Most people would agree that the planet is approaching a tipping point. If we continue to pump pollutants and CO2 into the atmosphere, it will have disastrous and irreversible effects. We don’t have the power, as individuals, to lower the level of emissions on a planetary scale, but we can do our little bit to ease our conscience.
Architects and developers recognise the benefits of building homes that are environmentally friendly. They might not be able to use all of the construction methods they would like when building housing estates because they still have to make a profit. Current building regulations include certain features that make the home as energy efficient as it can be, but they could go further.
Here are some ideas for green architecture and features. You could retrofit some of them in the house you buy from an estate agent in Boscombe, Christchurch, or anywhere else.
Rammed Earth Walls
If you are building a home from scratch, you may consider rammed earth walls as a method of construction. This method of construction has been in use for thousands of years. Indeed, archaeologists are still unearthing examples that were built at the same time as the pyramids in Egypt. You make the walls by adding thin layers of earth and ramming it for a long time. The air gaps are all removed from the soil, and it eventually becomes almost as hard as concrete.
Any building with a flat roof can enjoy a roof garden. You must check that the structure is strong enough to carry the weight of six inches of wet soil first, and then put a pond liner up there to make it waterproof. Frame the edges to hold the soil and plant it with alpines, grasses, or any other hardy plants. The roof garden acts as another layer of valuable insulation.
A home with thick insulation might only need the body heat of the inhabitants to keep it at a comfortable temperature all year round. You can retrofit as much insulation as you want to in the loft, and extra layers on the external walls are possible too.
Generate your electricity to reduce costs. You sell excess power to the energy suppliers, so in fifteen years the system will have paid for itself. You will notice that there are panels appearing on roofs all over the country. People are fed up with huge energy bills and the way corporations generate electricity, so the decided to do something about it.
Most people can afford to upgrade their light bulbs to LED technology. They use only a fraction of the electricity that incandescent bulbs use and will last many times as long. They are a simple technological upgrade that everyone should install.
A composting toilet uses little or no water. Your waste goes into a container that has sawdust in it and decays over time. Apparently, the compost is very high-quality when it is ready. It takes a bit of practice to get the toilet working as it should, but once you master the technique; it is easy.
These methods of building and energy use only scratch the surface of eco-friendly buildings and living. Try doing your little bit, and you will be amazed at what you can achieve in your home.