The satisfaction of building a sustainable home yourself must outweigh any discomforts, dissatisfaction or difficulties experienced along the way. Whether you are starting from scratch, renovating an old structure, or simply making small adjustments and improvements to your existing home, building a sustainable home is a worthwhile thing to do. Here are a few things you should consider when making a sustainable home for yourself and your family:
– Maximise Solar Gain:
The sun gives energy. Make sure you take as much of it as you can to help heat and light your home. Large windows should ideally be south facing, with smaller windows to the North. Consider looking into conservatories or garden rooms to maximise solar gain.
– Minimise Heat Loss:
Make sure your house is well insulated or that you build walls with a good U-value which help retain the heat. Windows can be double or triple glazed and don’t forget the roof, through which most of a house’s heat can be lost.
– Consider Options for Power Generation:
Can you potentially generate at least some of your own electricity? Consider solar panels, or a domestic wind turbine for power generation. Even if you are on grid now, consider your options for generating sufficient for your needs in the future using renewable sources of energy.
– Consider Options for Space Heating:
Wood burning or multi-fuel stoves can be a good option for space and even possibly water heating. Solar panels can combine with stoves in heating water, and can be integrated into a system whereby wall mounted or underfloor heating systems can be run. When thinking about space heating, think about retaining heat through thermal mass.
– Consider Use of Space:
It is all well and good planning for an ecologically friendly and carbon neutral sustainable future, but your house must suit the needs of you and your family over the years to come. A truly sustainable system will carefully take into account when and how rooms are used, and homes laid out for most easy and efficient use.
– Plan for Self-reliance:
Consider also growing some or all of the food needed for your family – an essential component of a sustainable homestead. Even in the smallest home, some food can be grown. Look into vertical gardening and pot gardening for inspiration. Plan to be more self-reliant.
– Plan for the Future:
The best laid plans can go awry, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t plan ahead. When building a sustainable home, you should think not just about your needs now, but also what you and your family’s needs might be in the future. Make your home future-proof.
Those are just some of the aspects to consider when building a sustainable home.