Creating a green living area when remodeling or building anew, can feel overwhelming because “going green” is more than a philosophy. It incorporates the structure, the design, the materials, and even the way the project reacts with the sun’s path. Don’t let that deter you from having your architect help you create an eco-friendly outdoor addition. Green porches, decks, and patios can be environmentally friendly. Here are a few tips to help you move in the right direction.
Creating a green porch is about material installation and design, as well as location. If possible build a southern-facing porch that receives the sun’s rays all year long. The direct exposure helps make the area usable because the warmth can prevent inclement weather from deterring the room’s use, even snow. To save on energy consumption, request LED lighting and timers. Also, talk to your contractor about using ACQ pressure treated wood instead of those using arsenic or other toxic metals.
Building a green deck can be a creative experience for homeowners. By utilizing green materials to create the structure, decks can be environment-friendly, while still being comfortable outdoor living areas. To go completely green, opt out of a wood deck and instead request composite decking because it is made from recycled materials that never require sealing with harmful chemical compounds. If wood must be used, avoid tropical hardwoods or woods that require heavy maintenance.
A patio is an open space often surrounded by buildings and is generally considered a garden area. Patios are typically eco-friendlier than porches or decks, and much easier to build. Create natural shading with existing trees and shrubs when possible and choose natural stones or ceramics for the patio flooring. Also, ensure water runs off the patio and away from living areas by gently sloping the ground.
Whether building porches, decks, or patios, if you think going green is right for you, talk to your contractor about a design that fits your needs. You can easily create a green outdoor area your family and friends to enjoy for years to come.