If you plan on incorporating green features into your home design, it’s best to start planning early on in the design process. There are many different ways to make your home more sustainable, but if you think about them after your home is already designed, or when construction begins, you’re going to have a hard time actually fitting them into the plan.
It’s important to think about any renewable energy you might want incorporated into your home’s design before you decide on where to position your home. For example, if you plan on adding solar panels to your roof, you’ll need to make sure that your roof faces the right direction (south) so that you can maximize the amount of energy that you can produce. Conversely, you could just have a flat roof so you could install solar panels regardless of the direction your home faces, but either way you’ll need to think about your renewable energy plans before you break ground. Check out our sections on solar and other renewables in the learn section.
Heating and Cooling
You have several different options for heating and cooling your home, and you’ll want to think about which one best fits your needs early in the design process. If you do this, you’ll be able to integrate the system with the construction of your home, saving you time and money. During this process, it’s also important to consider any future updates you would like to make. For example, if you plan on installing geothermal heating and cooling in the future, you’ll want to make sure you have duct work done during construction. Additionally, you’ll want to think about the position of your home in relation to its surroundings, the sun, and the wind. Check out our section on heating and cooling.
If you plan on putting a green roof on your home, you will definitely want to think about what this requires before you put your roof on. Green roofs provide many benefits from saving you money on heating and cooling to storing CO2, but they can also be fairly heavy. If you plan on putting a green roof on your home, especially one where you can grow large plants, you will need to make sure your roof will be strong enough and properly waterproofed so that it can support the additional weight and moisture of a green roof. If you are interested in green roofs, click here for a report on their benefits and risks.