Save Money by Building an Eco-Friendly House
The idea of building eco-friendly homes has been gaining popularity for decades. But until recently, the following was relatively small, largely because doing it properly was more expensive than building a traditional timber or bricks-and-mortar house.
The Paris Agreement made in December 2015, signed in New York during April 2016, and ratified by 55 countries worldwide, has helped to accelerate the green movement worldwide, which of course impacts positively and very solidly on eco-friendly construction.
In essence, the Paris Agreement brought all nations together in an ambitious undertaking to combat climate change and work together towards sustainability and a low carbon future. By cutting down, if not eliminating, carbon emissions, we can minimize the harmful greenhouses gases known to be the primary cause of climate change. Fossil fuels are the biggest culprit, including natural gas and coal, both used for transportation, electricity, and heating.
The other global initiative that has impacted both cost and the rate at which projects are increasing, is the World Green Building Council’s Advancing Net Zero project also launched in 2016. Taking coordinated action from “thousands to billions,” it set a timeline for all new buildings to operate at net zero carbon from 2030, and 100% of buildings by 2050. That means ALL buildings worldwide, residential, commercial, and industrial must operate at net zero carbon by 2050. Your house, my house, everybody’s houses!
Governments worldwide have come on board, and codes and legislation are forcing those who are tardy to do their bit. You will find that when you elicit the help of professionals, including New York and Chicago engineers, and architects all over the world, they will help you do it the right way.
What is an Eco-Friendly House?
Eco-friendly houses promote renewable energy, reduce carbon emissions, and ultimately minimize all forms of environmental impact. Good insulation is paramount, along with sustainable heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC), and, of course, lighting methods. The idea is that by using less water, less energy, and using natural resources for HVAC – solar and wind power for instance – you will help prevent pollution and minimize your carbon footprint. If you do use electricity, use appliances that have been designed to save energy, water, and so on, and energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs. While more costly than incandescent or CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs, they are longer lasting and more durable.
Building with organic and recycled products, and using biodegradable products in our daily life, also make a difference. Health is another major issue, and this is linked directly to things like air quality and the availability of natural sunlight.
How an Eco-Friendly House Saves Money
Eco-friendly houses – indeed all eco-friendly buildings – are less costly to operate and maintain. This in itself saves money.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if all buildings in the U.S. were “green-improved”, we’d save more than $20-billion on energy alone.
Think about it. A well-designed green or environmentally friendly building uses less vital resources, including water and energy.
In addition to being non-sustainable, fossil fuels are expensive, while passive solar design (for heating, cooling, and lighting) and energy-efficient windows save money. Renewable energy technologies may be more expensive to install, but they too cut down on costs.
Water management is essential, and this is improved substantially by harvesting rainwater and installing greywater systems that enable you to save on water used for flushing toilets and irrigation.
In some countries, including India, you may be able to get a home loan at a cheaper rate. And wherever you live in the world, an eco-friendly house definitely has a higher resale value.
So, it really is a no-brainer to build an eco-friendly house.
Michael Tobias is the founder and principal of New York Engineers, Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Company in America. He leads a team of 30+ mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineers from the company headquarters in New York City, and has led over 1,000 projects in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, and California, as well as Singapore and Malaysia.