If you are wondering how to make your home more sustainable , think first of all that sustainable houses or energy-responsible buildings are crucial to combat climate change and resource consumption and help decarbonize and digitize society. All current architectural trends and guidelines are oriented in this direction: to make our cities and homes sustainable spaces in which we save energy costs and improve our quality of life.
in its constant commitment to improve materials and manufacturing processes, to make them more sustainable, we want today, in the next 5 minutes of reading, to tell you all the basics you need to know about how to make your home more sustainable . We will talk about construction criteria, the most sustainable materials today, renewable energies related to the home, the correct use of water and electricity and many other topics that we hope you will find interesting and useful and, perhaps, can until you get inspired… Let’s start!
The first thing to take into account to make a more sustainable house are the different national and European regulations in force on the construction of new buildings and sustainable homes . The directives set legal and technical guidelines so that these constructions have almost zero consumption. In relation to this there is a European agreement that you have to know, if you are interested in this topic: The European Green Deal. But what does the European Green Deal propose?
The European Green Deal is a series of guidelines and political initiatives that aim to improve and enhance the ecological transition in the EU. The ultimate goal is to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. In other words, by that year carbon dioxide emissions would have to be equal to or less than zero, thus balancing the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
In general, the Green seal stands out , a certification for buildings developed by GBCe (Green Building Council Spain) and based on the circular economy and the saving of energy resources.
More particularly, in the Technical Building Code , the specific guidelines regarding sustainability of any national building are marked. Issues as specific as this code, for example, requires that new sustainable houses have a forced ventilation system that, apart from regulating the temperature and humidity inside, renews the CO2-laden air inside.
But beyond the technical regulations, there are tips and trends that we can all start and that we begin to list below.
1.- ADEQUATE ORIENTATION OF THE HOUSE
Depending on the energy and habitability needs and enjoyment of a sustainable house, there are several ways to orient a home:
- South orientation : ideal for cold climates that need sunlight to reduce low temperatures.
- North orientation : in hot climates, it helps to have a better light as well as a cooler temperature in summer.
- East orientation : also suitable for hot climates, since both light and heat enter the house at dawn.
- West orientation : in more temperate or cold climates, it allows you to receive the heat in the afternoon along with the last rays of the sun, and thus help to keep you warm at night.
2.- RECYCLABLE CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS
The use of sustainable materials, manufactured with the least possible environmental impact and recyclable is crucial to laying the foundations of an ecological home. Currently the materials that are most used in the world of sustainable construction are such as wood and its derivatives such as cellulose, cement and concrete, sandwich panels for roofs and roofs , plant materials such as bamboo, brick and other synthetics. new generation.
It is also important to mention the eco-paints , in which practically no water or electricity is used in their manufacture, they meet the standards of sustainable building, safety and are respectful of the environment.
3.- SELF-CONSUMPTION: RENEWABLE ENERGIES
The main sources of renewable energy that can now be used in our homes are…
- Solar energy. Currently the installation of solar panels in homes, buildings or communities is quite common and does not require too much paperwork. Of course, it is essential to ensure that the house has the appropriate installation requirements. This solar energy is converted directly into heat energy, which heats the water, as well as into electrical energy.
- Electricity. Although it is the most used and is not always generated cleanly, the percentage of electricity generated by renewable energies such as wind, hydroelectric or thermal energy is increasing every day. It is still one of the cheapest, although it is important that electrical appliances comply with the corresponding certifications (Classification A) and that we use it responsibly.
- Wind power. This energy produced by wind turbines is also available, on a small scale, for homes and buildings. These mini wind turbines for pumping water, or producing electricity are highly recommended, although they only have their maximum performance in certain locations.
- biomass. Although it still has a long way to go, it is another of the renewable energies with current applications for sustainable housing. To a greater extent, this 100% green energy produces heat and hot water, although it can also be used to produce electricity, for now in small quantities.
4.- THERMAL INSULATION
The thermal insulation of a sustainable home is its ability to keep the cold that we produce in summer as well as the heat that we produce in winter thanks to aerothermal energy or heating.
Being able to maintain an adequate and constant temperature in the home is the basis of energy savings to a great extent. For this reason, the façade and the roof must be well insulated and be easily thermo-regulated. In fact, our sandwich panels for roofs and facades are perfect and can be used both in industrial buildings, public buildings and in homes.
If the house is already built, we should also take into account the so-called cross ventilation , since the strategic location of the windows and a correct distribution of interior spaces will help the thermoregulation of the home, the warehouse or the building. This is directly related to point 1 discussed, regarding the orientation of the constructions.
5.- Water, light and vegetation
The consumption of drinking water in Spain is skyrocketing, affecting not only the environment but also our pockets. We are not aware of all the water we waste month after month, and simple guidelines can help us a lot. For example, use a flow regulator, or the opening of taps in two phases or the installation of timed taps. Being able to recycle water for non-human use (vegetable gardens, swimming pool, etc.) would also be an aspect to take into account.
As for lighting, when it is not possible to bet 100% on natural light, LED technology helps us reduce electricity costs by up to 90%.
Last but not least, the use of endemic plants and green cover on facades and roofs help to refresh and improve air quality and regulate temperature. It also helps make our cities and towns greener environments and maintain plant biodiversity. in the city. And why not say it, to make us happier.
In short, creating sustainable houses and energy-responsible buildings is everyone’s job… from governments and institutions, through the industrial and service sectors, to each one of us.
Our houses and buildings represent half of the energy consumed in the world and 40% of greenhouse gases and it is essential to raise awareness about the importance of renewable and clean energy in our homes.