Building energy-efficient homes have become the standard way of building now that we’ve all become more environmentally conscious and want a greener footprint. But energy-efficient homes are also quite a bit different than homes you may have custom-built before. Here’s what you need to consider.
Get a Designer With Experience
There’s a lot to know about how to build an energy-efficient home, and it’s confusing to try to figure it all out yourself. Many qualified designers now have experience designing “green homes” that are energy-efficient. And most builders have experience constructing homes with these new energy-efficient rules in mind — we certainly do at Bennefield Construction. We will all be happy to work with you and your budget to design the home you’ve been dreaming of while making it as energy-efficient as possible.
Pick Your Home’s Placement
If you haven’t already chosen a lot to build on yet, try to pick one that will have as much sun and light benefit as possible. And the direction you design your home on the lot counts just as much because you want the rooms with the most windows to get the most sunlight to help keep your hydro footprint in control.
Build Up & Not Out
When you build up (as in two or more floors), as opposed to a sprawling rancher style home that takes up more space, you’re practically guaranteed to have lower energy costs. Having a vertically built home means you have less exterior wall exposure, which can significantly cut down on heating and cooling costs. Your heating ducts, air, and water have less distance to travel throughout the home, meaning you can cut back on materials and see essential energy savings.
Choose Good Quality Windows
Windows can make all the difference when it comes to heating a home! You may need to spend a bit more to get good quality, energy-efficient windows — but the amount you save in the long run makes it worth it.
Pick an Energy-Efficient Roof
You may want to consider getting solar panels for your roof to not only save on building materials but also offset your monthly electrical and water costs. There are a variety of different solar-type heating systems that your designer and/or builder should be able to advise you on.
Make Sure to Insulate
Plan to put in some good quality insulation while building to control the temperature all year round. There are many different types of insulation to choose from. Still, your designer and/or builder can advise you of the best type for your home and budget.
Check for Tax Rebates
The BC government encourages new home builders to be as energy-efficient as possible by offering a variety of rebates. Check their website for more information on energy-saving and rebates from companies such as BC Hydro and Fortis BC. Your builder and designer should have some knowledge about the different types of rebates you can apply for. And you may be eligible for an additional tax break, so consult with your accountant as well.
If you have any questions about building an energy-efficient home or would like to take advantage of our free initial consultation, please contact us today.