Environmentally Friendly Home Design

Original Home Designs has had the opportunity to work with various forms of green building technologies and products. As concerns over the environment and global warming increase eco-friendly home construction is becoming more in demand. The following is some information on resources we’ve found and some of the building products we’ve used.

We also write about about issues and developments in the field of environmentally friendly home construction in our blog.

Renewable Energy

Often, alternative energy sources are given a back seat in conventional urban design for one main reason, cost. Most of us want to contribute to the health of the environment, but have been unwilling to sacrifice financially in order to follow through with this ideal. Additionally, the relative inability of many forms of alternative energy to function without relying on conventional systems as back-ups threatens the viability of these systems.

Recent developments are bringing significant improvements in technologies utilizing both solar energy and geothermal energy. Although, in most cases, the initial costs for green energy are still more than those associated with the use of our dying fossil fuel stores, the long-term benefits can be realized in continued savings and environmental benefits throughout the life of the home. Visit these links to view some of the compelling case studies, articles and product descriptions associated with some of these technologies.

Alternative Construction

Alternative building technologies in the residential building industry in Canada are generally considered to be anything other than our conventional wood-frame construction. Wood-frame construction, while having many benefits, most notably ease of handling and cost, also has many environmental, health & safety, comfort, and economic drawbacks. The links below contains pages for different ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) manufacturers and a page on straw bale construction. Both technologies represent viable alternatives to traditional ‘stick-framing’, especially in an area such as Kamloops where we have two completely opposite seasons, one sweltering hot, the other bone-chilling cold.

One of the main functions a dwelling has to provide is a constant barrier between it’s inhabitants and the changing and unpredictable elements of our environment. Both of these technologies do this as well, if not better than wood-framing. Additionally, trees are far less renewable than straw and is quite a lot more expensive. While there are many more details comparing these products I have not covered, the benefits and shortfalls of these two products are more completely described within the pages of the links provided.

Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF)

Green Construction

Green Materials

There is a lot of effort being made to encourage ‘green’ construction practices in both new commercial and residential construction. Everything down to the materials we use for our cabinets contributes to a more ‘green’ building. It is important for us to consider alternatives to the common, inexpensive ways in which we finish our homes for both environmental and overall inhabitant health reasons.

Construction Industry Resources

The major housing industry websites, construction associations, have vast resources available on their sites. The links below point to the sections on building greener homes and communities.

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