Eco-friendly houses: What you need to know
11/2022

Everyone dreams of their own house. Suppose it is also a house made of ecological materials that will contribute to good health and longevity. In that case, it will be just fantastic! Now eco-houses are not just a trend but a purposefully chosen lifestyle in harmony with the universe.
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Fundamental principles of green construction

Given current trends in the construction industry, green building is one of the great tools of the intelligent economy. Thanks to this, it is possible to significantly reduce the environmental impact of construction. It also allows you to reduce operating expenses for building maintenance and will enable you to create comfortable and cozy living conditions.

Let's look at some of the fundamental principles of modern green building. First of all, it is about the use of ecological materials during the construction and decoration of buildings. At the same time, building materials from local producers are used whenever possible. One of the goals is to reduce waste and minimize its impact on the environment. Equally important is the prudent and economical use of resources such as energy, water, etc.

To save resources, specialists recommend taking care of the high energy efficiency of the building under construction. It is necessary to significantly reduce energy consumption and establish alternative energy sources, particularly wind and solar energy. Using only certified materials with the lowest environmental impact during the entire life cycle is vital. 

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Main photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash
Photo by vanitjan on Freepik

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How to choose a place for an eco-house

When you choose a place to live, take into account not only the environmental characteristics of your area but also the potential impact of such objects.

Unfavourable environmental factors may be related to the specifics of a particular area. In some cases, such problems can be effectively eliminated. For example, suppose the residents of the future eco-house could be disturbed by the noise of the nearby highway. In that case, you can use double-glazed windows, ensure the orientation of the bedrooms on the quiet side, and create obstacles for the spread of noise on the land plot in the form of high and thick green fences.

Suppose the place of construction of the greenhouse is lowland. In that case, it will most likely be characterized by high humidity associated with rainwater. This can pose a significant threat to the construction of the future house and the family's health. Accordingly, as you will not be able to find an elevated dry place in this area, it is better not to build housing on this site. The fact is that it is almost impossible to reduce the natural humidity of the area.

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Photo by eberhard šŸ– grossgasteiger on Unsplash

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The microclimate of the dwelling

Direct sunlight should enter most living spaces for at least two hours a day (this ensures disinfection of the air in the rooms). The house project's authors must provide the optimal orientation of each room according to the cardinal points. If your area has a hot climate, reduce the total insolation by shading south-facing windows with blackout curtains or dense trees. Thus, only the light of the winter, the low sun, will enter the rooms.

Each living room and kitchen area should be more than seven square meters; otherwise, they will lack air and space. In poorly ventilated rooms, the air is often up to ten times dirtier than the air outside. Therefore, constant ventilation is essential (however, you should not feel air movement inside the room).

All rooms should have a pleasant and uniform temperature, and its differences per one meter of height should be within 2Ā°C. Therefore, it is most effective to use warm walls and floors (specialists lay pipes with warm water or electric heating cables). Thanks to this solution, it is possible to lower the air temperature in the house to 17Ā°C without compromising its comfort.

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Photo by Hert Niks on Unsplash

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What materials are most suitable?

Ecological materials for building a house are only sometimes wholly natural. These are often artificial materials thanks to a specific type of processing of raw materials. The critical point is that no toxic substances are used or produced during their creation, use and disposal.

One of the most environmentally friendly materials for walls is wood, but only if it is not treated with antiseptics, flame retardants, or varnishes with high levels of volatile organic compounds. 

Aerated concrete occupies the second position in the rating of environmental friendliness. It does not contain harmful components, it can boast a low level of radionuclides, and the production is characterized by low energy consumption. 

On the third position in our green rating is ceramics. Compared to aerated concrete, it contains slightly more radionuclides (however, in entirely safe doses for humans), and it requires more energy during production.

Adobe, clay brick and their various varieties compete closely with the abovementioned materials. Their significant advantage is the low energy consumption of production and the absence of the need to use cement in construction. 

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Photo by Andy Holmes on Unsplash

Some of the world's best eco-home projects

Here are some of the most exciting ideas for eco-friendly houses: 

āˆš in Costa Rica. Not far from the ocean, on a hill twenty kilometres from the city, there is a stunningly beautiful eco-villa. Its creator is the famous architect-inventor Robles. He built an eco-villa in a humid environment entirely unsuitable for this. Nevertheless, the house turned out to be reliable, durable, economical, cozy and at the same time multifunctional.

āˆš in the USA. In Los Angeles, Glen Irani Architects managed to build a highly sustainable green building. He intended to create the maximum feeling of space and openness and to merge the house's premises with the boundless freedom of the surrounding nature. This plan was 100% successful.

āˆš in South Africa. After visiting the small town of Franschhoek in the Western Cape Province, you will see an incredibly compact eco-house built by Pietro Russo. It fits very well into the mountain landscape and perfectly complements the local nature. This eco-friendly home is known for its original modern design.

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Photo 1 Iseami House / Robles Arquitectos
Photo 2 The Ecomo Home / Pietro Russo
Photo 3 Hover House 2/ Glen Irani Architects

Wise_Team
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