5 environment-friendly and cost-effective home design strategies - Hindustan Times

5 environment-friendly and cost-effective home design strategies

Jan 14, 2023 01:52 PM IST

Check out five home design strategies to ensure your home is sustainable and protected against the impacts of climate change.

Designing an environmentally friendly and cost-effective home is becoming increasingly important as we strive to reduce our environmental impact and save money on energy costs. There are a number of strategies that can be employed to achieve this goal. As more and more people understand climate change, a consumer trend likely to gain momentum this year is implementing environment-friendly home designs. These homes not only reduce your environmental footprint, but they also protect you and your family from heatwaves, storms, and floods. By incorporating some simple strategies into your home design, you can create a space that is not only energy-efficient and cost-effective, but also comfortable, healthy, and sustainable. (Also read: Home interior design ideas: Tips to incorporate sustainable construction )

5 environment-friendly and cost-effective home design strategies(Unsplash)
5 environment-friendly and cost-effective home design strategies(Unsplash)

Talking to HT Lifestyle, Prasad Vaidya, Director, Solar Decathlon India, shared five design strategies for environment-friendly and cost-effective homes.

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1. Smart window designs: In apartments, avoid mostly east- and west-facing windows. The low-angle sun in the east and west streams into the rooms and warms them uncomfortably. Make sure your home has rooms with mostly north- and south-facing windows. Ensuring the area of the window is 30 per cent or less of the exterior wall area keeps the home temperature comfortable. Adding bamboo or other exterior screens on your windows will help cut out direct sun into the room. This will reduce the air-conditioning load, and lower your electricity bills.

2. Stop the heat with your walls: Go for thick or insulated walls. Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) blocks give better thermal insulation and are easy to incorporate. Apply a cool-roof coating on your terrace or roof.

3. Smart electricals: Choose appliances like ACs, ceiling fans, refrigerators, and washing machines, that are rated for 3-star or more by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency. Install photovoltaic panels on your roof and connect them to inverters and batteries in your home. This energy will be cleaner and cheaper than what you get billed for by your electricity company. And you won’t be affected when there is a power cut.

4. Value water like life: Put aerators on taps and water-efficient showerheads to optimize water flow. Using water-efficient dual flush toilets is a popular and easy-to-implement eco-solution. You can also look into IAPMO’s WEP-I star rating for faucets, showerheads, and toilets as a useful guide. You can also collect rainwater from all rooftops and terraces and direct it into recharge pits.

This is inexpensive and a one-time investment for the preservation of the local environment. If you are looking for an apartment, choose a large development that recycles wastewater at on-site treatment plants.

5. Protect your home: Make your home resilient. Avoid buildings and sites that sit in frequent flood-prone areas. Raise your floor level to avoid regular flooding, and install pumps and electrical equipment above the flood level. Secure underground water tanks so that flooding does not contaminate your water. Tie-down canopies, awnings, and other elements so that they are secured for storms and cyclones.

These simple, inexpensive strategies can ensure your home is sustainable and protected against the impacts of climate change. Planting native trees and adding water baths for birds and animals can be your contribution to increasing biodiversity around you.

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