Environmentally-Friendly Home Renovation Tips

When considering ideas to make your home more environmentally friendly during a renovation or build, there are of course many avenues you can take. They range from using alternative energy to simply using different techniques that require less materials to get the job done. With some simple research any homeowner planning home improvement can quickly gain a solid understanding of green renovation practices and the philosophies behind them. 

Let’s look at just some of the environmentally-friendly home renovation techniques employed by experts like Heilman Renovations. Not all green renovation techniques are for everyone, but when they come with a cost saving, they’re certainly worth investigating.

1 - Day Lighting 

The first widely used technique is called day lighting. This term is really just a way of saying that sun should be used more to light as home during daylight hours. To do this, you can paint walls lighter colors (to reflect sunlight better) and even install north and south facing windows that receive the maximum sunlight during the day but not gather too much heat. Installing west and east facing windows can sometimes harness too much heat, making it difficult to control the influx of energy. 

Also, you can install clerestory windows for access to light above eye level. Experts say that up to 15 percent of lighting in a home can be harvested from the sun, and this method is a fairly cost-efficient way to harness that energy. 

2 - Passive Solar Heating 

Another form of green renovation is passive solar heating. Since solar heating can account for up to 38 percent of home heating costs, this method could easily offset some of those costs. By installing south or north-facing windows with high solar heat gain coefficients, you can harness the energy best. Having sunlight shine on dark materials such as concrete or brick will also maximize energy since these materials soak up sunlight best and can even more money. 

3 - Advanced Framing 

Another approach to being environmentally-friendly in your home renovation is the advanced framing technique. This method incorporates optimum engineering which essentially uses less lumber and materials than normal framing techniques. This can save money when renovating a home compared to normal techniques, and is green in that less materials are used.

4 - The Salvage and Reclaim Method 

According to the National Association of Homebuilders, about 90 percent of building waste goes to landfills, yet is recyclable. This can range from plastic materials to wood that could be used to help build a home. After your home renovation is complete, ask your contractor to recruit the help of a salvage company to repurpose the waste that has been left over. Alternatively, save excess material in your attic – you never know when it could come in handy. For extra points, use salvaged materials as part of your home renovation. 

So, when attempting a home improvement project or just building a home in general, there are many options that allow a home to be green and save the environment. How green you are depends on how much extra work you’re willing to put in, but with sensible and prudent choices a green home can be much more efficient, quickly offsetting any initial increase in outlay.