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How to build an eco house

Building eco homes improves our lives and reduces our impact on the environment.

An eco house is by definition one designed, built and furnished using recycled materials, smart technology and renewable energy sources that reduce its carbon footprint and lower its energy needs. A house where comfort goes hand in hand with practicality.

 

eco homes
The Nist Test House in Washington, USA.

 

The construction industry today accounts for half of European energy consumption.

 

Eco houses reduce consumption

To reduce waste and make our homes more comfortable there are materials, technological devices and innovative solutions that can help us cut down on energy bills and live better. If you want to build new houses or modernise existing ones you should follow these tips.

 

The choice of materials

You can opt for natural materials including FSC or PEFC certified wood that should be produced by qualified companies. To insulate your home you can choose natural materials such as rockwool, cork or mineral wool. Ancient materials including hemp, lime and clay are making their comeback because they’re natural and perform well.

Renewables and material accumulation

This is a fundamental choice. Today the price of photovoltaic plants is much lower than a few years ago, as a result of larger supply and higher efficiency. Combining photovoltaic panels with solar thermal technology would be the best solution to heat water for domestic use. Solar cells have evolved: they now collect more energy since their batteries can stock the energy they produce and release it when necessary. This is useful to reduce energy consumption and have it available even when there’s no sunlight.

 

Heating and air conditioning

For heating and air conditioning you have multiple choices. If your home is still being designed you’d better opt for an underfloor heating system that can reduce convective heat transfers and consumption for heating in winter. For cooling in summer it’s recommendable to choose air/air or air/water heat pumps that can be powered by photovoltaic panels. Consider also that frames, doors and windows contribute to insulating your house from temperature leaps. Exterior and interior house painting can also help cut consumption and increase energy efficiency thanks to nanotechnologies and molecules including silicon and titanium oxides.

 

Domotics

Smart metres, energy management, cloud technology. Thanks to domotics, you can measure effective consumption and intervene when necessary. The services available today smartly cooperate to let the users save energy and cut water consumption.

 

Renovation of existing homes

The future of the construction industry is also built on the renovation of existing buildings, starting from single apartments, to apartment buildings and entire districts. Architects, engineers, companies and building contractors have come together to spread this concept. The technological opportunities and offers are out there, you just need to take advantage of them.

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