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Tuesday 4 February 2014

Just How Friendly Are Environmentally Friendly Homes?

The rise of the so-called environmentally friendly home can perhaps be described as meteoric. With the eco warrior mentality firmly entrenched in the minds of many, the eagerness to reduce the overall carbon footprint should be applauded. The questions, remains, however: just how friendly are these homes? We’ll explore the answer below.

Flexibility Through Modular Units
Many modern homes are now being built in the modular style. This makes them cheaper, which is often the main driving force behind their purchase, but they’re also extremely flexible for environmentally friendly adoption and expansion. Dedicated architects, engineers and builders working together in various places around the country, have spent a number of years developing the building systems for these modular homes. Tennessee has been at the forefront of such developments, and a quick search for ‘modular homes Tennessee’ will give you good examples of the latest implementations of such modular units.

Eco Homes Vs. Traditional Homes
The important difference between modern environmentally friendly houses and the traditional buildings of the past is that every aspect of today’s houses is designed with sustainability and efficiency in mind. Previously running costs like power would not have been a major factor and windows were placed purely to look out of or to look good. The role of glazing and its contribution to the running of the house and the health of the occupants are now a primary concern.

Modern houses are now designed and built to take account of their impact on the environment from before they are built all the way through their useful lifecycle. This means that environmental installations are considered from the very beginning, meaning that putting them into action won’t cost the environment in terms of emissions or waste.

What Makes Them So Green?
The worldwide concern about sustainability has created a whole new industry concerned with developing more efficient, less damaging power sources and supplies. At the same time technological innovations in building materials that are more eco friendly have created a wide range of new building options.

Effective Insulation
So the environmentally friendly house being built today can benefit from highly effective and efficient insulation, including in its glazing. It can benefit from state-of-the-art water conservation techniques including recycling technologies. As well has having the options of solar panel technology to supply hot water needs and wind turbine or even geo thermally generated electricity. Many environmentally friendly houses use a high proportion of natural materials in their construction, sourced from responsibly managed forestry organizations that replace the trees being used sustainably.

Leveraging Natural Light
Attention is also paid to facing the buildings in the optimum direction for gaining light and heat; this passive solar orientation can greatly improve the heat generation and retention of the building. Rainwater run-off from the roof is used within the house for flushing toilets.

Management of Electricity and Gas Usage
Installing Smart Home systems allow you to manage your usage from an application that can be installed on pretty much anything, from your basic smartphone to your tablet or desktop. This means you can gauge just how much you’re using on a day-to-day basis. If you find points of inefficiency, you can make alterations extremely easily.

It’s Still Up To You!
While the environmentally friendly home has the capacity to lower your overall impact on our ecosystem, it can’t do it all for you. It’s still up to the homeowner to manage the gas and electricity usage, install the right applications and ensure every advantage is taken. These homes are making doing that a whole lot easier.

This article was written by Amanda Walters, an experienced freelance writer and regular contributor to Huffington Post. Follow her here: @Amanda_W84

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