Built to Last, But at What Cost?

How to build a sustainable home
Built to Last, But at What Cost?
Built to Last, But at What Cost?

Rising fuel costs and increased awareness of society’s environmental impacts have many homeowners looking to leverage sustainable building materials to reduce the amount of energy used to heat and cool their houses.

If you’re starting construction on the home of your dreams, consider the benefits of building with sustainability and energy efficiency in mind.

Here are a few tips to follow before beginning to build your sustainable dream home.

Create a reasonable (and flexible) budget

As the first step for any new build, creating a budget that fits your means is critical. Remember, new construction is often a fluid process, meaning you may need to cut back in certain areas to balance out unforeseen costs or desires to go above and beyond on amenities that are important to you.

Hire the right construction professionals

Even if you consider yourself handy or a DIY pro, new construction isn’t a project to go at alone. Do your research on local professionals like architects, contractors and others who are experienced in sustainable construction. Friends, family and neighbors can read reviews online to gather options before requesting bids or signing contracts.

Start with a sustainable foundation

Constructing a sustainable home starts with the foundation. A longer lasting home can begin with strong building materials like insulated concrete forms (ICFs), such as those from Nudura—this provides superior energy efficiency, sound-proofing and lower utility costs versus traditional wood-frame construction.

Dual-insulated ICF walls with a concrete core provide high R-values (a measure of insulation's ability to resist heat traveling through it) and thermal mass, as well as disaster-resilient structural support from the foundation to the roof.

Select eco-friendly materials

While installing energy-efficient appliances and high-quality windows and doors are obvious examples of eco-friendly materials, there are other solutions to help you go green in your new home.

Consider options like countertops made from recycled glass or reclaimed bricks for fireplaces and accent pieces.

Power your home with renewable energy

If it’s within your budget, you can take your new home to the next level by powering it with renewable energy like solar or wind. Typically installed on the roof, solar panels harness the sun’s rays and convert that energy to power your home.

You may save money in the long-run on electricity bills.

Prepare for the unexpected

Project delays, fluctuating costs and more can turn building a new house into an unpredictable process. Don’t let potential surprises deter you—just be prepared for the unexpected.

In fact, unanticipated circumstances can sometimes be a good thing, like building materials dropping in price, a new product hitting the market or those flashy eco-friendly appliances going on sale this time of year.

Learn more about sustainable building at nudura.com/sustainable-design.

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