When you think of your dream home, what do you envision? Is it a small, cozy cabin tucked away in the countryside, a charming, family friendly Colonial, or a sprawling, modern estate with state-of-the-art amenities? Whatever your style, it’s important to care for not just your home, but the earth on which it stands. In 2014, our carbon footprints have a more direct impact than ever on our environment. With the implementation of digital house design, you’re now able to craft your ideal home to be eco friendly, without having to sacrifice style or comfort.
After the decision to design an eco friendly home as been made, you may be curious as to what the environmental design principles actually are. In other words, what exactly makes a home “eco friendly”? It starts with materials. There are dozens of options to choose from, but the basics of an environmentally conscious home starts from the ground up with the utilization of materials such as nontoxic glues, renewable wood, organic fabrics, and recycled glass. These small choices aren’t just cost efficient, but also save thousands of trees and acres of land.
Selecting a floorplan is the first step toward making your house a reality, and a simple Google search of the keywords “eco friendly house plans” pulls up dozens upon dozens of websites with possible layouts. Sites like Point Developments delve further into reasons why going green is a good choice, and links to other sites such as Whitehall Property and Eco House Designs that allow users to browse and view numerous floorplans.
There is also free room decorating software for a more hands on experience. A list by freshome offers a selection of 10 online programs such as digitaldecorator.com.au that enable users without any prior design knowledge to tinker around with floorplans and tweak them to their liking. There are 3D view options, different camera angles to help ensure a sense of continuity while designing the floorplan, and even sites that provide arrays of color samples for flooring and paint, as well as the opportunity to furnish rooms with virtual models of real life objects that can later be ordered.
Once you’ve settled on a layout, sites like Low Impact Living offer a variety of suggestions on going green in your home. From the use of solar panels to recycled furniture, such websites are a useful reference tool when deciding on materials and furnishings. Insulating your walls are another excellent way to reduce heating costs during the cold winter months, and wide, intelligently placed windows made with recycled glass can cut back electricity bills by providing an extensive amount of natural light during the day. They can also be opened during the summer, allowing air to circulate throughout the home, dropping the temperature, and saving you money on air conditioning expenses.
Designing a home is often times a daunting task, but through the plethora of online design tools and resources, the construction of your eco friendly dream home can not just be simplified, but also made fun.