Building A New Home? How To Make It Sustainable

Thinking about sustainability has taken on more urgency than ever before. Things are happening far faster than computer models predicted as far as the effects of global warming go. This means that people are starting to make some drastic changes in their life. 

If you are moving to a new home, then consider having a home built for you or buying a new build. This is so that you have a more sustainable house that will allow you to have an easier time doing the right thing. Of course, if you already have a home then making it more eco-friendly goes a long way. However, in the near future, it may not be enough.

In this article, we will go over how to make sure new construction is going to be future proof for sustainability. 

Find the best area

There is a lot of talk about climate change migrants that usually focuses on third world countries. However, there is more movement being registered from the upper middle classes that are moving to areas where they can live a more sustainable life. This means that if you have a job that can travel with you then looking for the right area to build is a great way to counter the effects of climate change. 

Look for an area where there is a good amount of sunshine so you can have a passive ouse built that will work well with solar panels. Also, growing a garden is ideal and moving to an area in a good growing zone is also helpful. 

For instance, Utah is a really good place to look into as the best home builders Utah has are busy with sustainable building. Solar is great there as it gets so much sun per year. Plus, it is in the USDA growing zone 8b so it can grow a wide variety of fruit and vegetables along with a long growing season. With the right strategy, year round harvests are a possibility.

Make it passive

Sustainability means letting mother nature do the work so there are fewer resources used to heat and cool a house. Much of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are caused less by cars and more by housing to cool and heat. The trick is that the house itself can be built in such a way that it uses the environment itself to stay cool in the summer and hot in the winter. 

It starts with the position of the house to let the sun do the work. With a house facing south, it will get plenty of sunlight in the winter to heat the house. Big windows facing south will act like a greenhouse and trap the heat to warm without needing much use of a boiler or other type of heating system. In the summer, have a way to block that sunb by using the right type of shades and awnings.

The materials used to build should also be efficient so there is less demand on resources. It should allow the house to stay cool when there is not much sun. thin, brick walls for instance, are terrible since they allow the heat to enter the house. Materials used these days block the heat from entering. In the winter, the same material will keep the heat inside the house. A cool roof is a very good option as it reflects the sun’s rays away from the house rather than absorbing it.

Solar panels are also a passive way to use energy since it doesn’t require a power plant to produce energy. There are even solar water heaters that will use the sun to heat water for use in a shower or for washing up.

Geothermal heat is also a passive system though it does require some energy for fans depending on how it is done. This takes the air that is underground and brings it into the house to maintain an even year round temperature. 

Grow your own

Having a garden to grow most of your own food is going to be increasingly important in the near future as food insecurity becomes an issue. If a majority of people started growing their own vegetables, then a lot of carbion would be prevented from getting into the atmosphere. 

Industrial farming is a big polluter and shipping vegetables uses a lot of fossil fuels. By taking yourself out of that equation, there will be less getting into the atmosphere.

Making it a zero waste garden also impacts the environment in a positive way. Collect rain water in a cistern to water the garden and use permaculture principles to keep water usage to a minimum. This involves letting nature do its thing and is very gentle on resources. 

Usually, excess is grown in which case much of it can be preserved through canning, drying or fermenting. Of course, paying it forward by giving away the excess produce is a great way to contribute to the community and keep everybody around you healthy and lower their carbon footprint in the process. 

Buy energy efficient appliances

Once the building is complete and a garden planned, the last step is to buy energy efficient appliances. For instance, if you do end up living in a place like Utah, or any other mild climate, a heat pump is an incredibly efficient way to heat and cool a house. 

It uses the heat outside the house that is then compressed and used to heat water or air to heat the home. It is also used as a way to maintain a cool air temperature in the house int he summer while using very littl electricity. When connected with a solar panel system, it will essentially heat and cool the house for free and have no impact on the environment as a result. To find out more about heating and types of heat pumps – check out heat pump glossary.


Not everybody has the luxury of being able to build a house. Those that do should heed the tips above and strive to make their purchase as low impact as possible by being sustainable.

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