Did you know that buildings are a vital contributor to greenhouse gas emissions? As more people become conscious about their environmental footprint, we see a trend towards eco-friendly and energy-efficient builds.
Whether you have a new home or commercial building, here are a few tips on how to make your new build eco-friendly.
1. Use Energy-Efficient Lighting
Lighting takes up a significant slice of your monthly energy bills. As such, you want to keep it at a minimum. In this case, installing energy-efficient bulbs like light-emitting diodes (LEDs) is a great choice.
LED lights are durable and brighter than traditional lighting options. Moreover, LED lights use less electricity and can last longer, so they don’t need to be replaced frequently.
2. Invest in Renewable Energy
To make your new build eco-friendlier, opting for renewable energy should be on top of your list. In most parts of the world, people are embracing renewable energy over fossil fuels to power their homes and commercial structures. Like any other technology, understanding the pros and cons of renewable energy is essential to determine its efficiency and success when implemented.
Solar power is one of the most popular types of renewable energy used in new and existing buildings today, especially in Florida, and you can see solar panels on lots of homes in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, and Miami. Most buildings are now flaunting shiny panels on their rooftops.
By switching to solar energy, you can generate your own electricity, which helps reduce or eliminate your energy bills. During the day, solar panels collect and produce the needed energy to power your building. Meanwhile, any excess energy can be stored in a battery to power your building at night. Due to its numerous advantages, solar panels can significantly improve the value of your building and property.
3. Think About Water Conservation
Water is one of the most important, yet limited, resources in our lives. You use it for bathing, cleaning, cooking, and more. As part of designing a more energy-efficient build, you want to add water-saving features to help conserve these precious resources while reducing your water bill.
The easiest way to have a water-smart build is to install low-flow water fixtures to reduce the water used in showers and sinks. If you have the budget, you can also add complex water-saving systems.
For instance, a water tank can help keep your building less reliant on the local water supply while taking advantage of free water from the sky or below the ground. Adding a rainwater tank is particularly beneficial in drought-prone areas to ensure an uninterrupted water supply.
In addition to a water tank, you can also opt for a greywater recycling system during construction. This system collects and recycles greywater or safe wastewater from showers, laundry tubs, and sinks for other purposes, such as toilet flushing and watering the garden.
4. Install Smart Technology
Investing in smart technology can future-proof your new building and make it more sustainable. Automated systems and smart technology can help increase energy savings while making your building more convenient to run.
For instance, a smart thermostat can be programmed to adjust the cooling and heating temperature in your building automatically. Smarter devices are equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) technology that detects daily trends in your energy usage and adjusts the temperature accordingly.
Another technology you can install is smart lighting. While smart lighting may not significantly impact a smart thermostat, automatic control of your lighting system can help monitor and save on energy.
5. Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances
The appliances you buy can significantly impact your home’s energy efficiency and your building’s sustainability.
Generally, you want to choose appliances with the Energy Star certification that minimize energy consumption while providing maximum performance for your needs. Note that energy-efficient appliances may cost more; however, they’ll pay for your investment in the long run.
6. Don’t Forget Landscaping
Maintaining a garden and landscaping can be a sustainable way to improve your property value. A well-maintained garden and landscape contribute to a greener environment and help offset your carbon footprint.
That said, gardens can also be a water waste if you’re not careful. Consider planting native plants since they’re easier to maintain in your local climate. Use recycled materials like tin cans or plastic bottles for planters to make your gardens eco-friendlier. You can also hire a landscape expert to help you plan and implement a sustainable and eco-friendly garden for your property.
It’s no secret that sustainability has become a hot trend, extending into the construction and real estate industry. And while eco-friendly structures are fueled by the increasing threat of global warming, designing for sustainable builds offers many benefits—from ensuring comfort and convenience to energy savings.
If you’re ready to make your new structure eco-friendlier, take note of the above options to help you design a build that Mother Nature approves of.