Several years ago we designed a passive solar house in Boulder, Colorado. The passive methods that we employed, a south-facing Trombe wall and a solar greenhouse, provide 75% of the heating required in a severe climate. Appropriate passive strategies are simple – no moving parts, nothing to break – but of course have to be carefully considered as appropriate in the given climate.
Collecting rain water for your garden, or more simply, re-using water from your shower and your laundry to water plants are simple and wonderful ways of conserving valuable resources.
Will you consider innovation in your home design?
Every house we design these days makes provision for photovoltaic panels on the roofs. There are subsidies and rebates that make pv panels quite attractive financially and a great strategy for producing and conserving electrical power.
Would you like to see your electric meter run backwards as your house produces more than sufficient power for your needs?
Building materials with long lives may have greater upfront cost but long-term savings and reduced environmental impact can be achieved. Renewable materials or recycled materials also offer potential environmental advantages.
Will you pay a premium for materials that offer an environmental advantage?