The drive for better living standards is inherited in every person. Across the globe, people allocate budgets for improving their dwellings and to experience a healthy, and comfortable lifestyle. People in compliance with the new trends also update their modes of living so that they do not miss on experiencing a new aspect of comfort and quality living. In this backdrop, the concept of ‘green home renovation’ or ‘green home remodelling’ is gaining momentum which is about remodelling houses in a manner which is following sustainable development. Similarly, the idea of green home renovation is also an extension of achieving Goal 11 of Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) which is related to Sustainable Cities and Communities.
What is ‘Green Home Renovation’?
The way we live defines us and our surroundings, the current patterns and statistics show that our lifestyles are missing an important aspect of resource efficiency, and environment-friendly practices which may not seem significant at this moment but will have serious consequences shortly. The earlier statement can be highlighted by the fact that the housing sector consumes 40pc of the earth’s total resources.
In this backdrop, the concept of green home renovation is an effort at the micro-level to revamp the existing homes in such a manner that they promote efficiency, eradicate the practices that harm the climate, and incorporate new measures which have a positive impact on health and neighbourhoods. Therefore, the concept of ‘Green home renovation’ pertains to introducing new changes to the existing homes which promote resource efficiency, improve the indoor air quality, and also relates to introducing green construction materials.
The benefits of green home renovation are multi-faceted ranging from better management of finances to ecological advantages. Moreover, the advantages of green home renovation also have a positive impact on the health of residents since the concept is about introducing new concepts which can either relate to the improvement of air quality along with eradicating biological contaminants. In a broader sense, the idea is also a precursor to the development of sustainable communities whose features include a healthy environment and good quality of living for all. Sustainable communities refer to the concept of developing a cycle in which the social, economic development of the community is at the forefront while also keeping in mind the environmental aspect.
Following are the different ways in which green home renovation can be done.
Using recycled materials
Conservation of natural resources is at the core of green home renovation and it has been observed that people while renovating their homes tend to demolish the structures and rebuild the homes from the beginning. In such a scenario most of the waste is sent to landfills which becomes a major reason behind land pollution. There are various techniques for salvaging or recycling construction materials that can be reused for revamping the homes.
There are various recycled materials present in the market which can conserve the usage of natural resources for example flying ash bricks are replacing the traditional bricks in the construction process. These bricks are sustainable and have a very low impact on the environment. Similarly, reclaimed lumber can also be used inside homes in the form of furniture, and also for strengthening structures of homes.
Focus on appliances
People tend to pay a minimal focus on the appliances while renovating their homes. Under the umbrella of green home renovation, energy-efficient appliances have an important place. Since most of the energy consumed by homes is dependent on the energy produced by fossil fuels, therefore, home appliances indirectly become a major source of energy consumption and also an increasing carbon footprint. Similarly, energy-efficient appliances responsible for heating and cooling also consume high energy thus, they should also be managed efficiently or either be connected with renewable energy sources. It is estimated that lighting contributes to the 4pc of total energy consumption in homes, focus on Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) under green home renovation can ensure energy-saving and also reduced utility bills.
Another important aspect of green home renovation is revamping indoors. Kitchens if not maintained properly can prove to be a hotspot of various diseases moreover, it can overshadow the beauty of the homes. Some common features that pertain to the renovation of the kitchen include power-saving or energy-efficient appliances similarly, water-saving measures are also a major part of green home renovation. Various homes have installed water treatment plants inside homes which recycles the water for future use. Furthermore, rainwater collection systems can also be made part of the green home renovation.
As mentioned earlier, the housing industry is one of the major sources that contribute to the carbon footprint. As a result, urban centres experience high temperatures and other contaminants that hamper the environment of cities. Hence on a household level, the installation of renewable energy sources in the form of solar panels can make a positive contribution to society as a whole.
Improving Indoor Air Quality
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and health have a direct relationship with each other. Most of the time, the aspect of IAQ is neglected which can pose serious issues for respiration. Therefore, under green home renovation, measures about improving indoor air quality are at the core which can be either through plant-based indoor air purification, by installing air purifiers, or by channelising the outdoor air using a proper ventilation system. Another aspect that can improve the IAQ is by using environment-friendly materials in the buildings.