Are you in the process of planning your next construction or renovation project? A well-thought-through architecture project, as well as the application of a few simple rules, can help minimize the impact of this construction or renovation project on the environment.
Here are simple steps to help you plan:
Step 1 – plan your project well much before you start
Be accurate in your planning
Think about your daily activities. Are you alone? Do you have a family? What are your plans for the next 3-5 years? How many different environments in your house or apartment does it make sense to have? Which ones do you really need? What do you need to put inside each of them?
Once you have your general understanding in place, talk to a qualified architect. An architect will help you have your house well planned and with everything that you need and want to have well planned inside!
With a well-planned house, the construction will stay more compact and will consume less material. As a result, you will spend less money on construction or renovation.
Remember: idle or poorly planned spaces, which you can not even use at times, are expensive! It does not make sense to pay for anything that will not be used. Unless you want to pay extra, of course.
Avoid waste in space and in materials
Planning and organization help reduce waste, improve construction lead time, and reduce the cost of the work. The smaller the waste of space, the smaller the construction waste such as cardboard, metals, wood, plaster, plastic, leftovers of concrete and cement.
One of the main tips in planning is to avoid changing your mind in the process. You will have wasted your time and resources already and now a new amount of work needs to be done and materials need to be ordered again.
Find and hire good professionals from the start. This will save you lots of time and resources from redoing things that have gone wrong! Learn how to find and hire well from the start, take a look at this post (to be linked shortly).
Know how to place your house on the ground
It is essential to think of the house orientation to the sun to take better advantage of the warmth and the natural light! It may not be always possible that all environments for the house to receive direct sunlight in an optimal way. Still, here are some tips to help you with your planning.
The solution is to leave environments where you spend most of the time during the day to face the sun the most. Usually, it makes sense to leave bedrooms to catch the early sun in the morning. Them until dusk, bedrooms will have time to cool down for good night sleep.
Service areas, such as closets, storage rooms, often even cabinets, can have less sun during the day. It is also worth planning large and wide windows as well as possibly windows in the ceiling to take advantage of sunlight.
Think of natural and cross ventilation
Think of window and door openings for natural ventilation. This means having widows and doors positioned on opposite walls. Such planning improves air circulation. It is a great way to keep the house or apartment at a comfortable temperature.
Natural and cross ventilation also helps minimize or even eliminate the use of air conditioners. The less you use natural forces, such as natural ventilation in this case, the more environmentally friendly your project is. And it does not cost more, in fact, it costs less!
Step 2 – make sustainable construction choices
Use environmentally friendly materials
How about researching and choosing to use materials produced with less impact on the environment? There are plenty of such materials already available on the market and more and more will hit the shelves in the near future.
Examples are paints without toxic components, recycled materials used at various stages of construction, intelligent building systems, certified woods and many more. This is true that not all construction companies or professionals know or use such materials yet. But you have a chance to be good to the environment already today. And the choice is already available.
Install solar panels
It is best to install the solar system already during the construction work. But if the budget is short you can leave the infrastructure ready for a future installation.
Solar systems are becoming widely used. Already today there are numerous energy companies that offer solar panel installation and financing. As solar further gains in popularity in the coming years, more options will become available.
What about creating a system for collecting and storing rainwater? Collected rainwater can be used in situations that do not require clean water. This would include watering the garden, washing the yard, or discharging the toilet, to give just a few examples. There are very simple to install and use, and inexpensive systems to store rainwater.
The use of vegetation can be an ally in the thermal comfort of the house. With vegetation you can bring shade to the facades and leisure areas. Green areas around the house, such as lawns or gardens, help in the flow of water.
A green roof is also a good option. In addition to the fun of using a green area, a green roof generates thermal and acoustic comfort of the house. Such a roof also helps to reduce environmental pollution and increase air humidity.
Other sustainable choices you can make
Another simple and environmentally friendly solution is to install movement sensors in pass-through environments in and around the house. Lights will only switch on when someone is around. This approach helps save electricity and extend the lifetime of the lights.
Here are more tips you can follow:
- Replace incandescent bulbs by economical fluorescents or LEDs.
- Take electronic devices out of the socket when you are not at home
- Buy appliances with energy efficiency seal
- Use toilets with a two-button discharge valve that used a different volume of water for solid and liquid waste
- Recycle household garbage
- Use flow regulator in showers and aerator on taps
- Paint walls with light colors (this is energy saving)
Step 3 – use your home with consciousness
There’s no point in doing everything right during your construction and renovation project and then turn on the hose to wash the yard every day!
Much has been said about smart habits of consumption and the conscious use of one’s property and assets. Know your appliances well and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for their use.
Make preventive maintenance to increase the life of the building and what is in the building. It is easy to do. It saves you money and time. And it helps save the planet too!