drawn
Hire an architect
If you need complete assistance in building your green home, then hiring an architect is your best option. An architect can assist you in drawing up plans, hiring a contractor, and securing building permits and approvals.
Architects can be expensive, though, and can eat up a chunk of your budget. Be sure to conduct proper research before hiring an architect to ensure that you’re hiring the best in your area. Ask for credentials and proof of previous work to get an idea of the quality of work the architect can deliver.
Work with an architectural technologist
Hiring an architectural technologist or a building designer is an affordable alternative to hiring an architect, especially for smaller projects. However, an architectural technologist can only assist you in drawing up plans, and you need to hire a contractor and secure permits yourself.
Pre-drawn plans are excellent options for smaller projects and if you don’t need a customized house design. The downside with this is you might have a hard time finding a pre-drawn design that looks exactly how you want your house to be. You might also need to search long and hard if you want to get your hands on sustainable home design plans.
Draw your own house plans
This is an option you can explore if you are feeling adventurous. You can do your research on how you can draw a house plan that reflects your vision perfectly. This can be time-consuming, though, and you need to check with local authorities to ensure that they will accept plans drawn by homeowners.
Use a project coordination platform like Superdraft
Sustainable home design plans are not just marketing gimmicks to attract homeowners. They can provide homeowners with functional and energy-efficient homes that can save you money in the long run. On top of these, green home designs can help you reduce pollution and wastage, so you can do your part in helping save the environment. Be sure to hire a professional home designer to ensure that your home is something your family will love while being eco-friendly and energy-efficient.
You can connect with one using a project coordination platform like Superdraft. Superdraft will help match you with the right professional or team for your project. You can get free design quotes, access thousands of designs from our Inspiration Gallery, and coordinate your project from design to build.
Sign up for free and get your project started.