At a time of increasing awareness about protecting the environment, more and more people are seeking out more environmentally-friendly lifestyles that respect their surroundings. Along these lines, housing are becoming a key factor in two essential aspects: building materials and energy efficiency. But what do sustainable homes consist of and what are they like? Below, we’ll get to know some types of homes that are nowadays considered to be highly respectful of the environment.
Sustainable homes are residences specifically designed so that energy consumption is kept to a minimum. To do so, they play with factors such as orientation, natural ventilation, environmentally-friendly building materials, and even the vegetation surrounding the home. Another key aspect is the energy sources used; many opt for clean or renewable sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, or biomass energy.
Of course, not all of these types of homes are designed the same, but rather there are different types:
Wood or straw homes
These are included in the category of sustainable homes not just because these are environmentally-friendly materials, but also because they offer excellent insulation. They are able to maintain the indoor temperature and regulate humidity. Wood is used as a building material whereas straw is used as an insulating lining. In any case, the energy savings are estimated to be over 50%.
Passive and ‘zero emission’ homes
Passive homes are designed to be self-sufficient in such a way that there can be energy savings of 90%. Good insulation, the elimination of thermal bridges where temperature losses occur, natural cross ventilation systems, the use of non-polluting materials, and integration into the landscape are the premises behind these homes.
To cover the scarce energy needs whilst always maintaining zero emissions, these homes mostly take advantage of solar energy. Photovoltaic panels allow for homes to be heated, especially through radiant floor heating systems, and allow for the electricity necessary for operating appliances to be generated.
This building system generates less waste than traditional systems, a point in its favour in terms of sustainability. What’s more, it allows for all types of designs to be integrated into the landscape, the use of environmentally-friendly building materials, and the installation of heating and cooling systems by means of air source heat pumps or solar energy.
Recycled metal homes
Sustainable homes can also be built with reusable or recycled materials. These are homes in which recycled metal is used or old remodelled shipping containers are reused and stacked on top of each other to create large homes. Recycling, good insulation, and systems that take advantage of renewable energy sources can be used to create homes that are sustainable and just as comfortable and aesthetically pleasing as any other.
Other types of sustainable homes
In this category, we can talk about many other types of homes: those that use traditional building materials such as adobe; those that take advantage of nearly anything that can be recycled, such as glass or even tyres; or those that, due to their size, use minimal energy.
In all of them, we know how to combine design and materials in order to take optimal advantage of natural resources so as to reduce energy consumption to a minimum.
Whatever type of home you’re looking for, Spainhouses can help you find it. Sooner than you think, you’ll be enjoying your new house or that second home where you can relax and take a break from the routine. Making your dreams come true has never been easier. Start your search now.