Unique, Eco-Friendly Options for a New Home Design

When having a new eco-friendly home built, you may include solar panels and double-glazed windows. These are very eco-friendly choices, but they're not the only options for ensuring your new home uses fewer natural resources and less power and doesn't hurt the environment during its construction. Note a few unique choices you may have overlooked and then discuss them with your builder so you can ensure your home is as eco-friendly as possible.

Bermed home

A berm is a small hill, and a bermed home is a house built directly into such a hill. The berm or hill would cover the back end of the home and even some of the roof. This means less direct sunlight during summertime, so the interior of the home stays cooler. The berm also helps to insulate the home during wintertime. There is also less risk of soil erosion when the home is backed up into a hill this way, which helps preserve the environment. Inside, the home can be designed with an open floor plan that allows light from the front to pass through the entire home, so you don't miss any sunlight that gets blocked from the bermed side of the house.

Three-story homes

You may not realize how a three-story home is better for the environment, but keep in mind that heat rises; having a one-story home often means that a furnace needs to work harder to blow that warm air through the entire house during wintertime. Having a taller home allows the heat to rise naturally, where it will collect in the bedrooms on the upper story. This isn't typically a problem during warm summer months, as the heat will mostly collect in those rooms during the day when they're unoccupied. Having a taller home with a smaller footprint can also mean not needing to clear as much vegetation for your new home to be built, which is also very healthy for the environment.

Living wall

A living wall is a wall outside your home that is designed to hold vegetation. This wall will be built with PVC pipe or another type of trench that holds sod for plants. This living wall helps to keep a side of the home especially cool and insulated, and the added plant life can help clean the air. Ask your homebuilder about creating a living wall along one side of the home so these trenches can be incorporated in that design and worked around windows, as well as having proper drainage at their base, to direct water runoff away from the home.