If you’re ready to settle into a home long-term and are considering your options, building a house with sustainable architecture may be a smarter choice than buying.
This means the design of the home has intentionally incorporated features that work to minimize environmental impact through its materials, energy usage, and surrounding space.
Working one-on-one with a design and build firm to craft the ideal home which encompasses all the right features will mean you aren’t compromising your vision whatsoever. Choosing a design and build firm that carefully sources materials and holds energy efficiency and global impact to the utmost importance will provide you with the most value.
Still, need convincing? Here are the five factors we’ll be looking at:
Let’s dive in.
A major benefit of sustainable living is the overall cost to the homeowner. Maintaining a home with old systems, badly insulated windows, and doors, and using excessive appliances will spike your energy bill. If you’re purchasing a home on the market, you may unknowingly end up losing money due to outdated appliances or lack of maintenance. All in all, these lofty expenses add up quickly on top of the costs of buying a home.
Though modern appliances and systems are more expensive, these higher-quality appliance products will save you money in the long run–and trust us when we say, the high-quality appliances are worth it. Here are a few energy-efficient, long-term investments that can lower maintenance costs, energy and water bills, and electricity usage.
Adding solar panels or roofing tiles is a great way to generate more than you consume, especially if you live in a particularly sunny area. For another tier of efficiency, including a green roof in your construction plan can insulate your home extremely well and lower cooling and heating costs. If you’re looking to improve your existing home by incorporating efficient appliance upgrades, utilizing an equity loan can be a great way to tap into the perks of your ownership and vastly increase the value of your home.
2. HEALTHIER LIVING ENVIRONMENT
Another benefit of building a home with sustainable architecture is that you’ll be living in a healthier environment, free of lingering toxins or indoor allergens. If you move into a home with water damage, dust, or mold, it can cause allergic reactions, asthma, or even worse illnesses if there’s long-term exposure. Mold and other toxins can grow and spread in areas with high humidity, and it can be beneficial to swap out carpets for hardwood, clean your window frames, and wash curtains frequently.
By choosing more advanced technology and natural, high-quality materials that are more sustainable, you’ll undoubtedly live in a healthier home. Crafting an organized and efficient home with good air quality and natural light will improve your overall mood, lower stress levels, and increase productivity and quality of life. In addition to absorbing some beneficial vitamin D, natural light will also increase melatonin levels in your body and improve sleep cycles. This is a big factor in the happiness we take out of everyday life, our motivations, stressors, and overall mood.
Some of the more commonly used building materials for home construction can contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which emit chemicals and gases into the space. At the end of the day, choosing a green home with sustainable building materials can contribute to significant health benefits.
3. SMALLER IMPACT
One of the biggest and most obvious motivators in building sustainably is its environmental impact. In our current market, there is such a high demand for housing with a low supply to pick from. Choosing to build in a smart, planned way will ensure you’re utilizing the earth’s natural resources and preventing interference with the land, water, and energy.
With the ongoing waste and pollution problem, so making an active effort to leave a smaller carbon footprint during and after construction is an important aspect of sustainable architecture. As BBC mentions, “Construction creates an estimated third of the world’s overall waste, and at least 40% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.”
Implementing systems into your home that tap into natural elements like the sun, wind, and water will provide the environment with some much-needed relief, as non-renewable resources like oil and coal are toxic pollutants. Even though natural resources seem endlessly abundant, they are limited, and using them methodically is the best way to aid the environment around us. Given these are shared resources, we should all strive to use them strategically and not be wasteful.
4. UNIQUE DESIGN
Aside from the fact that sustainable architecture is a great long-term investment, it also can be at the forefront of the design world. It doesn’t have to be an earth home or a Hobbit hole for it to be sustainable and efficient! From sleek and modern to comfortable living, there is an option for anyone’s style and personality. You can use an eco-friendly siding option like wood or metal and add natural insulation, such as hemp or sheep’s wool. Repurposing materials within the house, like wooden beams and reclaimed stone or bamboo for the countertops, can positively contribute to the space’s feel. If done right, these additions can help any home stand out from the rest.
Sustainable 9, is always coming up with innovative ways to recycle and reuse materials every home as shown in the Shady Beach Residence above. The wooden beams were repurposed from a previous project and helped create the farmhouse style that the owners were dreaming of. Not sure where to start? Using low VOC paint, carpeting made from recycled materials, or repurposed furniture is a great first pass. Choosing companies that live up to certain environmental standards or are certified by the EPA can provide you with a good indication of their values.
5. PROPERTY VALUE
Let’s take things a step further, having a home with green features resulting in consistently low utility bills and maintenance costs, will increase its property value tremendously. The National Association of Home Builders notes this increase in home value and states that “On average, home buyers are willing to pay an additional $8,728 upfront on a home in order to save $1,000 a year in utility bills.”
Many individuals are now striving to live in passive housing, which means they aim to make the least impact on the environment by limiting their energy consumption. Those living in these spaces boast about the comfort, quality, and affordability they’re provided with this lifestyle.
The Passive House Research says these structures, originating in Germany, use 90% less heating and 75% less energy. Though these homes are able to harness natural resources extremely effectively and may seem like a natural fit for affordable housing, the construction costs aren’t financially feasible for most countries.
Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Living
Striving to lower your impact on the world around us and consume less of our shared resources is a phenomenal goal to reach for. Any effort, whether it’s earth-friendly day-to-day practices or constructing a home by implementing sustainable architecture, is a notable feat in itself and should be celebrated.
If you’re looking for a modern custom home in Minneapolis, look no further than the Highland Bridge development. Built right on the Mississippi River, this community offers amazing amenities to its residents including over 55 acres of parks and greenways. A total of 16 lots are currently available for sale and going fast!
You’ll work alongside the Sustainable 9 in-house design and build team of architects, designers, carpenters, and engineers to turn your dream home into a reality in the most sustainable neighborhood in the region!
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