The surface temperature of the earth has been increasing by 0.18°C / 0.32°F every decade since 1981. As per NASA, 7 out of 10 warmest years on record took place after 2014, since modern record-keeping started in 1880.
The only change that we need to be mindful of is the impact of Climate change and Global warming.
One of the biggest contributors to increasing greenhouse gases is the real estate sector. With rising concerns about the climate and high energy costs, the new age builders identify energy as the core focal point.
New home seekers are looking for architects who specialize in creating spaces that mitigate these issues.
Eco houses come into the picture when you think of ensuring a lifestyle that maintains and preserves energy. Renewable energy sources are fast depleting, hence a significant change in our livelihood is essential to sustain.
You may be already using electric cars for commuting – reducing the carbon footprint to a fraction vis-a-vis petrol or a diesel car. With technological advances, your dream of building a zero carbon footprint home is now possible.
Eco houses increase energy efficiency without compromising on the security, aesthetics, and comfort of their inhabitants.
Your house, built using material that reduces its carbon footprint, will have a low impact on the environment. You may find various ways to measure the sustainability needs of the house.
You can include several energy-saving as well as operationally efficient features and systems to your eco house, like:
- Solar panels for electricity generation
- Rainwater harvesting
- Opting for electricity from a ‘green’ supplier
- Avoiding plastics and using natural materials for construction
- Composting toilets
- Photovoltaic panels
- Best use of daylight
- Higher levels of thermal insulation
- Heating through solar or heat pump, biomass (renewable resources)
- Growing plants on the roof
- Aquaponic systems and a patch of soil for food
- Grey-water collection
- Double glazed windows
The above is not an exhaustive list, and you can find a host of others on the Internet.
Every house needs an adequate security system for the safety of its inhabitants. Smart eco houses using expensive high-end appliances have a greater need for it.
Technological advancements have led to access control systems that service through a code fed on the mobile phone. Yet, using the mechanical (with lock and key) and electronic locking system combinations increases residential security. Local professional locksmiths can come to the rescue at times of a security or service issue.
A passive house will help you maintain comfortable temperatures with minimum energy usage. The idea behind passive houses is to use passive energy sources such as sunlight, human beings, and appliances. The result is a drastic reduction of the heating system needs.
To achieve such a feat, control of the space heating energy is crucial. The calculation of space heating energy involves considering the maximum heat fresh air supply can generate at minimum ventilation.
So, passive houses reduce the footprint with the help of low-energy structures using the least energy for heating. Once optimization is over, you can have excellent air quality and thermal comfort inside the house at the cost of the minimum energy burn.
Passivhaus Institut, a pioneering project by Professor Wolfgang Feist, has been working in this domain for the last 30 years. Passivhaus design concepts feature ventilation and natural light without compromising on genomics or style.
Creating self-sufficient and sustainable houses by cutting down the energy needs, Passivhaus is charting the path for zero carbon emission homes.
Zero Carbon Houses
Zero carbon houses theoretically are your most efficient structures producing zero or negative carbon emissions by maximizing energy efficiency and using renewable energy.
You can use innovative heating and cooling systems that are energy efficient and help reduce emissions, like solar panels. An efficient mechanical ventilation system completes the loop to create the desired results.
The airflow in and around your proposed house structure will determine the need for additional heating solutions. By design, the zero-carbon houses consume less energy and thereby release less carbon dioxide.
A study of the topography and historic climatic conditions is a must before planning such a setup.
So, time for you to take the next step and build that dream house of yours. A house you build to make efficient use of energy and sustainable renewable resources. Your lifestyle choices, having minimum impact on fossil fuels or other non-renewable sources of energy.
Once built, time spent inside the doors would be more rewarding and satisfying, knowing the fact that every moment you spend in that house you are not leaving a carbon footprint behind.