Carbon dioxide is one of the most dangerous greenhouse gases. It drives global warming. It also increases air pollution, which diminishes air quality and results in respiratory issues in people. These dangers make reducing emissions by any means necessary that much more important. Unfortunately, today’s construction industry accounts for 13% of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.
One way to help in the fight against climate change is through your tiny home’s construction process.
Making building operations, construction, and materials more sustainable to reduce CO2 emissions and support a healthy planet and people is the foundation of green building. And you should adopt practices under this umbrella when building your tiny home.
What is Green Building?
Green building, also known as green architecture, is the process of using sustainable practices throughout the life of a building project. This includes planning and design; construction; operations and maintenance; and how occupants use the building.
Green building practices can help you create a sustainable tiny home with little to no carbon footprint. It also reduces your exposure to harsh chemicals and environmental toxins. You can also live more green in your day-to-day with energy-efficient appliances and renewed energy sources.
Moreover, green building practices can have a positive impact on the environment because the practices used are meant to protect ecosystems, improve air and water quality, and reduce waste. Not only that, you can save money on construction and operating costs.
Paying attention to how you build and what happens with your tiny home after contributes to improving sustainability in the construction sector as well as in life, generally.
Green Building Practices to Use When Constructing Your Tiny Home
Tiny homes are growing in popularity for various reasons. For instance, you could be looking to right-size your home, by creating a space that is appropriately sized for your later stages of life and is easier to maintain.
In addition, many people are flocking to tiny homes because they’re more cost-effective. They give you more flexibility in choosing where you want to live. And they can accommodate someone looking to live more green.
So, we get it if you have your sights set on constructing a tiny home. Ensure your build is a sustainable one by incorporating these green building practices into your process.
Use eco-friendly building materials
Cement, steel, and aluminum are some of the most common construction materials. But as sturdy and efficient as they are, the making and use of these materials can produce a lot of carbon emissions.
The Global Cement and Concrete Association estimates that cement alone accounts for close to 5% of global GHG emissions. Using eco-friendly building materials can help reduce the impact your build has on the environment.
Sustainable building materials to consider include:
- Zero-VOC paints;
- Recycled wood or plastic.
The materials you use will depend on the unique functions and features you want your tiny home to have. Be sure to research the full extent of sustainability for the materials you want to use to ensure they have the effect on the environment and your tiny home that you want them to.
Incorporate renewable energy systems
The majority of households use electricity, with the average residential home in the U.S. using 10,632 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a year, which averages out to about 886 kWh per month.
The thing is electricity isn’t necessarily a renewable source of energy. It usually takes burning fossil fuels to create it. And it isn’t being replenished at a higher rate than it’s being consumed. However, there are sustainable ways to generate electricity:
- Bioenergy comes from living, organic matter;
- Solar energy uses the sun to produce electrical or thermal energy;
- Turbines powered by the wind can generate electricity;
- Geothermal energy is derived from hot water reservoirs embedded naturally in the earth.
Choosing an alternative energy source for your tiny home will keep you on a sustainable building path. You’ll also be comforted knowing you aren’t using an electricity source every day that’s hurting you and the environment.
You want to make sure you’re choosing the most appropriate renewable energy system for your tiny home. So, extensive research on the setup, expenses, and maintenance of each one you’re considering is a must.
Prioritize saving water
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average family household can waste up to 180 gallons of water per week, which is equivalent to 300 loads of laundry. Wasting water like this affects how much water we have to distribute to households, let alone ecosystems and natural habitats.
Relying on green building practices for your tiny home means prioritizing saving water. There are various options for getting water into your tiny home. Consider these sustainable options:
- Greywater system;
- Install a water tank;
- Rainwater collection system;
- Use the RV hookup method with your tank.
Take into account your location, how much maintenance you want to do, and your budget when choosing the most appropriate system for your tiny home.
Create a sustainable clean-up process
Unfortunately, there were more than 600 million tons of construction and demolition waste generated in 2018. When more recent years’ numbers are revealed by the EPA, they’ll probably be similar.
Waste is one of the worst things for our environment. It ends up in overfilled landfills, our natural habitats, and the communities we live in. Don’t be a part of the construction and demolition waste problem.
In fact, there are a variety of potential strategies to dispose of waste more sustainably, including automated processes, unique storage solutions and composting. You may want to seek out a company that is looking to integrate these methods in future projects, as this could help offset some of the environmental concerns of your tiny home build.
For example, using a company that composts construction debris means that you could potentially use the resulting soil to use in a garden. In the meantime, ensure that the leftover materials from your tiny home build are properly sorted and packed to reduce air pockets, which will ensure that it can break down more easily in a landfill.
Incorporating green building practices into your tiny home construction process will take effort and planning. However, investing in environmentally friendly practices and materials can go a long way towards saving you money while saving the planet. If you need assistance when building your tiny home, consider hiring a tiny home construction company that specializes in doing things the sustainable way.
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