Here in Denver, we love sustainable buildings and eco-friendly home design. We’re all about office buildings that filter the air and solar panels that turn endless sunshine into free electricity. Coloradans are well-known for their passion for both smart architecture and green initiatives. So it should come as no surprise to find that Denver homeowners are leading the pack in creative and ecologically conscious design.
Eco-friendly home design is all about reducing your carbon footprint and impact on the environment – both during the construction and in the many years of enjoying your renovation or new home design after it is built. Today, we’re spotlighting eight of the hottest eco-friendly home design trends that are sweeping the nation. Catch these amazing trends with your next home remodel or new home design.
1) Reclaimed Wood Floors and Panels
Reclaimed wood is our favorite new eco-friendly trend for both new constructions and home renovations. What is reclaimed wood? It’s wood used once in floors, wall panels, and cabinetry in buildings that have been torn down (or removed from previous renovations). While the previous buildings may have been structurally unsound or slated for replacement, the wood in their design is still beautiful and of high quality.
Reclaimed wood saves trees and gives your home project a unique history. When someone asks about your beautiful new wood floor, there’s a whole historical building worth of story to tell.
2) Fast-Regrowing Hardwoods
Another great way to save the forests is to only buy fast-growing hardwoods for new wood materials. Bamboo and genetically engineered Lyptus trees grow fast enough that logging companies can plant the same field over and over instead of clear-cutting more land or older trees. When you build from bamboo, lyptus, and other fast-growing trees, you save forests with living ecosystems from being cut down.
3) Stone Remnant Design
When you design a new countertop from a large stone slab, what’s left after the counter is cut is called a stone remnant. These can actually be quite large pieces, some are large enough for a small bathroom countertop or a mantelpiece while others are small enough to make a mosaic from. Using stone remint reduces demand for fresh slabs and keeps these highly valuable marble and granite stone pieces from becoming gravel or filling landfills.
4) Locally Sourced Building Materials
Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to minimize the shipping needed when your building materials are ordered. Order local wood, stone, tile, and hardware that is available nearby so that your local construction doesn’t involve globe-crossing fossil fuels.
5) Refinishing Instead of Rebuilding
If you want to minimize your need for new materials, try refinishing instead of rebuilding. Those kitchen cabinets can be refinished to a whole new look and you can replace the cabinet doors without tearing out and rebuilding all your cabinets. Take another look at your remodeling plans and try to reimagine your existing fixtures with new finishes instead of a full-blown replacement.
6) Recycled Insulation Filler
Insulation doesn’t have to be pretty, so it can easily be made from recycled materials! There are tons of recyclable materials and ways to reuse paper and plastic that have great insulation ratings. You can get moisture-resistant insulation, heavy-duty winter insulation, and improve your between-space airflow for better home energy efficiency with recycled insulation upgrades.
7) Energy Star Rated Appliances, Doors, and Windows
Everyone knows that energy star appliances are eco-friendly, but we don’t always remember to fully energy-save our home design. From sealing the doors and windows to upgrading your attic ventilation to choosing the right appliances, Denver homeowners are perfecting our methods to make a truly cozy, energy-efficient home design that is cool in the summer and oh-so-warm in the winter.
8) Landscaping with Local Plantlife
Last but not least, prioritize plants that love Colorado! Why spend tons of water and care on thirsty plants that freeze too easily. Colorado has a hearty climate, but we also have a beautiful ecosystem! There are some stunning local choices of bush, tree, and grass that thrive in Denver yards and don’ need tons of special care or extra water. From cool desert-style landscaping to lush steppe brush, your yard can be beautiful without being thirsty or delicate.
Join us in embracing these cool green home design trends and revel in a beautiful home that is also good for the environment. Help yourself and our earth by going green and making eco-friendly changes to your home