Building Design

Eco-Friendly Tips for Your Space & Lifestyle

full-blog-img
July 25, 2023
August 5, 2023

Incorporating eco-friendly practices into your home and lifestyle doesn't have to be complicated or boring. We'll provide you with practical tips that are easy to implement. So, whether you're a seasoned environmental enthusiast or just dipping your toes into the sustainable living pool, there's something here for everyone. By making small changes in our daily routines, we collectively make an impact on the environment. 

In a world where climate change is forever evolving, it's essential that we do our part in reducing our carbon footprint and embrace sustainable living. Adopting eco-friendly practices not only benefits the environment but also saves you money. According to a study published in the Journal of Sustainable Development, energy-efficient homes can reduce energy consumption by up to 50% and lower utility bills by a whopping 30%. So, while saving the planet, you’re also saving money. It's a win-win!

Incorporating eco-friendly practices into your home and lifestyle doesn't have to be complicated or boring. We'll provide you with practical tips that are easy to implement. So, whether you're a seasoned environmental enthusiast or just dipping your toes into the sustainable living pool, there's something here for everyone. By making small changes in our daily routines, we collectively make an impact on the environment. 

Tip 1 - EMBRACE PASSIVE DESIGN

Solar Panels to harness the sun's energy on a modern home in Los Angeles, California

When it comes to sustainable home design, harnessing the power of the sun is a brilliant idea. Passive solar design is a technique that maximizes the use of natural sunlight and heat to create a comfortable and energy-efficient living space. By incorporating passive solar principles into your home, you reduce reliance on artificial lighting and heating, resulting in. lower energy consumption and cost savings. There are companies that can set this up for you wherever you live.

Orientation

On your next build consider the orientation of your home in relation to the sun. Optimize the placement of windows, doors, and rooms to maximize sunlight exposure. Here in the north, south-facing windows and walls receive the most direct sunlight throughout the day, so position your living room or kitchen, to face south. North-facing windows provide more consistent, indirect light, making them suitable for rooms that require less direct sunlight, such as bedrooms.

Windows

Large well-insulated windows on the southern side of your home allow sunlight to enter during the winter months when the sun is lower in the sky. This helps to naturally heat your home. Its a delicate balance, to avoid excessive heat consider using shading devices like overhangs, or deciduous trees to control solar exposure during hot months.

Thermal mass

Incorporate materials with high thermal mass, such as concrete, brick, or stone, into your home's design. These materials absorb heat during the day and slowly release it at night, helping to regulate indoor temperatures. Place thermal mass materials in areas that receive direct sunlight, such as floors or walls adjacent to south-facing windows. This can contribute to passive heating and cooling, reducing the need for expensive heating or cooling systems.

Smart Insulation

Ensure your home is well-insulated and properly sealed to prevent heat loss during the winter and heat gain during the summer. Insulate walls, floors, and ceilings using sustainable materials like cellulose insulation or recycled denim insulation. Seal air leaks around windows, doors, and vents to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature and improve energy efficiency.

Ventilation

Embrace a smart home design that facilitates natural ventilation and airflow. Strategically place windows and openings to take advantage of prevailing breezes. This allows for the circulation of fresh air, reducing dependency on costly AC systems. Consider using operable windows, skylights in areas where cross-ventilation is possible.

Tip 2 - WATER CONSERVATION

Modern home in Mesa, Arizona that flaunts a sophisticated rain water harvesting setup

Water is a precious resource! Water conservation is essential for a sustainable living. By implementing simple water-saving techniques, you can make a significant impact on both the environment and your bills. Here are a few water conservation techniques.

  • Repair leaks and drips
  • Install low-flow faucets and showerheads
  • Collect rainwater for outdoor use
  • Be mindful of water use and reduce where possible
  • Landscape with plants that use less water

Remember, every drop counts!

Tip 3  - RECLAIMED OR RECYCLED MATERIALS

Reclaimed wood panels used on a modern, single-family home in Charlotte, NC


One person's trash is another person's treasure
, right?

Why not give a second life to materials that have already served their purpose? By incorporating reclaimed or recycled materials into your space, you not only add unique character and charm but also contribute to reducing waste. 

Reclaimed materials are normally salvaged from old buildings, barns, warehouses and repurposed for new construction. We love how reclaimed wood beams can be transformed into stunning flooring or exposed ceiling features to beautify any space. Lets not limit ourselves to wood reclaimed marble or granite adds a touch of elegance and charm and prevents these materials from ending up in landfills. Reclaimed brick or stone can be used to create beautiful accent walls, fireplace surrounds, or outdoor patios. We could go on!

Recycled materials, on the other hand, are products made from post-consumer or post-industrial waste. These materials go through a process of transformation to create new products. Recycled glass (for example) can be crushed and melted to create countertops, tiles, or decorative accents. Recycled metal has unlimited use. By utilizing reclaimed or recycled materials, you actively contribute to reducing the demand for new resources and energy-intensive manufacturing processes. It's like giving Mother Nature a big thumbs-up and saying, "Hey, let's give these materials a second chance!"

Here's the best part, reclaimed and recycled materials come with their own stories and character. Imagine the conversations you'll have with your guests when they ask about that unique door made from salvaged wood or that eye-catching light fixture made from repurposed metal.

Key Takeaways! 

Incorporating eco-friendly practices such as Passive Design, Water Conservation, and utilizing Reclaimed or Recycled materials not only benefits the environment but also saves money while adding character to any space!

  • Tip 1 - Incorporate a passive design in your home. Optimize orientation and layout, window placement and size, use materials with high thermal mass, insulate and seal properly, and design for natural ventilation.
  • Tip 2 - Practice water conservation by fixing leaks, installing low-flow faucets and showerheads, collecting rainwater, being mindful of water usage, landscaping with water-efficient practices, reusing water creatively, and educating your household.
  • Tip 3 - Utilize reclaimed or recycled materials in your home design to add character, reduce waste, and preserve natural resources. Reclaimed materials are salvaged from old buildings and repurposed, while recycled materials are made from post-consumer or post-industrial waste.

For more tips on an eco-friendly design, reach out to the team here at HIUS. We would be glad to help!