Techniques to Build a Small, Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Home

A small, sustainable home design incorporates techniques based on six established sustainable principles to enhance energy efficiency, durability, and overall indoor environmental quality (IEQ). Such a home will also save you money on monthly bills, maintenance, repairs, and potential replacements of building systems compared to traditional construction methods. Additionally, a sustainable home helps preserve our natural resources and ensures a safe environment for future generations. According to a recent study, new sustainable-green construction projects are predicted to increase by 47 percent by 2021, nearly doubling the rate from 2018.

According to Fox Blocks, sustainable home construction strives to ensure a continuation of our current quality of life by reducing the use of natural resources (energy, water, minerals, land, etc.), protecting the ecosystems from facilities and infrastructure throughout their life span, and creating healthy, comfortable, and safe indoor environments — all of which provide financial, environmental, and social benefits.

Sustainable-green construction first gained ground in the 1970s due to growing environmental concerns and increasing oil prices. However, a formal acknowledgment of sustainable construction practices did not occur until the 1990s, with the launching of the ENERGY STAR program (1992), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) (1993), the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) pilot program (1998). Today, the definition of sustainable building design continues to evolve, however, six fundamental ecological principles of sustainability persist: optimize site potential, energy, water, and material efficiency, good IEQ, and durability.

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