Eco Homes

There is an urgent need for eco homes in this era of deteriorating environmental conditions and dwindling natural resources. Without compromising on comfort and security, we need homes that are as good to live in as they are for the environment.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. - Native American Proverb

Eco Life

The planet green and the world we inhabit in it are changing rapidly due to our activities. With materialistic over-indulgence and ever-growing needs, we have been tempering with nature for centuries. Now there is a need to adapt our lifestyle to compensate for all the harm done to the environment.

The world is now realizing that the destructive patterns of most industries are unsustainable. The processes used are linear and not clean - they take the earth's natural resources and use large amounts of energy to make products, including homes. It produces waste, in the process, that can be so dangerous as to render unusable other potential natural resources.

At the dawn of a new thinking and approach, clean production methods are being employed that copy earth's organic processes. These are cyclical, using renewable resources that are organically generated. Most waste goes toward regeneration of new products.

Agreed that it is challenging to make changes in our existing life and adopt an eco lifestyle. But using creativity and out of box thinking we can find great ways to live a balanced life which satisfies our needs and desires and is in harmony with nature.

Eco Homes Design

In present day society, to construct a home and meet its demands for creating comfortable environments, causes severe depletion of invaluable natural resources.

Eco homes design takes into account the environmental impact of the built environment and the materials used in it. The aim is to reduce the amount of resources they consume, making them sustainable, in harmony with the site and the surroundings and making best use of natural resources.

Through sensitive and skillful design any negative impact on the environment is eliminated. Good design must be beautiful, functional and energy-efficient.

While planning it is vital to understand how eco homes work, which building materials to use while constructing, how to create interiors complying with eco principles, which products and appliances to use and know the importance of recycling.

You need to consider certain principles while designing eco homes. Please see environmentally friendly houses for in-depth information on eco design principles and other relevant details.

Designing a house with passive energy techniques is the first step. The passive house makes the best use of natural resources available and takes a low-energy approach to create comfortable and energy efficient homes.

Eco homes can be constructed by adopting an integrated approach combining principles of environmentally friendly houses with energy efficient homes design.

Please visit the following pages for detailed information on the related topics -

Energy Efficient Homes

Homes, as they are constructed and used today, consume a lot of energy and other resources contributing to serious environmental problems.

Modern homes consume energy in several ways in different phases starting from manufacturing of building materials, transporting them, construction, running of the house and finally its demolition.

To achieve energy efficiency and draw green home plans, we need to first understand in detail different aspects of energy use in a home.

Major usage of energy, in a home, is through the following elements -

  • Lighting
  • Water
  • Heating
  • Ventilation
  • Air-conditioning
  • Appliances

All these aspects of energy use are explained in great detail in the energy efficient homes page.

Windows play an important role in making a house energy efficient. Installing energy efficient windows insulates and retains the heat in the home, minimizing mechanical heating and cooling requirements.

Eco Interiors

The importance of interior elements like furniture, furnishings and decorations in eco homes is as much as the planning, design and building materials used in their construction.

Every object used in making and furnishing our homes has an impact on the environment.

Most of the items used to furnish and decorate our homes undergo a wide range of processes in their manufacture. These include coloring, dyeing, printing, treating, washing and packaging. We need to consider these issues while choosing items for our home interiors.

Our homes are filled with potential dangers from a wide range of unsuspected sources like paints with chemicals, carpet glues, treated fabrics, plywood containing dangerous glues, vinyl flooring, foam furniture, plastics etc. with chemicals, cleaning materials, pesticides etc.

It is crucial to be aware of all these issues while making eco homes. Plan an interior which uses eco furniture, fabrics, furnishings and eco friendly products and materials.

Eco Materials

Understanding eco materials - what the options are, how they are made and how to use them - is key to creating eco homes that are functional, beautiful and environmentally friendly.

When discussing eco friendly products, we need to be aware of some key terms like -

  • Embodied Energy - It is the energy taken to extract, manufacture, transport and fit a material to the point of its intended use.
  • Indoor Air Quality - This evaluates the impact that materials have on indoor air and therefore on our health.
  • Life Cycle Analysis - It takes into account the whole life cost of a material from production, through usage, and finally disposal.
  • Cradle-To-Cradle - These are those materials produced in a sustainable manner, used efficiently and then recycled easily at the end of its useful life, ready to become a raw material for another use, instead of being dumped.

The focus of natural eco homes is beautiful, natural materials. It is crucial not to use materials containing harmful substances not good for our health and for the environment.

Eco homes use eco friendly products and materials in all elements of its construction and usage like walls, floors, surfaces, furniture, fabrics and furnishings, lighting etc.

Recycling

The manufacture of new building materials and the cost of transporting them contributes to carbon dioxide emissions. It takes its toll on the natural world. It is better to look afresh at what we already have, to repair and adapt these to our present needs and desires.

At its most basic, recycling means taking items that might otherwise have been regarded as waste and reusing them in the pursuit of making eco homes.

These days many manufacturers are coming up with innovative materials and surfaces using recycled elements. Creating modern designs using recycled surfaces will give immense freedom. Also you will be safe in the knowledge that they contain natural elements.

It is important to note that advanced planning is essential and you need to be adaptable for using recycled materials.

Recycling is not just limited to building materials, surfaces, fittings and furniture. You can create inventive home accessories using recycled items. Examine everything before you throw it out. Maybe something useful or decorative can be made out of it.


It is worthwhile to look at the bigger picture, consider the long term implication of our actions and take a level of social responsibility for those.

Adapting our lifestyle to conform to the changing needs of the society and the environment provides an opportunity to fulfill that responsibility.



Go to Home Page from Eco Homes hub page Eco Homes


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Sushil Wadhwa

Sushil Wadhwa
Architect, Interior Designer, creator of Homes and Interiors... more.