“What is the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on.” These words of poet Henry David Thoreau echo the importance of loving and taking good care of our home planet.
Sharing the vision of creating an environment-friendly society, Lamudi Philippines (www.lamudi.com.ph) lists down notable green home architecture and sustainable home building trends as guide to start the green building initiative for future homebuilders.
1) The Archival Eco House in Cebu, tops the list of distinguished eco-friendly homes in the Philippines. It is integrated with sustainable features such as bio-gas, solar energy system, and wind turbines that power the house to operate on its own without the need to subscribe to a commercial electric utility supplier. Designed by Engineer Nestor Archival, the Eco House serves as a model to alternative green living.
2) EcoKubo in Rizal and Quezon City follows the social, environmental and economic elements of sustainable development while maintaining the Philippines’ design culture. The EcoKubo is a fusion of the sustainable design principles of the “bahay kubo” or traditional Filipino nipa hut, and green building techniques of modern architecture.
This three-bedroom residential project that was started in 2008 through the initiative of Nestor Arabejo will use eco-friendly methods such as composting toilet, rainwater harvesting, biological waste-water treatment, and passive solar design. Half of the site was also devoted to local bio-diversity and open spaces. Local construction materials, such as bamboo, were also used in the building.
But some sustainable facilities, such as wind turbines or bio-gas, may be a tad too complex for ordinary homes. Hence, Lamudi has listed some simple eco-friendly ideas that can be applied to average Filipino households in an effort to make baby steps toward an eco-friendly lifestyle. More than the green routine, you can also enjoy other benefits such as better indoor-air quality, healthy surroundings for the family, and flexibility in design and materials:
A. Roof Water Catchments
A basin can be installed in the roof and rain pipes to gather rainfall. The water collected can be used to water the plants, flush the toilets, or clean cars and other parts of the house. You are taking care of the environment while trimming down your water bill. Make sure, though, that any form of water-catchment basins are sealed to prevent mosquito infestation.
B. DIY Recyclables
Your old things that are going down to trash can have new uses. Unleash your creative juices and start a hobby of turning your unwanted stuff, such as old tarpaulin banners, into new materials or an innovative furniture.
C. Biodegradable Lighting System
Already gaining global attention is the solar bottle bulb especially in the country’s electricity-deprived areas. A transparent bottle filled with water and some bleach, installed in a home’s roof, can provide light equivalent to that given off by a 55-watt bulb. A brainchild of Illac Diaz’s “Liter of Light” foundation, this global project aims to help underprivileged communities worldwide.
D. Use Sustainable Construction Materials
The UK’s building regulation standards recommend some of the best construction materials best for green building. PVC is great for roofs as it can reflect 90 percent of the sun’s heat, while the walls can use concrete with polystyrene (Styrofoam) fillings. They are lightweight and thinner, but more durable and provide an effective barrier to outside heat and noise compared to hollow blocks and concrete.
E. Set up an Effective Waste Management System
Proper waste segregation and disposal is an integral part of going green. Come up with a plan that will work well in your home and in the community you belong. As waste management requires discipline, make sure to communicate the disposal strategy to the rest of the family so everyone can follow. In fact, some Philippine municipalities and cities have already imposed strict solid waste segregation guidelines; rubbish of homes that are not properly segregated will not be collected, which instills discipline among Filipino homeowners.