It is a given that eco homes come with a host of advantages. Over time, the concept of eco housing is catching on to more and more people. It is no longer a fad, but a true alternative form of energy efficient and eco-friendly houses. The prices of green housing materials is going down, and people are becoming aware of the amount of resources that conventional buildings consume. However, there are a few disadvantages too. Read on to find out more.
The pros of eco-housing
Firstly, most people think that eco homes cost a lot of money to build. However very few factor in the enormous amounts of savings that it creates during its entire lifetime. While the materials and installation might cost a slightly higher amount, they save so much energy over its lifetime that the eco houses return over ten times the original investment.
One of the biggest advantages of eco housing is energy efficiency. It lowers the rate of both operating as well as embodied consumption of energy. For example, wooden houses have lesser embodied energy as compared to houses which are constructed of brick or steel. In eco houses, extra-insulation, optimised windows, other forms of green home decor and solar designs are used to keep energy costs down. Wind and hydel power is also used. Reducing water consumption is another pro. It is reduced through recycling rain water, special water-saving shower heads, low flush toilets, etc.
Eco houses are built using environmentally friendly materials like wood, bamboo, straw, recycled materials, metals, hemp, sheep wool,. Etc. There are many eco friendly home decor items available too.
Green houses are relatively low maintenance as compared to conventional buildings. These don’t require frequent paint jobs and last longer since they were built using natural materials. Since their energy costs are highly reduced, they are regarded as high value properties.
The cons of eco-housing
There are no specific ways in which air cooling can be done inside eco houses. The only modifying factor is natural ventilation. Thus the indoor temperature cannot be regulated efficiently. The location of the eco house will affect its features. For example, use of natural light will depend on its structure. The natural components of the environment around the area, like humidity will influence the eco house. Locating the eco-friendly materials needed for the housing is difficult. They are more easily found in the cities than in the villages. Many of these eco friendly materials are not even available in the US, so you might have to pay steep transport costs to get them shipped. It takes more time to build an eco home as compared to an ordinary house. Inability to find the required materials also causes delay. Green houses require certain structural features, specialised installations, etc. All these can be elaborate and time consuming.
Building a green roof requires many layers including a vegetation layer, waterproof membrane, support, draining, etc. These green roofs are heavier than ordinary roofs. Roof strength has to be enhanced in order to build a green roof. While green houses are environmentally friendly, they are also required to be heavily sealed from the outside world. This can cause forms of pollution inside the house, leading to health hazards. Finally if you have decided to go for green housing, make sure you are in touch with a professionally equipped team of architects who have a solid reputation. At the end of the day, the eco home should be worth all the time, effort and money that you put into it.
About the author
Jean Ray is an environmental activist and a freelance blogger. She has written extensively on eco friendly home decor. Jean loves gardening in her free time.