(NC) An eco-friendly home offers many benefits. Besides reducing your carbon footprint and being better for the environment, you can save lots of money on your energy bills in the long run. Plus, many of the latest trends are simply beautiful. Here are some to consider for your next home or remodel:
Bamboo materials. Bamboo is a renewable resource that can be harvested gently, without disturbing the surrounding environment. It’s also a great alternative to hardwood, since it can regenerate faster than trees. The timeless material is very popular for flooring and can also be used for bathroom and kitchen cabinets.
When buying this material for your home, look for a high-quality, sustainable producer since cheaper versions can be less sturdy.
Passive house. Go beyond efficient appliances with an entire house that uses little-to-no energy. Derived from the German Passivhaus, passive house is a movement that refers to a design process that creates buildings that have a small ecological footprint and require little heating or cooling. Use the philosophy to guide decisions for your home – from adding solar panels on your roof to boosting your insulation.
Reclaimed pieces. One of the quickest and easiest ways to have a positive environmental impact is buying as little new as possible. The next time you need furniture, create something rustic by recycling or upcycling an old or vintage item with a new coat of paint or a fresh wood stain. If you’re planning a demolition, try deconstruction instead – “un-build” the structure and find elements you can salvage or reclaim, like exposed brick and wood beams.
Water conservation. With more parts of the world experiencing droughts, saving water is one of the top concerns for environmentalists.
Wasting water is also expensive and leads to higher utility bills. Upgrading your home with water conservation features can go a long way, and most are designed to look sleek and minimalist. Opt for low-flow showerheads, toilets and sinks fixtures.
Insulated concrete. Many homeowners now prefer to build with insulated concrete forms (ICFs) because the material offers better energy efficiency and performance than traditional wood. Homes built with Nudura ICFs al
so provide better fire protection and can help you save as much as 60 per cent on heating and cooling costs. Your home is less likely to contain cold areas as the insulation is continuous around the entire house.