We live in a colder region, so teaming up with my architect, the building inspector and others on details ordinary construction techniques miss was important.
"Eco-friendly" simply means a home's design minimizes environmental impacts. Designs differ, such as whether materials are chosen based on how they're sourced or produced, and how they impact the home's carbon footprint. For our new home my wife and I looked for a balance between sustainability and a comfortable living space.
I'd like to claim that successes I've had while designing and building our new eco-friendly home are due to my own expertise... but that wouldn't be true! I've built many homes of this type, and three requirements come to mind.
Before my wife and I started building our own eco-friendly home we knew what we wanted it to feel like to live in. Our vision guided the planning process and affected every decision along the way.
I’ve often talked about planning ahead as we’ve been building our eco-friendly home in Connecticut. Planning isn’t all looking at the future, though.
Our eco-friendly home project is a balance using building practices and materials that maximize energy efficiency without sacrificing comfort.
When our foundation was being poured I was already talking to people about how I could save energy and money using new framing techniques and materials.
Actually building your new home will almost certainly present a few “rocks in the river”! I’ve compared the process to a well-planned rafting trip with a beginning and a one-way flow to completion. What gets us to our destination is a plan of action (or, in the rafting analogy, the raft!).
As you know, my wife and I are building an eco-friendly home. Our idea is to use the best materials and building techniques to get the right blend of cutting edge sustainability and “livability”! It has taken a lot of research, and more importantly a lot of expert advice, but we’ve learned what it takes to get the results we want.
Building an eco-friendly home means juggling options and educating yourself about materials and practices to make the best decisions. One of the most important things you can do early on is to call on resources that will guide you, save money, and make the process more of a journey than an ordeal.
It’s amazing how we’ve gone from simple insulated stud walls to advanced framing in just a few years.
When I started building eco-friendly homes back in the ’80s professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike relied on the library, others in their area, and magazines to learn about the newest trends and practices.
I'd like to share a variance on the old “knowledge is power” saying, and that's simply that knowledge is a timesaver.
When we first looked at our building lot, and later when we walked the property with a surveyor, we were already thinking about how to position the home on the land. Building from the ground up is a real challenge to think long term about how you’ll use the home throughout the year.
There’s an old saying “knowledge is power”. That’s certainly true when building a home when you want to achieve a balance between greatest energy efficiency and greatest comfort!
When my wife and I started sharing our journey to build an eco-friendly home we said our intent was to achieve a balance between comfort and being environmentally friendly. We’ve had to make decisions about how much to alter the land to accommodate our eco-friendly home.
As you look at lots to build your eco-friendly home on, there are at least five practical things to consider as well as your personal preferences.
Early in our quest to build an eco-friendly home we said this new house, and the property surrounding it, would be a balance. We want to build in such a way that the structure and the people living in it have as little environmental impact as possible.
Welcome to a new blog here on Proud Green Home! I’m Dave Sweet, and I invite you to read along, contribute, and learn along with my wife and me as we design and build an eco-friendly home that achieves a balance between low environmental impact and genuine comfort and ease of living.