Modern home renovation is usually associated with crisp lines, open spaces, minimalism and high technology. Modern design, however, is not just about looks and sleek style; it is about using a modern approach to everyday living. In recent years increasing emphasis is being put on going green, and creating a sustainable living space. Here are a few tips to make your home both modern and eco-friendly at the same time.
Eco friendly home renovation ideas
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Water is the most valuable resource on our planet. Green trends in home design emphasise rational water use, and the reuse of water. Toilets are the biggest water consumers in a household. Installing a low-flow toilet does not compromise flushing power while cutting down on water consumption. Motion sensor faucets also save on unnecessary water use. If you have a garden, you may want to consider water recycling. Water runoff from your sinks and showers is more than adequate for watering your lawn. All you need is a simple filter system. The used water from your bathroom and kitchen can be directly connected to your sprinklers. This will literally half your water consumption, and, in turn, your water bills. Even better than reusing water is collecting and using rainwater. There are various devices that can be fitted to pipes and gutters to collect rainwater, which can be used to fill your pool or water your lawn.
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Homes can utilise smart technology to near science fiction levels, making everyday activities easier as well as more economical. Smartphones can now communicate with home appliances, cooling and heating systems as well as with home security systems. It is now possible to program your entire home for maximum comfort and efficiency. What’s more, you can do this from anywhere in the world, straight from your smartphone.
New appliances are increasingly integrating eco-friendly features called “smart meters”. These are sensors that provide real-time insight into your electricity, gas and water consumption and help you control it. Recent studies show that smart meters, on average, reduce electricity consumption by 5%. LCD TVs can now transform into mirrors that can also measure your blood pressure. Kitchen floor cabinets can be equipped with vacuum vents that suck up crumbs and spills.
Lighting technology has come a long way in the past few years. LED lighting is now inexpensive, energy efficient and extremely compact. LEDs use 80 percent less energy than conventional lighting, and last an outstanding 25 times longer. They can be fitted virtually anywhere, from appliances to mirrors to the insides of cabinets and closets (motion activated, of course). They even let you modify the brightness and colour of light. If you miss the glow of the old-fashioned incandescent bulb, fear not. “Warm LED bulbs” give you the same light and feel of conventional light bulbs, while using a fraction of the energy.
Natural light, however, is still king. Skylights are a simple way to save energy and be closer to nature. Retractable skylights can provide ventilation, natural light and an outdoor feel to any room. The greenest windows available to the eco-friendly, tech-savvy renovator use “Smart glass” technology. These windows automatically adjust the amount of heat and light throughout the day. They can even be fitted with solar receptors to harness the energy of the sun.
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Going green is all in the details, and every little helps. The simple act of replacing old windows with double-pane ones can significantly reduce energy consumption and increase the overall heat efficiency of your home. Recycled, reclaimed, and earth-friendly materials are the way to go for a green reconstruction. Floor heating is more efficient than conventional heating, and it’s also the healthiest option as it doesn’t blow dust all around your home. Solar panels are constantly becoming cheaper and more advanced, and should definitely be considered as a part of any renovation project. There are even solar panel shingles that simply replace old ones and generate free energy.
With all of the eco friendly home renovation solutions available, it is easy to overcomplicate things. The key to a successful modern eco friendly home renovation is to make life simpler, more convenient and more comfortable. Modern does not have to be power hungry, and green need not be austere.
Written by Patrick Gibson, an engineer of Biotechnology, focused on sustainable living. Patrick works for one of the leading certification companies, as a quality control inspector and his vast field experience has taught him to make use of almost everything land has to offer.
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