Eco-friendly practice is the next big thing in construction – and for good reason. Scientists suggest that we only have the next 12 years to turn around our climate change issues before they become irreversible, so many homeowners turn to sustainable renovation to take part in turning their homes into eco-friendly ones.
Eco-friendly renovations are suitable for all types of housing in Singapore, including landed properties and apartment complexes. However, you may need to check with your local housing association for the proper permits and legal requirements before you renovate.
Here are 6 eco-friendly home renovation ideas that will turn your abode into a green home, saving the environment and improving your quality of life at the same time!
1. Install Solar Panels
Solar panels are the basic, but essential, additions that you can renovate into your home to make it more sustainable and eco-friendly. If you live in an area that has a lot of natural sunlight throughout the day, then you may benefit from harnessing solar energy to power your home. Solar panels cut down on electrical energy consumption, and keep your home functional.
Alternatively, areas without ample sunlight can harness energy from other sources such as wind and water. Depending on the most efficient system in your area, you may need to contact a local contractor to discuss how to go about installing alternative energy systems in your home.
2. Keep an Indoor Garden
Homeowners with a green thumb can immerse themselves in an indoor garden of their own care and maintenance. An indoor garden is not only aesthetically pleasing, it is also helpful in purifying the air quality in the home. Air purifying plants, like the low maintenance pothos varieties, help filter out the CO2 in the air, as well as a few pollutants.
There are trendy indoor gardens now that make use of a wall for a vertical type of garden that serves as both a garden and a wall design. However, if you’re looking for something a little more low maintenance and impermanent, you can create a space for a horizontal garden instead with a little renovation to help integrate nature into your home.
3. Get Breeze Block Partitions
Breezeblocks were a hit decades ago for their lace-like design as well as their capacity to allow air to flow through partitions and walls made from the breeze blocks. Over the years, breeze blocks fell out of fashion in the construction and design industry as the new trends of solid and glass partitions heightened.
In recent years, however, breeze blocks are making a return as homes become more eco-friendly. Breezeblocks lessen the need for air circulation systems that may require more electricity, and allow ample airflow to circulate around the house unhindered by partitions. Modern breeze blocks have been built to concentrate cool air into the home as well.
4. Use Reclaimed and Sustainable Materials
Sometimes, the renovation isn’t what needs to be changed but the materials used in the construction project can be made sustainable depending on the source of the materials used. Reclaimed materials, like wood planks and steel frames, can be used to accent and support renovations in your home in an upcycling way.
Sustainable materials, like bamboo and cork, replenish easily and can be used in a plethora of designs. By using bamboo instead of wood, you decrease the number of trees that need to be cut down and instead rely on bamboo that has a surprisingly fast growth rate compared to other plants. The texture is similar to the real thing too!
5. Insulate for the Weather
Whether you live in hot weather or cold climates, weather plays a huge part in why we need the protection of our homes. Shelter is one of the most basic needs and is what separates us from the harsh elements of nature.
Insulate your home for the weather to minimize your use of air conditioning during hot days, and heaters during winter months. Insulation is typically done around the walls and in the roof and can shield you from the extreme temperatures outside.
6. Install Smart Home Assistants
Finally, smart home assistants may seem like the opposite of nature, but they are made sustainable when they are installed with eco-saving systems. Installing a smart home assistant to help you keep track of your energy consumption, water consumption, and to optimize your ecological footprint is a good way to make your home environmentally friendly.
Smart home assistants also help reduce the instances where you forget to shut off devices and appliances by setting a timer for these items and can send you reports on how to minimize your carbon footprint through proper waste management reminders, optimizing home functions, and going on energy-saving mode to save power.
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