Photo Source: Eco Friendly Houses Design Idea by Nostri Architects

Going eco-friendly with the way we live is no more a noble service we are rendering to the society or the nature. It has become the only way out to sustain our lives and leave a similar, if not better environment for our future generations. And with unusual and unfavourable phenomena happening around the world, it shouldn’t have taken those movies and documentaries to change our mindset. 

Nonetheless, we have, atleast now, started to realise the pain our nature is in and are striving to keep her from any further agony. 

One of the biggest ways we impact our nature is by construction. With population exploding at an exponential rate and the needs (which can be termed as ‘greed’ in many cases) ever growing, going eco – friendly with the design of the construction can be one real and effective way to reduce our carbon footprint. 

So, if you are planning to construct that dream house, let the design be so that your successors and the nature remain ever grateful to you.

1. How big a house you need? 
This is definitely the first question that should pop up in your mind. You must have saved up a good amount of your income you have earned till date for this very purpose and it is obvious and justified for you to dream of a luxurious home. The myth stands here. You don’t need a humongous house to call it luxurious. A reasonably sized house with the right design and amenities can very well be your paradise. This being said, the design should be flexible enough for you to adopt to future demands. 

2. Never reject the greens 
This will be a great favour you will be doing yourselves. You are lucky if you get a plot of lush green trees and shrubs for your house instead of a clean shaved barren land. Take a vow to fell as little trees as possible while constructing the house. Letting one or two to encroach into your house plans will not be a bad option either. 

Photo Source: Eco Friendly Houses Image Source: uds-com.ru

3. Let the sky lights fall in
There is nothing better than natural. When you have such bright and white sky light to brighten up your house during lights, why to enclose yourselves in thick, gloomy walls? Keep the walls reserved only to the exterior, where they are unavoidable. Generous window openings and skylights can be the source of light for much of your diurnal energy needs. Make sure to plan the windows on the right corner so as to protect your house from excess heat.

Photo Source: Biyani Bungalow interiors designed by Architect Jayesh shah

4. Building and flooring materials 
One has plenty of options to choose from when it comes to building materials. Depending on the availability of the materials locally (as bringing them from a far off land means burning tons of carbon), the regional climate and the durability, one can go for cement, ceramic, aluminium, glass or steel as the main raw material. Flooring again, is an area, you have umpteen options to choose from. From glossy vitrified tiles to hardwoods, from slate tiles to bamboos, flooring is now yet another element to create a style statement. But if it is the eco–friendly way you choose to go, it is definitely the laminated wood or bamboo that should cover the floor. 

5. Other elements 
Eco-friendliness or sustainable construction is a holistic concept that goes beyond the realm of green construction. Right from the design to the construction and the ‘happily ever after’ stay in the house, the concept once adopted should be checked, revised and regularly maintained. Using energy efficient LED lights, low VOC (volatile organic compounds), lead free paints, reclaimed materials for furniture and decorative items are some of the simplest ways to ensure that your house reveres the nature and does its best to stay close to it. 

Photo Source: Green roofing Image Source: www.greenrooftechnology.com

6. Green roofing 
This is yet another amazing way of promising yourself a green future. Green roofing, as the name suggests, is nothing but covering the roof with green carpet or plants. Not only does this provide a happier look to the much ignored roof of the house, but also helps drastically in maintaining the temperature of the interiors thereby reducing the consumption of electricity for heating or cooling the house. Apart from these, the green covering on the roof controls heavy storm water run off.

Editor: Smitha Jose

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