Building a High-Quality Home to Connect with Nature
The past few decades of new home construction have embraced certain design assumptions. Bigger is better. Grandeur is desirable. Luxury means overconsumption. It’s about time we flipped these outdated themes on their head.
Modern, eco-friendly houses are not only becoming the norm, they’re adding to the desire of home ownership. Building an eco-friendly home is about more than just saving on energy costs and creating environmentally friendly structures. Green homes reconnect you with your environment and make you rethink the way you live.
Modern Energy Efficiency in Action
Healthy homes save homeowners a pretty penny from waste contributed to condensation, leakage, and energy loss. They provide energy-efficient home solutions for ventilation, space conditioning, water heating and distribution, and other appliances you’ll use in your home. Approaching your home build from a scientific and energy-conscious mindset will help you utilize the most cost-effective choices for the overall health of your home.
Eco homes leave a smaller footprint on the earth, so not only will you feel better about the cost savings, you’ll see these benefits come up in other areas of your life as well - such as the health of your family, the comfort of your home, and the sustainability of your building materials.
Limiting Wasteful Spaces
It’s easy to see how unused space in your home will inflate the overall cost. Every room must be furnished, heated, and cooled, so cutting unused space from your floor plan saves you big over the lifetime of your home. But wasted space adds to more than just the cost of your home. Homes with thoughtful use of space give you less to maintain, leaving more time to spend with your family and loved ones.
Building an eco-friendly home means actively thinking about how each space will be used and will contribute to the comfort of you and your family. And with thoughtful use of space, you’ll be less inclined to accumulate clutter. For example, extravagant foyers are a trend of the past. Eco-friendly houses embrace useful and space-saving mudrooms and simple entryways that utilize their space for function rather than wow factor. Check out this attic renovation by Tom Bassett-Dilley Architects that transformed a drafty, unused space into a cozy living area.
Lastly, you can use the added outdoor space to connect with nature. Create an outdoor living space, plant a garden, install a playground for your children - opportunities you wouldn’t have if that space was taken up by unused indoor living areas.
Building with Natural Materials
An eco-friendly home uses fewer natural resources: fewer trees cut down, less earth bulldozed, less fossil fuels burned, and less steel mined. Choosing quality over quantity is a driving factor in green home building. BrightLeaf uses materials that build your home on a foundation of health with natural materials and energy-efficient planning. From insulated foundations that increase comfort and prevent mold to Cellulose attic insulation made from 90% recycled content, the building materials we choose are designed to maximize efficiency and increase your quality of living. You can learn more about the science behind a BrightLeaf home here.
Building with Durability and Sustainability
We believe that homes should be built not just for looks, but with thoughtful consideration for the years to come - a mindset that is built to last. Each decision - every appliance, the placement of windows, even the textures and finishes in your home - should be made with an eye looking toward the years you will spend living in and enjoying your home.
The surfaces that cover your home shouldn’t require replacement every few years. They should be pleasing to the eye, but also withstand whatever the climate might throw at it and stay strong. Eco homes are built to conserve, but also to stand the tests of time.
Connecting with Nature Through Design
Poorly designed homes can make their inhabitants feel isolated from the outside world. Some studies even connect societal and psychological problems like obesity, ADHD, autism, a decline in creativity - even climate change - to a lack of environmental connection.
Eco-friendly ideas for your home include natural materials, patterns, and textures to engage our senses and connect us with our environment. Sustainable design decisions like patterns, colors, and textures do more than just please your eye, they can give you a feeling of connection and comfort instead of confinement. In our ecological home series, we do this though natural lighting, minimal finishes, and natural materials to create feelings of harmony with nature.
It’s also important to have an indoor-outdoor connection in your home. Eco homes utilize garden spaces or water features, attentive use of light (natural and artificial), outdoor views, skylights, porches and much more. All with the goal of connecting the indoors with the outside world.
Measurable Improvements on Your Health
We spend a lot of time indoors. The layout of our homes have a definite impact on our lives - and our health. Modern eco-friendly house plans make the best use of your space, and the health benefits are all but immeasurable. An energy-efficient ventilation system limits indoor contaminates, reducing chronic respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular issues, and some infections. Studies have also found that a well-ventilated home improves air qualities to points that actually lower risks of some cancers caused by VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) like mold and mildew.
In an eco home, any possible contaminants in your home are properly disposed of, and superior insulation and sealing techniques retains heating and cooling measures, keeping your home comfortable year-round.
Loving a Home that Loves You Back
SmartcitiesDive states in an article, “The environment appears distant because we designed it as such.” We’ve touched on a few improvements you’ll see when designing an eco home, but perhaps the most important is the improvements you’ll feel in your overall happiness. Building a sustainable home means you should be happy to go home every day.
There are multiple articles that are researching the overconsumption traits of older home building techniques leaves home owners feeling unsatisfied. More doesn’t always mean better, it simply means… more. And eco home connects you with your environment, your family, and gives you a feeling of living in a home, not just a big house.
Exposure to natural light is major beneficial aspect for both physical and psychological health. It can cut down on depression and anxiety, and help people feel calmer, healthier, and more productive. Sunrooms and skylights are wonderful, but simple yet thoughtful placement of windows can elevate the quality of light in your home and give you natural views of the environment. Especially in the winter months, this simple adjustment gives homeowners a real connection to the outside world and can truly improve your quality of life.
Eco homes are changing more than just the way we think about home building; We’re rethinking how we connect with our neighborhood and our environment. In partnership with Tom Bassett-Dilley Architects, we share a desire to connect homes - and their inhabitants - with the outside world using cutting-edge technology and natural building practices. If you’re interested in connecting with us about eco home construction, learn more about each of the designs in our EcoLogical Home Series from Tom Bassett-Dilley Architects and BrightLeaf.