Interior Design & Flooring

Eco-homes to model during your renovations

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 13:11

More homeowners are implementing environmentally friendly upgrades to their homes this year as green technology becomes readily available, and its undeniable advantages gain more press. From installing radiant heat flooring in a home to incorporating sustainable building materials, there are many ways in which individuals can be sure that their homes remain safe to the environment. Several people have already led the way with innovative buildings that combine environmental sustainability with unmatchable beauty and comfort.

The New American Home
For more than 30 years, the New American Home has highlighted houses that are at the forefront of architectural design, showcasing buildings that promote energy efficiency. This year's home, according to Tree Hugger, is the greenest in history. Builders anticipate that the property will receive a laundry list of green certificates, including LEED and Energy Star certifications. The large two-story building was constructed in Nevada and encompasses more than 6,700 square feet. Powered by four gas water heaters and solar roof panels that provide energy for 83 percent of the space, the building features a motherboard that connects electrical and mechanical devices from around the home. Automated systems, including doors, heating, cooling and water devices, allow residents to save energy as they use technology in the house.
Since the home incorporates a simple box design, air has a better chance of staying in one area, meaning it won't be lost or wasted. All digital and lighting items are equipped with LED technology. Outside, the weather-controlled irrigation system automatically provides soil around the property with the proper amount of hydration based on the climate. Additionally, the building was constructed using sustainable building materials, including spray-foam insulation that reduces the amount of noise spread throughout the home.

Straw and wood house
In an attempt to build a structure that could boast zero-carbon energy usage, Hewitt Studios crafted a home made from wood and straw in England called The Limpley Stoke Eco House. Architects relied upon carbon-sequestering materials, mainly timber, to build the skeleton. They only used timber that was taken from sustainably managed forests, according to Tree Hugger. For insulation, the home employed reusable straw, which provides breathable walls that contribute to heightened air quality and reduced moisture.
This house also incorporates a solar-paneled roof that uses energy from the sun to power the building. During summer months, the eco-friendly roof can prevent too much heat from entering the home, and in the winter, it can allow for direct sun beams to heat the home.