Woah! Hold on a second! A design company suggesting a transportable home? Yes that's right. Why? A transportable or pre-built home will take less resources and energy to construct. Your site will remain unmolested by months of building work too.
Combine this with good orientation and landscaping, solar energy, adequate insulation and ventilation and even materials developed from recycled materials, and you will have a comfy, affordable home to be proud of with a minimal environmental impact. And the best part... it will save you $$$'s. (image borrowed from drakehomes.com.au)
Really? When we live in a world where everyone needs more than they need? Believe it or not, smaller homes can be beneficial not only to your pocket, but also to the environment.
Do you really need a whole room dedicated to your home gym? Do you really need a home theater room? If you do, then go for it! But if you don't, consider this.
The biggest issue to the climate is your energy consumption. Homes use energy to heat and cool to create a comfortable living environment. A smaller home needs less energy to heat and cool each room and therefore is much more energy efficient than a large home with unused rooms and unnecessary building footprint. Combining this with energy conscious building materials and renewable resources, and you have the makings of a very self-sufficient home with a lot less energy consumption. (image borrowed from tinyhouseblog.com)
When designing your home to have minimal environmental impact, considering being completely self-sufficient should never be off the table. Consider never needing mains power, water or sewerage services. And think of the money you will save!
What will you need to be completely self-sufficient? You will need a waste-water treatment plant such as a Biolytix system. This will allow you to treat and reuse your waste water for landscaping etc.
You will need a means of generating electricity. One of the most cost-effective and practical ways of getting power is installing solar powered electrical system. The number of panels you will need depends on the size of your home and your energy consumption.
And finally, you will need sufficient rainwater tank(s) for your drinking water. All of this combined with an environmentally smart home design will set you up for life. (image borrowed from ecoelectons.com)
Significant energy is required in order to give you a hot shower, bath or just to wash the dishes. We have a marvelous heat source at our fingertips but we rarely consider it. The sun! Ever wondered what those things on house rooftops were? Well now you know.
With a solar hot water system, water is stored in a a tank above the solar collector panel(s). Through a very simple, naturally occurring process called a thermosiphon flow, cold water leaves the bottom of the tank and goes to the bottom of the collectors. Once the water heats up from the sunlight , it rises back up through the collectors heating up further, and then goes into the top of the tank and voila, hot water! No pumps, no electricity. Though in bad weather or winter, they may use a supplementary heating source such as gas or electricity.
In order to heat the floor in your home, and in turn the home itself, you can use a hydronic in-slab heating system. A hydronic heating system uses hot water running through pipes beneath your feet to heat the floor and as the heat rises, the room as well.
Both of these are great ways to maximize on your desire for true energy efficiency.
This concludes Part 1 of our Living Green series of articles. Stay tuned for part 2 or 'LIKE' us on Facebook or 'FOLLOW' us on Twitter (links at the top of this page) to get updated with tons of new home design ideas!