The Main Principles of Energy Efficient Construction
Energy efficiency is a big talking point across the world and millions of people in the US have taken measures to reduce the environmental impact of their home, implementing clever techniques and technology to lower their energy consumption, thus emitting less carbon into the atmosphere.
In this article, we will discuss the main principles of energy-efficient home construction and the best methods of building a custom home from scratch to ensure the project is as eco-friendly as possible.
How to ensure energy-efficient roofing and construction
In this section, we will discuss how you or your contractor can apply sustainable and energy-efficient construction methods to reduce the environmental impact of your home. Each aspect of the home needs to be considered to maximize energy efficiency, this can range from a clever layout to take advantage of natural light and heat, to installing renewable energy technology such as solar PV panels.
Below are 8 energy-efficient construction techniques to deliver a low-carbon, custom home:
1. Room Placement
In the construction planning phase of your new home, it is important to assess how it can fully utilize the sun’s energy which will drastically reduce the amount of gas & electricity you use in the years to come.
As a general rule, it is a good idea to have the rooms that you intend to spend a lot of time in facing south, allowing natural light to enter your home which will also provide more heat in the winter months.
This can be amplified even further by installing a clever window design which we will talk about next.
2. A Smart Window Design
Installing large, double-glazed windows offers a fantastic return on investment when taking to account the amount of energy you can conserve all year round. Large windows allow light to flood the room, while double-glazed frames help to retain heat, lowering your utility bills from summer through to winter. These energy-efficient windows retain 50% more heat compared to a single glazed window.
Installing high-quality insulation in your home when it is initially built is one of the most affordable options when it comes to reducing energy consumption, as in some cases, insulating your roof, ceilings, walls, and floors can reduce energy costs by up to 45%.
A professional custom home builder can ensure the house is insulated as much as possible, guaranteeing reliable waterproofing and no gaps. The insulation of your home can be further improved by the installation of siding that can also protect the exterior of your property from the elements.
This combination of properly installed insulation and double-glazed windows and doors can reduce any draughts – assessments show that draughts cause up to 25% of all heat loss in your home during the winter months.
4. Good Ventilation
Retaining heat is of course important but during the hot summer months, it is also vital that your home has adequate ventilation to reduce your reliance on expensive air-conditioning. Fully opening windows and exhaust fans are an excellent way of increasing airflow.
5. Zone off rooms to manage heat
Internal doors can help retain heat in rooms that are being used, meaning it does not escape into corridors, stairwells, and unoccupied rooms. When planning your layout, consider door placement to trap heat in your main living area and bedrooms, effectively zoning off these spaces to manage your heating.
6. Solar Energy
Solar PV panels have become much more affordable over the last decade and are a highly recommended long-term investment, as these panels effectively pay for themselves over a number of years thanks to the renewable energy they produce.
Battery storage technology is also becoming more and more viable, further improving the sustainability of your home, so speak to your solar installer to discuss your options.
7. Opt for energy-efficient appliances
When choosing your electrical appliances for your new home, opt for energy-efficient ones. The technology of these appliances has improved greatly over the last few years and they can make a significant contribution when reducing your energy bills. Washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, and televisions are some of the most energy-intensive appliances in a household.
As well as electrical energy savings, there are many appliances on the market that can also save water, in addition to this, water-efficient fittings can significantly reduce wastewater when doing general tasks around the house, such as doing the dishes.
Water recycling systems can also harvest rainwater that can be re-used for functions such as flushing the toilet or watering your garden.
For more information about custom home builds and the possibilities, speak to the trusted custom home builder, SOD Home Group.
Why are energy-efficient homes important?
Many people across California are looking to play their part in slowing the effects of climate change and making changes in their home life is a great way of achieving this. Building an energy-efficient custom home is possibly the best way a person can make a positive impact on the environment, while also significantly reducing their annual energy costs… a win/ win situation.
A summary of the main principles of energy-efficient construction
There are a number of methods and techniques that can be used to ensure the construction of your custom home is an energy-efficient one, but to summarize we have outlined eight core principles that can make a huge difference to the efficiency of your new home.
- A layout that takes advantage of natural resources
- High-quality windows and doors
- Great insulation throughout the home
- Optimal airflow and ventilation
- Sensible heat management and room zoning
- Renewable energy technology
- Water and energy-saving appliances
- Water recycling and rainfall harvesting
Why you should use a professional construction company
A custom home build will cost a significant amount of money, therefore it is paramount that you preserve your budget as much as possible and reduce the amount of risk involved with the project. Therefore it is always recommended to use a trusted and reputable construction company that has a proven track record of delivering such projects and guaranteeing safety.