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  • Writer's pictureHin Fah

5 Types of Eco-Friendly Homes and Features

If everyone implemented eco-friendly features into their home, that would be a big step to helping the environment. There are many options available - we set out the top 5 types of eco-home features you can implement.

We can all do our bit for the environment whether it be taking out the recycling, turning the tap off while brushing your teeth or not leaving the lights on when you nip out to the shop. But how can you take your home from being environmentally friendly to a fully sustainable eco home? Even if only a few of these ideas take your fancy, anything we can do to reduce carbon emissions is of utmost importance in our rapidly warming world.

1. Rammed Earth

The very walls of this house are built entirely of tightly packed soil that creates a well-insulated, well protected and low-cost home. The fused soil gives a smooth rock design to the walls and allows for a modern eco-friendly feel.

While this technique was good enough for the Great Wall of China it is also what is used to build sand castles, but don’t worry these homes are made with specialist soil that is specially formulated to withstand lots of weathering. The walls are extremely thick between 19-24 inches which makes the interior extremely quiet, adding to the comfort and coziness of the house.

However, these homes come at a pretty penny as it involves a lot of labour intensive work. So while these finely designed structures might not be on your budget there are plenty of cheaper ways you can make your home energy efficient, quiet and warm just through insulation. Pack the walls, ceiling and boiler room with plenty of insulating material and you’re not only cutting your carbon emissions but your energy bill too.

2. Prefab

These ‘prefabricated’ houses are built off-site and transported to the plot ready-made. Almost like a piece of Ikea furniture but you actually got the Ikea people to build it for you this time instead of fiddling with a screw that looks important but is never going to fit in that hole. The way in which they are premade ensures no waste is produced in the construction as there are no skips and all measurements are exact.

They come in a range of luxury designs with eco-friendly features such as solar panels and are far cheaper than any other houses on the market some being as low as £50,000.

3. Zero Carbon

Zero Carbon homes have absolutely no carbon emissions whatsoever. They do exactly what they say on the tin in terms of their sustainability and eco-efficiency meaning you leave no carbon footprint behind.

Equipped with the newest eco-friendly technology they generate all their energy from sustainable sources. A surprising number of homes can actually be turned into zero carbon by investing in solar panels, insulation and a water pump meaning not only do you know you’re benefiting the environment but these appliances will also pay for themselves.

If you want to go small scale why not collect rainwater. It’ll save you getting the hose out to water the plants and will cut down your water bill without having to build a hydroelectric power station on the side of your house.

4. Solar

This is the ideal house to take ideas from with its eco-friendly systems that will let you say goodbye to your conventional boiler and hello to solar powered climate control and fresh air ventilation. It has winter and summer shadowing programmes so that it will maximize warmth in your home without making you sweat and controls the temperature through solar panels on rooftops and extensive windows.

These houses may also come with a high lifter water pump which does not use fossil fuels the way other water pumps do, sending water into your home without being followed by a big carbon footprint.

5. Living wall

Don’t have space for a back garden? Don’t worry – have one on the side of your house instead. These new designs allow you to grow an entire green space on your roof or side of your house. While it provides great insulation for your home it will also reduce noise pollution and give your home a modernized and interesting appearance.

These walls are built through installation of packs of soil onto the wall and often come with a water delivery system. They reduce erosion to your brickwork and allow you to get green without having to water and mow a lawn every few days.

These walls are used mostly in urban environments to absorb carbon dioxide and improve the air quality of the area. In addition to this they absorb heat from the outside created by car fumes or solar rays and do not re-emit the high temperatures the way buildings do.

(via Home Statosphere)

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