Sustainable House Design
for carbon neutral kit homes

Building a kit home using sustainable house design systems is achievable with a well thought out plan and some good research. Kit homes aren't necessarily the most carbon neutral structures as manufacturers are working to a budget that is set by the market rather than aiming for a zero net energy home.

Sustainable urban living is attainable with a coordinated approach using simple green home designs, including products and home features that reduce the carbon footprint to a 'zero energy house'.

Green home designs

Roofing

Ideal roofing design can have:

  • Green roofing or 'living roofs' such as 'sod' over waterproof membranes which insulates the house
  • Reflective roofing has high solar reflectance such as zinc galvanized sheeting or 'cool roofs' which are painted white

Insulation

The best home insulation system utilises:

sustainable house designInsulation under roof
  • High insulation 'R' values
  • Attic insulation products
  • Under roof insulation such as batts
  • Cathedral ceiling insulation
  • Crawl space insulation

Cladding

Timber frame or steel frame cladding materials such as:

  • High density, rigid polystyrene providing continuous thermal insulation
  • Composite cladding such as Biowood
  • Living walls: uses permaculture solutions to create a green insulating walls
  • Straw bale houses use bales of straw, wheat, rice or oats as wall cladding
  • Rammed earth homes use raw materials such as earth, clay, lime and gravel creating high thermal mass walls.
  • Building stone houses or using stone cladding for houses significantly increases thermal mass

Green design strategies

Strategies

  • The 'equator' facing eave and window setup to receive warmth in the winter when the sun is low and shade when the sun is high in summer.
  • Orientating the house to face the equator.
  • Utilising the best home insulation products in strategic areas.
  • Using thermal mass to store excess solar energy.
Residential Solar Power
  • Designing breezeways to dissipate heat
  • Strategic windows for cross ventilation and clerestory windows to vent heated air

Solar power generation and solar power storage

Wind power generators

Residential wind power

Ways to save energy

  • Energy star refrigerators and washing machines
  • Energy star water heaters and air conditioners
  • Energy star light bulbs
  • Master switch to turn off appliances on standby
Water conservation

Recycling

  • Recycled homes: renovating, converting barns etc.
  • Recycled wood flooring
  • Recycled roofing

Sustainable house design is a choice the kit builder should make at the very beginning of the project. Adding green home designs later cannot substitute for structural and positional set-outs.

There's more Sustainable pages here...

or Return to Kit home basics home page

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