Green remodelling is a sustainable way to get the new look you want while reducing your impact on the environment. It can also save you money on the remodelling project and on energy usage, while also being good for the economy.
Eco remodelling includes lots of different aspects, from what you change about your current house to the materials you choose.
Before you start tackling your renovation wish list, here are some ideas to inspire your green home renovation.
Work With a Green Builder
Working with a team that shares your commitment to the environment will help make it easier to get the green home you’ve been dreaming of. They’ll be able to provide valuable insights on which products to buy and which factors will have the biggest environmental impact.
You’ll need to do the same research you would for a traditional remodel. Read reviews, ask to see portfolios and gather quotes. Above all, make sure you get your questions answered and feel comfortable before bringing anyone on board.
Some questions you may want to ask:
- Is the plumbing designed to conserve water?
- What heat-saving options do they offer? For example, do they use triple pane windows, heat-exchange systems, fireplaces, etc.
- Do they use locally sourced materials to cut shipping costs & reduce carbon emissions?
- Do they use low VOC paints?
- Do they recycle waste from the renovation project?
Invest in Energy-Efficient Items
If it’s within your budget, try to include green systems and materials into your renovation plans. These items may come with a larger upfront investment, but have the biggest impact over time by reducing your carbon footprint and your energy bills. They’re friendly to the environment and your wallet.
Some options worth considering:
Buy energy-efficient appliances: This list of high energy efficiency products may help you find the right energy-efficient appliance for your needs. Your builder will be able to recommend and source energy-efficient products for your renovation.
Add insulation: A well-insulated home provides year-round comfort, cutting cooling and heating bills by up to half.
Install solar panels: Solar panels installed on your roof are designed to provide power to all the electric devices in your home. If your solar panels generate more energy than your home uses, the excess is sent back to the energy grid and earns you credit.
Choose energy-efficient windows: Window technology has come a long way. Properly installed, energy-efficient windows can increase air-tightness, plus reduce energy loss and road noise.
Install “smart” thermostats: A “smart” thermostat learns the temperature you like and establishes a schedule that automatically adjusts to energy-saving temperatures when you are asleep or away. It also helps you track and manage your energy use over time.
Consider water-saving plumbing: In your bathroom remodel, low-flow showers and sink faucets, plus water-saving toilets, reduce your water usage without sacrificing water pressure or comfortable use.
Make Use of Nature
The natural environment can help make your home greener and cheaper to run. When you design your renovation around nature and the local climate, you get a home that naturally maintains a comfortable temperature range, makes the best use of sunlight, shade and natural ventilation throughout the seasons.
Essentially, it reduces the home’s reliance on heating or air conditioning and lowers your energy costs.
Many Calgarians underestimate the amount of heat that can be retained in their homes because of the abundance of sunlight our city gets. We can provide options that maximize the use of our city’s sunshine.
Install Energy-Efficient Items
When you use new materials, choose the most sustainable and eco-friendly options. For example, you might choose bamboo flooring instead of hardwood since bamboo is more sustainable and faster growing than hardwood species.
If you use wood, look for products made from sustainably harvested wood. For other items, look for materials made with recycled content. Examples include drywall with recycled content and countertops made from recycled glass.
Local products are also a more eco-friendly choice than imported items. The shorter the distance that the materials have to travel, the lower the emissions from transportation. If you bring in materials from across the country or around the world, it requires a lot more transportation and creates a lot more pollution.
Choose Low VOC Paint
Remodelling supplies are often full of chemicals. Paint and other finishing products are often full of VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, that enter the air as the paint dries.
These VOCs are used to help make paint easier to spread as well as more durable, but often negatively impact people living in the home. Being around VOCs can cause eye and lung irritation, nausea and headaches.
These problems can be avoided or at least minimised by requesting low or zero VOC paints. These paints usually emit less odours, plus offer faster drying times and non-yellowing properties.
Reduce Building Waste
It’s been said that up to 40 per cent of all waste comes from building sites. That’s one of the reasons why we at Kurmak Builders have put so much effort into reducing our contribution to that waste. It saves the environment (and your dollars) to minimise the waste coming from your renovation in some of the following ways:
Recycle material that you cannot use. Ensure your builders separate and recycle all waste coming from the renovation including masonry, concrete, wood and metals. We make sure that 75 percent of waste is recycled properly by a local recycling company.
Re-use existing building materials in the renovation, such as reclaimed wood or recycled glass.
Donating your old appliances and cabinetry to Habitat for Humanity is another option we are proud to offer our homeowners. Not only are you helping people in need, but you are also choosing to reduce a ton of unnecessary waste.
Instead of buying the cheapest materials, invest in quality, durable materials. Better-quality items last longer, which means they won’t end up in the landfill quickly. Getting more life out of items also saves you money because you won’t have to renovate again anytime soon.
A timeless look is also important when thinking long-term with your design. If you choose finishes that are trendy, they may go out of style quickly. Even if they’re in good shape, you’ll likely want to replace them for something that’s more in style.
We’d Love to Help With Your Green Remodelling Needs
Green remodelling can be a great way to decrease your carbon footprint while doing a renovation. Even small eco-friendly remodelling choices protect the environment and your wallet. If you work with a good builder (like us), then they will take a lot of the stress and guesswork out of the process for you.
Are you in Calgary and want to an eco-friendly renovation? Check out our custom home renovation services. We help build on your vision to make it the best possible result. At the end of the project, we want you to say: “I knew what I wanted but it turned out so much better than expected.”