Often while building the home of your dreams, you forget a few aspects that can create headache in the future. Therefore, apart from your engineer and architect's suggest, you must also have a checklist that ensures that you take some steps to increase the lifecycle of your building whilst ensuring it serves a more social purpose than one of aesthetics. Here a few low cost suggestions to make your home more environmentally and socially friendly.
Leave some space: Sure space is expensive but it is also a limited resource. Don't take up all the land you are allocated. Leave a few feet as breathing space, to plant a few plants or even for a sidewalk. If everyone follows this practice or even a few people in your neighbourhood, then your entire area can look much more lively and spacious. The city is crammed as it is; why should your home be?
Size doesn't matter: Why count your status square feet when too spacious a house only adds to the stress? Plan beforehand in terms of what furniture goes in a room and what the purpose of each room is. That way you can have an idea of how much space each room has. In Bangladesh the tendency is to have 1400 sq feet at the very least regardless of how much utility can be derived from it. A small house means you can manage your utility bills better and leave less of a carbon footprint.
Lighting: Whether green really is your thing or not, when it comes to liwghting you must consider both LED and CFL bulbs. Not only are they cost effective in the long term, they also last longer. So both your electricity bills and your future costs will come down by quite a bit by having these lights than traditional bulbs and tube lights.
Rainwater harvesting: With the amount of rain we have, it is surprising no one harvests rain water. Fear of dengue, the water being dirty and a lot of other reasons are put forward. But they can all be discarded. Rain water should be harvested and it is as pure as your tap water and maybe more. Simple barrels placed in strategic locations can be used if you don't want to splurge in an automated system. This way you can slash your water bill to almost half, unless you pay a fixed amount which many of us do.
Landscaping: Provided you have the space, don't just build the biggest house possible. Think of landscaping. Landscaping isn't just about planting a few trees. It entails much more. For instance, planting trees in areas directly exposed to the sunlight can result in having a natural shade. This shade keeps the area cool in the summer and in the winter as the leaves fall it allows more sunlight to enter your house and keep it warm.
Ventilation: Plan to allow ample space for plenty of ventilation in your home. A well ventilated home is a healthy home, with less dampness meaning a lot less germs and bacteria which thrive in such conditions. It also allows air to flow naturally. When planning ventilation, think natural lights too as windows, ventilation and natural lights all go hand in hand. You will not regret it!
There you go! Follow these few tips to make your home an example worth following! Remember; showboating benefits others and has no value for your personally. Choose consciously cautious over callously careless!