Watering the garden allows for 20-40 per cent of a homes water usage, and most areas observes some sort of water restriction when temperatures soar. But, there’s more to cutting back on water in the garden than reducing your usage. By using Rain collection systems we can save water and ensure we don’t get fleeced by our local water provider, for providing their lovely over chlorinated flow that we have to shell out through the teeth for because of water shortages that are more than likely because of their incompetent maintenance of piping and mismanagement of water supply.
Water vessels are a fantastic way of collecting small quantities of rain for use in household gardens. However, to totally harvest the benefits of the large quantities of rain that runs off your roof during a storm, a expertly designed rainwater collection system needs to be considered. Rainwater collection systems in the UK are primarily used for WC flushing and for watering the garden. Nevertheless more complete rainwater collection systems can be used to provide water for domestic appliances. By capturing water it allows for stretches of water scarcity, it lets you maintain vegetables and plants in your garden. You even have the best catcher of rain water, just go outside and look at your roof it’s a huge area enabling you to capture the drops that hit it into a large storage unit rainwater has a far greater advantage over tap water. It is one of the cleanest sources of water offered providing it is not influenced by where it falls from local industrial emission.
You can also use basic techniques like mulching grass cuttings, leaves, bark or straw etc to form up a covering that will keep the moisture in the soil and in itself (another good motive for using organic material as a compost in your soil as it increases its water retention. Mulch is like a coating on the soil. It keeps the soil cool and it reduces evaporation because the soil is not open to dry air and drying winds.
For those who are planning to build a new house or do some major home remodeling, why not do such tasks the eco-friendly way?. The concepts of green building have taken a major foothold in the home building and construction industry.
Based on US Census figures, it was estimated that more than 1.3 million new homes were built in the United States in 2002, and remodelling and home improvement spending in 1996 amounted to $119 billion. Remodeling or constructing your home gives you a chance to help transform the marketplace towards a sustainability and environment-friendly one, and create living space that’s better for you and the environment.
Homes Have A Major Effect On The Environment
It’s a fact that homes affect the planet,from the use and depletion of natural resource, human health, to overall ecological integrity. Aside from basic health and safety measures mentioned in the building code, there’s no requirement to minimize these impacts. A new home construction or remodel would serve an opportunity in creating a symbolic and physical representation of your commitment to caring for the planet, health, and in a vital and engaged community.
Why It Pays To Find Architects Or Contractors Who Espouse Green Building Concepts
One you try looking for eco-friendly home building concepts and practices, you’ll be surprised to quickly find one once you tap into the local design community, that there are a number of firms that have gained stellar reputations for going green.
Upon closer observation, you’ll notice that within the general category of green, each firm or architect will have its strong points, as some focus on healthy building, while other concentrate on energy efficiency and/or renewable energy, and some apply their expertise on green materials, natural building techniques, or building modular homes. Look for a professional contractor that has extensive applied experience in building green, and will gladly apply these elements to your home project.
Choosing Green Architects And Home Contractors
- Check Out Their Previous Record For Demonstrated Experience.
First, do a thorough background check on an architect or contractor’s experience with green building. Find out if he or she can point to specific projects in their portfolio, and provide references as well. Aside from ensuring that the architect or contractor is licensed and bonded, ask if he or she is a member of green design organizations or has participated in any programs, and if the contractor follows construction practices that minimize pollution and protects indoor air quality and enhance worker health and safety as well.
- Ensure That A Contractor Practices What He Or She Professes.
Aska prospective home contractor or architect how he or she operates their business; like does he recycle in the office as well as on the job site? Find out if the green design elements evident,such as environmentally responsible materials and office supplies, energy efficient lighting, fixtures.
- Check If Green Concepts Are Incorporated Into the Contract Details
Architects have standard specifications that lays out the orders for everyone involved in building the house, down to how the paint is applied and what quality of materials are chosen for the cabinets. These specifications are generally customized by each company, and further modified for each project. These specs are a powerful tool in green building, while at the same time, are a legal document, and can be tedious to review sometimes. Ask an architect or contractor to give you an overview of the specifications for your project, and ensure that they cover all these.
The concept of green building basically refers to a design process that evolves out of the mindset of creating a healthy connection with the natural landscape, and points to a set of decisions or processes that consider the site and materials, which helps to reduce cost, maintenance, and energy usage of the home.
The central theme of the green building approach is conservation, and into ensuring that homes are healthier, safer, more comfortable, and have less operating costs. This concept allows people to connect to the land and community around them. Below are some valuable tips in implementing simple but helpful green building ideas for the home.
- Ensuring the Use of Renewable Or Recyclable Materials
In implementing sustainable home building or maintenance regimens, it’s best to utilize locally produced, and easily renewed, materials whenever possible. Homeowners could consider utilizing alternative building materials like rammed earth, straw bale or insulated concrete panels. Concrete floors utilize the foundation material as finish floor, thus helping you to save on materials and labor.
Recycled wood floors also serves as attractive re-usable materials as well as bamboo floors, which are made from a rapidly renewable source, as bamboo is a grass that can grow several feet per day. You could also use hard surface floors that do not hold dust, molds, and allergens, and are very durable. Remember to utilize materials that have considerable recycled content as much as , like cellulose insulation, Thermo-ply, and lumber composites. In addition, try placing a storage bin in the kitchen to recycle household trash, as well as a holding bin in the garage.
- Learn To Fully Optimize Your Homes’ Heating and AC Systems.
You need to remember that an oversized air conditioning system at home will cool too quickly, and could leave your room feeling clammy or sticky. Smaller AC systems run long enough reach the desired temperature levels, and also helps to clear the air of humidity. Smaller AC systems lasts longer and more importantly costs less to purchase. You should also need to check for leaks in duct work joints, and around windows, doors, exhaust pipes and electric outlets to lower electricity bills, and perform regular maintenance checks of central air conditioning systems to prevent air loss.
- Leaner How To Reduce Water Usage
In reducing water usage at home, remember that native landscaping that is suited to the rainfall in your area is fundamental to building green, therefore you need to keep as much native growth on your lot as possible. The use of front-loading washing machines also helps to reduce energy and water use. Some dishwasher models also use lesser water and have no-heat drying. Before purchasing appliances, it helps to first check water and energy usage before buying one, and buying low-flow toilets and shower heads helps to cut down on water usage. Lastly, learn to reduce water and fertilizer needs by re-cycling yard waste and leaves for use as mulch.
Homeowners also need to use safe materials, to ensure their family lives in a healthier and cleaner home environment. Each one in the household should make it a habit to use products that are biodegradable, non toxic and water based materials. Avoid using products that contain dyes, ozone-depleting components, heavy metals, formaldehyde, or known carcinogens, as well as solvent-based finishes, particleboard, adhesives, some carpets, and other products that release volatile chemicals into the air. Before buying any materials for the home, you should look for green-rated labels on carpets, appliances or other products.