The mountains of western North Carolina are a beautiful place to live. With gorgeous views and bustling towns like Asheville not far away, there’s something very appealing about living up in the peace of the mountains, without the worry of being too far away from civilization.
If you’re thinking of moving to the mountains, you might be interested in sustainable building practices that can help you achieve the mountain home of your dreams, without negatively impacting the beautiful natural spaces around you. When you’re ready to build a sustainable home on mountain land, here are four considerations to keep in mind while you draw up your plans:
Invest in Sustainable Building Materials
Sustainable building materials are more widely available these days than you’d think. To keep the environmental impact of your home small, consider investing in building materials that are recycled or reused. Composite materials are often made from reused wood particles that are pressed into a new, very durable and resilient material, making for a sturdy, recycled building product.
If you can’t find recycled products for your sustainable mountain home, it’s also good to know that many building product manufacturers are placing a higher priority on sustainable material harvesting. Choose one of those manufacturers when you can’t find recycled materials for an alternative sustainable solution.
When building a sustainable mountain home, it’s usually easier to find locally sourced building materials, too. Mountains are full of lumber, and when you choose to use building materials sourced right from your area, you’re also increasing the sustainability of your home, while reducing your carbon footprint. Local materials don’t have to be shipped or transported, so you save on the gas and fuel that would’ve been released into the environment had you chosen materials from further away.
Build Water Efficiency into your Building Plans
Water efficiency is an aspect of sustainable home building that’s often overlooked. It’s easier than you think to promote water conservation in a new home, especially up in the mountains of western NC, where we see regular rainfall and precipitation throughout the year.
One simple decision is to choose low flow toilets and shower heads that conserve the amount of water you use daily. Another water efficiency option is to install rain barrels and incorporate plumbing that reuses that rainwater and greywater throughout your mountain home. The more water you can reuse, the more sustainable your home, and the smaller your impact on the local environment.
Increasing Energy Efficiency
Today’s advanced technology is making it easier than ever to build a sustainable home on mountain land. If sustainability is your goal, choose to install Energy Star certified appliances throughout your home. Energy efficient washer/dryer combos, refrigerators, dishwashers, and even smaller appliances like toasters have come a long way. Not only will they reduce your footprint on the environment, but combined, all of those energy efficient upgrades can save you hundreds of dollars in energy bills.
Another great way to boost your energy efficiency is to install LED interior lights, which last for years and can also save you money on that electricity bill. Finally, opt for exterior lights that are motion activated. This helps ensure you’re only using those outdoor lights when you actually need them.
Take Advantage of those Beautiful Mountain Views
What’s the best thing about building a home on mountain land? The views, of course!
Take advantage of those views, and help boost your mountain home’s sustainability by putting in tons of energy efficient, double-paned windows. Skylights especially are a great, sustainable way to let in plenty of light without using up more electricity.
Your builder or architect can also help you position your home in a way that maximizes the sun’s natural energy — keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. By strategically placing plenty of energy efficient windows throughout your home, you can maximize your home’s natural heating and cooling abilities, ensuring you use less electricity and gas, boosting your home’s sustainability factor.
One final way you can take advantage of your beautiful location at the top of the mountain is to implement solar panels to help fuel your home sustainably. While solar panels aren’t right for every home, since mountain home often feature more sun exposure, they’re often great candidates for solar panels. Solar panels will help you cut down on energy bills while reducing your family’s carbon footprint.
At High Hickory, sustainability is our top priority. Each of the lots we develop and homes we build adhere to exceptional sustainability standards, and we encourage all actions of sustainability, like community gardening and backyard farming, in our community as well. Find out more about our Asheville sustainable community today — give us a call at 866-936-5263 or contact us online at your convenience.