Eco-Homes

A Guide To Green Housing: Save The Planet Without Leaving Home

Many people are looking for a way to make a difference in the environment, and some are lost. But a major way to contribute to the green movement and reduce your carbon footprint is to follow new trends and technology in green housing.

Go Prefab

Many housing companies and architects are getting into prefab homes. What used to be thought of as a cheap housing alternative, like standard manufactured homes in the 1980s and 1990s, is now becoming a greener, more efficient way to produce high-style housing.

Prefab Homes
Prefab Homes : source kaufmannstudio.com

Prefab homes are assembled most or all of the way in a factory and then brought to the home site on a flatbed truck. This way, all the materials to build the house and the workers go to the factory instead of each individual home site, and this is a more efficient way to build homes. They can also be built much cheaper this way.

While some prefab homes still have about as much charm as a double-wide trailer, there are many firms going ahead with high-design green options, like Michelle Kaufmann and Rocio Romero.

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

When you think about all the materials that go into building a house, it doesn’t seem possible that you could use totally post-consumer material. But you’d be wrong. A new trend in green building is using salvaged lumber and other materials, like doors and fixtures. What’s more, they can be less expensive and they sometimes benefit charities. When homes are destroyed, all the salvaged materials are often taken to a reseller, and that’s where you can find them. A simple Internet search for “salvaged building materials” in your city should tell you where to find them.

When you’re not too keen on using someone else’s old materials, there are also recycled materials available from manufacturers, like recycled glass tile and floors made from recycled plastic.

Grey Water System
Grey Water System

It’s important to look to recycling not only as a part of building the house, but of living in it too. Consider the installation of solar panels to recycle the sun’s power into energy, or a grey water system to recycle the water that runs through the house.

Septic tank installation into the ground
Septic tank installation into the ground

Think Tiny

One of the keys in the green housing movement is to only build a house that’s big enough for your needs. That means living with less space and less stuff, but it also means an opportunity to get outside more and to bring yourself back to simple living that will inspire you to continue a green lifestyle.

The green housing movement
The green housing movement : source tumbleweedhouses.com

One company that is striving to provide chic, well-designed green small homes is the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, which offers plans for homes from 65 to 837 square feet. There are also many other firms that specialise in small homes, knowing that efficient, green living is the product of only using what you really need and saving more energy and building materials for the future.

Eco-Friendly Village Proving a Big Hit

Barratt’s eco-friendly development in Almondsbury near Bristol was designed to cater for those who are keen to make the world a more environmentally conscious place, and the development, which is known as Hortham Village, is proving to be very popular.

“Our show home, The Marlowe, has two solar panels built into the roof and this is just one of the many eco-friendly features to be found at this development,” Louise Ware, Barratt Sales Director, commented.

Solar panels mounted on a house roof - Saving money and the environment
Solar panels mounted on a house roof – Saving money and the environment

The aim of the development is to make sustainable living as easy as possible, with simple practical solutions that, if implemented ‘en masse’, could make a huge difference.

“Every home at this site will have energy-efficient insulation, low energy light fittings and waste separation units – all of which will help to create a more sustainable community for residents,” she added.

Installing thermal roof insulation layer - using mineral wool panels.
Installing thermal roof insulation layer – using mineral wool panels.
Applying Expandable Foam Insulation to Window
Applying Expandable Foam Insulation to Window
Applying Weather Seal Caulk to Window Frame
Applying Weather Seal Caulk to Window Frame

“Outside we will provide rotary washing lines as an alternative to dryers, and water butts to collect rainwater for watering the garden.”

water butts to collect rainwater for watering the garden
Water butts to collect rainwater for watering the garden

Ms Ware went on to point out that the initiative has also acknowledged the need to create homes that complement the environment without compromising the comfort or standard of living of the occupants.

“For those looking to work from home, the second bedrooms have facilities such as two double sockets and two telephone points,” she remarked.

“We’ve just sold a Marlowe house type. In addition to the energy-saving characteristics, this five-bedroom detached property comes with a double garage and a spacious lounge, as well as a separate dining room – it’s the ideal property for a family.”

Upon its completion, the Hortham Village development will boast a selection of 95 homes, offering both apartments and houses. There is currently a limited number of three and four-bedroom houses available with prices ranging from £284,995 to £436,500.

Hortham Village is not only proving popular for its eco-friendly status, the new development is surrounded by 50 acres of tranquil woodland coupled with good transport links, with the nearby M5 offering quick access to Cribbs Causeway and Bristol City Centre.

The architects and landscapers of the site have also put clear emphasis on the importance of a charming layout to complement the eco-friendly facilities, with open landscape areas and attractive street layouts and courtyards giving the development a strong sense of community.