Building a green home is becoming more important to Americans than ever. Are you considering an eco-friendly home? If so, you’re not alone.

A recent survey from AMLI found that 84% of respondents said living in a sustainable or eco-friendly building is important. The survey also revealed that 85% believe living in a sustainable home is beneficial to their health.

Builders see the importance of providing homeowners what they want. “Green building has become an established part of the residential construction landscape,” says NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, “It is no longer a niche business.” Here are some eco-friendly house ideas to consider.

1. Build a Smaller Home

The easiest way to make your home greener is to make it smaller. No matter what green methods you use, smaller homes will always have less environmental impact.

You don’t have to live in a tiny house to reap the benefits. Eco-friendly house designs include a wide range of house sizes. Think smart. Don’t make your home larger just because you can.

2. Use Recycled Materials

Recycled denim insulation uses scraps from clothing manufacturers. Total-fill insulation saves in both the long- and short-term. Recycled cotton, wood pulp, and soybean products make are less expensive and more eco-friendly than new materials.

3. Pick a Cooler Roof

A hot roof can wreck your home’s energy efficiency. It’s important to use a product that reflects the sun’s heat, cools off fast at night, and holds in less hot air. Terra cotta, white tiles, and metal roofing offer green benefits too.

A living roof is an eco-friendly option that is literally greener than the rest. Roof plants cover the surface of the roof. They catch rainwater. They filter out impurities. And they prevent contaminants from running into storm drains.

4. Install Solar Panels

The sun generates more clean, low-cost energy than humans could ever need. Harnessing clean power is one key to building a green home. With a new home, you can use solar power in a way that owners of older homes can’t.

Native solar power technology lets you take advantage of light, positioning, and geography to get the most efficiency. Situate your home so that you can better place your solar panels. And you’ll significantly impact the energy you collect.

When combined with other green building techniques, solar power can generate more energy than you need. By law, many utilities are required to buy your excess power. Government grants, tax breaks, and other incentives also make solar panels a wise investment.

5. Save Water

Many Americans know that freshwater conservation is as important as energy conservation. So they use low flow faucet aerators, tankless water heaters, and Energy Star rated washers when they build green homes.

Before homes had running water, households often collected run-off in cisterns. Collected rainwater was used to fill water features, irrigate gardens, and maintain landscapes. Water usage should be a key factor when designing environmentally friendly residential buildings.

Building a Green Home

If you want to build a new, eco-friendly home, you’re in good company. Many now use recycled materials, green roofing materials, and solar panels to build homes with a net-zero environmental impact.

In a report by the National Association of Home Builders, 29% of single-family home builders have built a net-zero home in the past two years, and 44% expect to do so in the next two years.

Discover more ideas for building a green home from NuEnergy. NuEnergy is committed to sharing easy ways to go green with eco-friendly tips, renewable energy info, and green business ideas. Check out our blog to find tips and tricks for living a green lifestyle that really work.