Green Homes – Green Home Building For Eco Friendly Living

Green homes are houses that are kinder to the planet. They use lesser energy, produce less waste, and are a healthier environment for the people inside. Green homes come out of a philosophy of being more eco-friendly to the environment. They save on electricity, find ways to cut down on carbon-waste and general energy consumption. Green homes can put money in your pocket, and give you the peace of mind you are doing your bit to help sustain our planet.

Energy

Most of us would to make the world a little “greener” by reducing our home energy consumption. There has been improvement in building techniques and materials over the last couple of decades, which means that homes are becoming more energy efficient. Do you dream of a house with no carbon emissions and zero-net-energy use? This can be achieved with a strategy that includes alternative energy sources, and conscientious fabrication methods and standards. We can channel in green energy into our homes without breaking the bank. There are DIY home energy programs that cost thousands of dollars but there are also DIY Solar and wind turbine schemes that will only cost a few hundred dollars, and that can be implemented without great technical skills. You can reach your goal of a Zero Energy Home, and it maybe just a couple of steps away…

Design: Living Green Designer Homes

When we think of eco friendly homes, or sustainable homes, we probably have an image of an odd-looking place? Too many panels and windmills all over it, maybe half buried on a hill, or too high tech for our budget? That may have been the case once but it’s now possible to design a home that is beautiful, and will give you a degree of independence from both present and future water and energy cost increases and shortages There is evidence of a growing concern about environmental and design issues. There is information available from government from which you can learn about design of green buildings for energy conservation. Good modern design standards readily integrate sustainable features such as rainwater collection, alternative power sources, grey water recycling, solar hot water and water efficient landscaping.

Sustainability

In December 2006, The Code for Sustainable Homes was introduced as a voluntary code in the UK and by May 2008 has become a national standard. It rates the key elements of design and construction which impact upon sustainability and efficiency. It is used by architects, builders and consumers alike in helping them plan and design new homes. The code awards new homes a star rating from 1 to 6, based on their performance against 9 sustainability criteria which assess the overall environmental impact. These are model green home building guidelines!

Building regulations require at least One Star. Six Stars reflects exemplary sustainability.The sustainability criteria by which new homes are measured are:

Energy and CO2 Emissions

Water H20 & Surface Water Run-off

Materials

Waste

Pollution

Health and Well-Being

Management of the environmental impacts of the construction and operation

Ecology

The key is to achieve sustainability without compromising either design or quality. The Code introduces minimum standards for energy and environmental factors affecting the sustainability of a home, and the rating takes into account different elements of sustainability. These include energy, transport, pollution, materials, land use and ecology and health and well-being. The UK Government has set the industry a target of delivering zero-carbon homes by 2016.

The aim of sustainable homes is to deliver real improvements in key areas such as carbon dioxide emissions and water use.

Carbon

Carbon reduction is high on the political agenda of all nations, yet there is a clear struggle for governments to come to terms with the measures that must be taken to achieve the reduction goals that our best science tells us is needed. Much can be achieved by action at the household level that can drastically reduce the enormity of the tasks that faces governments looking at the problems on a macro scale. Motivation for the changes that are needed is key, as it is in anything great but difficult that we strive for. One ‘carrot’ in the budget for households is the direct benefit of reduced energy bills achieved by making an effort to reduce their own carbon pollution. In the UK, London Green Homes service uniquely offers a free telephone advice service, a website and a paid-for green service to provide a free tailor-made package of carbon saving lifestyle improvements. The service has great flexibility, offering Londoners advice on a broad range of actions to reduce carbon emissions from lifestyle changes; and explains how best to save money on energy bills. It is the UK’s first one-stop-shop for information on how to make homes more carbon efficient.

Environmental

A US survey has shown that 87% of home buyers want to know how their homes rate in terms of environmental performance in order to make an informed decision when moving house. Further, 84% would pay an average 2% more for an eco-friendly home. Environmentally friendly homes are no longer a luxury reserved only for the richest Americans. Environmental concerns, dependence on foreign oil, water shortages, vanishing species, are all factors in an increasing the awareness of the call for us to be better stewards of the earth and its resources.

In this environmentally aware world, we are hearing more about green homes, eco friendly living and sustainable homes. Green homes that are designed to be energy efficient, use environmentally friendly and healthy materials and conserver water are becoming the standard. In addition to new building standards, there are simple environmentally friendly, DIY projects that will help curb energy costs, and improve your homes value.

Space is still the most important consideration for home buyers, but environmental considerations and use of eco-friendly materials are very high on the list of priorities. Architectural firms today are often committed to developing creative yet environmentally sustainable components of space for the betterment of lifestyle and family in a way that supports responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources. Green living and building, with an emphasis on health, energy efficiency and environmental conservation, has never been more relevant than it is today. As time goes on, there will be more attention given to advocating for socially just and environmentally-minded rebuilding solutions. Home-building imposes very significant environmental and social costs at all levels. Impacts of new home construction include:

quarrying to provide basic raw construction materials like aggregates,

water consumption, and the widespread use of toxic

chemicals in building materials.

Conclusion

Green homes can put money in your pocket, they don’t need to be thought of as an expensive way to do what’s demanded of us for the environment. Sustainable homes give you peace of mind from knowing that you are doing everything you can to help sustain the planet. Sustainable homes don’t have to be unattractive anymore, and unsuitable for residential architecture. Green homes are better for the environment because they use less energy, less water, and have a lower impact on the environment

Tips For Saving On Those Energy Bills

You may have noticed that your energy bills are always on the up, the energy companies just don’t seem to care about the consumer, all they care about is profits.

So here are a couple of tips on how to save on those energy bills.

Most homes these days have some form of central heating installed to keep you warm in the winter time, they also supply you with all the hot water you need as and when you need it.

Tip 1 is to have the boiler serviced at least once a year.

The boiler is the main heat source and seems to get overlooked until it stops working.

By having the boiler serviced the engineer is checking that everything is working 100%, just as it was when it left the factory.

A boiler left unserviced over time will start to use more energy and you will notice your energy bills start to rise.

Whatever type of boiler you may have, LPG, Natural gas, Oil even electric it should have an annual service to keep it in good working order.

Tip 2 If your home has water filled radiators fitted.

The water inside the whole of the system should be checked to ensure it is clean and protected from internal corrosion.

When a water-filled heating system is installed, the water should first be flushed out to remove any debris and flux residue that may be present.

Once the water is clean, an inhibitor should be added, this will stop the internal corrosion and keep the water clean.

Over time the inhibitor dilutes down and should be topped up to keep the system protected.

A wet central heating system with dirty water inside will put a bigger demand on the boiler to heat your home than it would with clean water.

You will notice over time that it takes longer to heat your home than it did before. So it’s always best to have the water checked while the boiler is being serviced.

Tip 3 Energy saving controls

Most new build homes now come fitted with thermostatic control valves to all of the radiators as standard.

This gives total independent control of each room, you set the thermostat to the desired temperature and once that temperature is reached it will close the valve and stop the flow of heat.

As the temperature falls the valve will reopen and start to heat the room again. These thermostatic valves will help cut those energy bills if used in the correct way.

Having a smart thermostat fitted to your heating system will also help cut down those energy bills.

They connect to the internet via your broadband and collect details of the weather in your area.

They will then start learning about how long it takes to heat your home to your desired temperature and adjust the boiler as needed.

Some even sense when the home is unoccupied and adjust the heating to very low temperature or even switch off.

These smart thermostats can be fitted to the most central heating system and can be controlled via your smartphone.

Tip 4 Insulation

Good Insulation of your home will help keep the energy bills down.

If your property has a loft make sure it is fully covered with insulation, as heat rises naturally you will lose a lot of heat through the loft if not insulated.

You can buy radiator insulation that you fix behind the radiator, it will help reflect the heat out and help make the room heat up a little quicker.

If you have radiators covers fitted make sure they have sufficient openings so the heat can flow freely.

The most common fault with these covers is they have no opening on the top part and because heat rises the heat is blocked from entering the room.

Radiator covers can reduce the heat needed to heat the room by as much as 40%

If your covers do have an opening on the top make sure they are kept clear so you have a good movement of air.

These are just a few tips on how to keep those energy bills down, so let’s recap.

Have the boiler serviced at least once a year, don’t forget to use someone who is registered for your type of boiler.

Get the water inside the heating system checked to ensure it is free of corrosion and clean, top up the inhibitor.

Consider having some form of Energy saving controls installed.

Last but not least, insulation, ensure your home is well insulated otherwise those energy bills will keep rising.

Green Home Building Trends For 2010

Although the building industry had a dark year in 2009, Green building seemed to somehow stick out and shine. According to the Multiple Listing Service date, certified sustainable green new homes actually rose the past year in the northern west coast areas like Portland and Seattle. This trend is believed to spread over the U.S. and green building is expected to grow within new home sales. Already new home sales are on a rise from a year ago with March of 2010 seeing the biggest jump in new home sales in 47 years. So what trends can we expect to see in 2010 in green new homes?

1. Energy Monitoring Home Dashboards. The increasing demand for energy efficient homes, the development of a custom web-based display panel within the home, will show real-time home energy use. This sophisticated produced can break down the real time energy use of homeowners appliances, which will help a homeowner change the way they use their electricity. For example the way an electric car miles per gallon indicator encourages the owner to adapt their driving habits, new homes that offer these Dashboards may encourage homeowners to reach lower energy use. Dashboards will also increase the probability that homeowners of green homes will reach the Energy Performance Score.

2. Energy Efficient Green Home Labeling. Like the miles per gallon label you would find when searching for a new car, energy rating systems for new homes has become popular among legislators. This energy rating system will make it easier for home buyers to see the energy efficiency of one green home compared to another. Each homes score will be available on the MLS.

3. Lenders and Green Homes Make for a Better Bottom Line. Lenders have come to the conclusion that green new homes are better for their bottom line. By seeing a trend of green home owners being more responsible and less probable to default on a loan, due to the fact that most green home owners are more accountable and likely to place higher value on home maintenance. Home owners are also less likely to default due to the decrease in energy coast within their green home. Lenders are now working to get reduced-rate loans and insurance packages for green new home owners.

4. Less Is More. Back when the housing market was booming, a larger homes lead to greater equity. However since that “bubble burst” this is no longer the case. With energy prices expected to rise over time, and the Federal Reserve likely to raise interest rates during 2010, home buyers are likely to feel more at ease with smaller new homes.

5. Water Conservation. Did you know that residential water usage accumulates for more than half of the public water supplied? The EPA decided in December 2009 to implement WaterSense. WaterSense specifies that new homes will need to reduce water use by 20 percent than conventional new home. Mandatory energy labeling in Europe already documents the water efficiency.

6. Net Zero Homes. A net zero home is a green home that generates more energy than it uses over a year. This is done by building a fairly small new home that is extremely energy efficient and uses on site renewable energy like wind, solar or geo-exchange systems.

Learn The Top Tips For Your Home Business

Perhaps you are starting a home business offering professional services. Whether you are an electrician or a proofreader, your biggest question is: “How do I make my business known?” Here are some tips from others who have faced this question. They can help you build a thriving business–right from your home.

When approaching a home business, it is important to know where the biggest opportunity lies. Internet-based businesses are the biggest thing in today’s world, but they also come with some of the biggest risks. Therefore, one of the most important parts of starting a home business is making sure that your product or service is going to fit a profitable niche.

Figure out the money involved. If necessary save as much money as you can before starting your home business. There are always unseen charges that you will have to deal with, and it is best to pay these with available money rather than a credit card. Don’t think that you can walk into a bank and loan money. Most banks will need to see a proven track record.

Your office needs some sort of door or “barrier”. Your office needs to be separate from the living areas in the home. This will be a mental and physical signal that your work space is separate from your rest space. The separation will help you to leave your work behind when you are busy with the rest of your life.

Make sure that any business you choose can be profitable. Research the demands and trends. Is there a market? Who are the competitors? If the market is crowded, can you fill a niche? Startup costs? Economies of scale? How much income fluctuation? What’s the revenue required to cover expenses? It may not easy but doing your homework now may reduce heartbreak later.

If you are considering selling a product or a service, determine the going rate for that product or service in today’s marketplace. Looking through other websites in your industry will serve as a great barometer for pricing, and often enables you to choose a competitive price. Never talk negatively about your competition, focus on marketing your good qualities.

Ask your customers to provide you with statements about your product or home business. They can talk about their experience with you or what they think about their purchases. Place this information on your website; it is a great (and free!) way to advertise to others. Happy customers will be pleased to provide you with a review, so don’t hesitate to ask.

You should be honest and realistic about your expectations with your home business. Are you offering fantastic products or services that will continually attract new clients? Can you say that your business would be run honestly?

These tips have given you a lot of sound advice. You are probably planning your Linked-In entry and your Facebook page right now. The internet is a big help. But as these tips have shown, there are also other ways to make your business known. Diligent effort can bring you a thriving business and an important place in your community.