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Post Date: Jun 14, 2022

Sustainable Home Design: 7 Ideas to Make Your Home Eco-Friendly

In many ways, sustainable home design has made what was old new again, but with modern technological twists. Centuries ago, people had to build with local materials and design their homes to withstand local climatic conditions.

The modern philosophy of sustainability draws upon old traditions based on what the Earth can provide over the long term, or, in a word, sustainably. A renewed concern about the environment has prompted an exploding interest in sustainable homes.

This means that people want dwellings that promote long-term health, durability, and energy efficiency. Building a custom home is a perfect chance to create a beautiful, healthy space that limits adverse impacts on the natural world.

Principles of Sustainable Home Design

Sustainable Home Design: 7 Ideas to Make Your Home Eco-FriendlySustainable Home Design: 7 Ideas to Make Your Home Eco-Friendly | Bella Collina

Sustainability encompasses nearly every detail of a home, inside and out. It starts with building and continues by easing the environmental burdens of ongoing daily life.

  • Optimization of the building site and orientation of the home
  • Improvement of indoor air quality
  • Durability of materials
  • Environmental consequences of building materials
  • Conservation of water
  • Optimization of energy usage and generation

Passive Solar Design

A great deal can be accomplished to reduce energy needs and promote indoor comfort with passive solar design. This is the process of orienting a building at its location to work in conjunction with the sun’s seasonal movements.

The angle at which a home's walls face the sun has a tremendous impact. When done correctly, sunshine can pour in during the colder winter months. This gives residents the benefit of sun exposure and passively warms the space.

As the Earth's seasonal movements shift orientation to the sun in the summer, the same direction will reduce how much sun beams in through windows. Occupants won't have to deal with overly hot rooms that get full sun in summer. The artful reduction of summer sunshine intrusions aids with cooling by reducing demands on the air conditioner.

Environmentally Friendly Materials

Sustainable Home Design: 7 Ideas to Make Your Home Eco-FriendlySustainable Home Design: 7 Ideas to Make Your Home Eco-Friendly | Bella Collina

Material choices contribute to sustainable building in several ways. Although many building materials are extractive, such as quarried stone or timber, they are not necessarily unsustainable.

Good forestry practices make lumber a sustainable resource. Stone is extremely durable and sustainable compared to a product that will deteriorate and require replacement.

Although newly extracted materials can qualify as sustainable, you do have other options if you wish to lighten your environmental impact. Reclaimed materials are popular for this reason. Boards, tiles, and beams from old buildings bring new life to interiors without requiring any generation of new materials.

Another consideration is the presence of chemicals in materials and finishes. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in paint, carpeting and other materials release small amounts of these gases for years into the home.

Low-VOC materials are essential for sustainable design. Their manufacture produces less chemical pollution. In the home, these materials spare occupants from exposure to irritating chemical gases. At a minimum, VOCs irritate the eyes and respiratory tract. At their worst, VOCs degrade the central nervous system and can cause cancer.

Energy Efficient Appliances

Sustainable Home Design: 7 Ideas to Make Your Home Eco-FriendlySustainable Home Design: 7 Ideas to Make Your Home Eco-Friendly | Bella Collina

Energy efficiency forms the core of sustainable homes. For the most part, materials represent a one-time purchase, but energy costs are continual. A sustainable home will draw less money out of your wallet as the years go by and shield you from rising energy costs.

Choose the most efficient:

  • Refrigerator 
  • Cooking range/oven
  • Dishwasher
  • Water heater
  • Furnace and air conditioner

You might want to investigate zoned heating and cooling for larger homes. These systems give you the power to control temperatures in different parts of the house. For example, you may only need optimal cooling in your bedroom at night.

Innovative smart home technology plays a pivotal role in energy efficiency these days. After installing the most efficient appliances available, you can further manage energy efficiency with smart systems that control lighting, window treatments, heating and cooling, and more.

Insulation and Great Windows

Insulation has been standard in construction for decades, but a sustainable home must have maximum insulation. Thorough insulation reduces the undermining effect of external temperatures on the desired internal temperature of a home. As a result, insulation is critical for achieving the highest energy efficiency and interior comfort level.

High-performance windows are as critical as insulation. Glass treatments limit solar heat gain inside to prevent rooms from getting too hot on those steamy summer days. Double- or triple-pane windows are highly successful at restricting heat transfer.

Low Maintenance Landscaping

Sustainable Home Design: 7 Ideas to Make Your Home Eco-FriendlySustainable Home Design: 7 Ideas to Make Your Home Eco-Friendly | Bella Collina

Sustainability extends outside your home to the yard. Landscaping choices that reduce the need for maintenance and the use of water resources yield dividends for decades.

Low maintenance landscaping starts with limiting the use of lawns. Grass lawns require near-constant mowing, chemical treatments, and watering.

A sustainably designed landscape only places lawns where the residents need such an area. Otherwise, space is filled with:

  • Shrubs
  • Flower beds
  • Small trees
  • Trellises with vining plants to create shade
  • Rock gardens
  • Succulents

A landscaping approach that emphasizes native species and casting shade requires much less water than a natural grass lawn. Install drip irrigation systems to deliver water in precise amounts for peak efficiency.

Overall, the diversity of plant life will look amazing and frame spaces in your yard for play areas for kids or outdoor entertainment.

Renewable Energy

On-site energy production is the pinnacle of sustainability. It makes a home resilient against storm outages, rolling blackouts, and slashes reliance on grid power.

In a residential setting, renewable energy generally means solar panels. They have a low profile and can be placed on roofs and walls. When paired with a home battery to store extra electricity, solar panels dramatically cut utility costs and reduce reliance on polluting sources of power.

Luxury Living in a Beautiful Natural Environment

Sustainable Home Design: 7 Ideas to Make Your Home Eco-FriendlySustainable Home Design: 7 Ideas to Make Your Home Eco-Friendly | Bella Collina

The desire to live in a sustainable home is usually paired with a love of nature’s landscape. Life at Bella Collina places residents in an idyllic Central Florida setting with clear blue lakes and gently rolling green hills.

Our community amenities encourage an active lifestyle that values the outdoor environment.

Our 1,900-acre private golf community partners with multiple custom home builders. You can work with one of them to design a dream home enhanced by the latest sustainability strategies, including:

  • Environmentally friendly materials
  • Insulation and efficient windows
  • Smart technology
  • Low maintenance landscaping

Bella Collina has building sites available where you and a Florida custom home builder can develop a design that maximizes both efficiency and beauty. To learn more, contact us today.

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