Going Green to Save Money: The ROI of Green Homes

For many reasons, green homes are more and more popular, yet eco-friendliness can be a complex topic in the housing market. Of course, the reasons are simple enough: green homes have a smaller footprint through sustainable materials and energy efficiency, so are better for our damaged environment; going green lowers energy costs over time; and going green can increase a home’s market value, bringing Return on Investment to sellers. Yet achieving the ROI of an eco-friendly home can be complicated, because it depends on a number of factors, including location, the age of the home, and how soon the owner … Continue reading

Signs You May Have Asbestos in Your House

If you’re buying a home or doing some makeover, you need to be careful about the presence of asbestos on the walls and other surfaces. Asbestos refers to a mixture of naturally-occurring minerals that are used in building materials. However, the use of this mineral is curtailed because exposure to it can lead to a variety of severe diseases. While your naked eye can’t see asbestos due to its colorless and odorless nature, there are ways to determine whether your home is contaminated with this toxic mineral. Keep reading this article to learn a few signs that can indicate the … Continue reading

Best Green Ways to Increase Your Property’s Value

Increasing a property’s value is something that everyone hopes to accomplish during their lifetime. The place in which one owns is usually the biggest asset of a person’s life. Therefore, one should treat it dearly by taking steps to improve its condition over the years. Over the past decade, there has been a huge drive towards achieving sustainability in all facets of our lives. Simply put to be sustainable or “green” means to satisfy your present needs in a way that does not compromise the needs or resources of future generations. More importantly to put this into the context of … Continue reading

Sustainability and Energy Efficiency are Key to Affordable Housing

To be affordable, houses must be designed and built embracing strong principles of sustainability. Ensuring houses are energy-efficient may increase up-front construction costs a bit, including the costs of superior tools and equipment and professional architectural and mechanical engineers services, but the long-term benefits and future cost-efficiency are what matters. Non-believers think that it is an oxymoron to combine the idea of sustainability and affordability. But, the fact is that when homeowners are able to spend less on their energy bills they can budget better for repairs and maintenance, which intrinsically improves the durability and longevity of their houses. In … Continue reading

Energy-efficient Building Envelopes in Oman – A Study

In Oman, extreme hot weather conditions and thermally inefficient building envelopes have led to high cooling loads in residential units. Residential buildings serve a smaller number of occupants per unit, when compared to other sectors in the building industry. Also, mechanical, electrical and other energy-intensive equipment are relatively lesser in quantity and complexity. Yet, as per statistics, the residential sector is the largest consumer of electricity in the industry. In Oman, the residential sector consumes most of the electricity produced, with over 70 % of the load contributed by cooling using air conditioners (Zurigat et al., 2003). A major reason … Continue reading

How to Achieve Minimal Ecological Footprint Using Traditional Materials on Home Renovations

Environmental responsibility has become a huge market over the last decade or so. Businesses, homes, products and practices are all being affected by the desire to produce environmentally friendly policy, which is ultimately a good thing for everyone. Not only are we creating better practices to show consumers, competition, and collaborators that we care for the environment, but we are also doing a good deed for our planet. The end goal is a way to shift our actions towards sustainable, or less wasteful lifestyle in every area of life. This is surprisingly evident in how we use materials in home … Continue reading

All About Building a Net Zero Home

It doesn’t matter where in the world you live, the time has come to realize the importance of building homes that use zero energy. You don’t even have to believe in catastrophic global warming to realize the financial, comfort, and environmental benefits of net-zero homes. But first, you need to have an understanding of net-zero and zero-carbon buildings and their implications for us all, as well as the elements and features that need to be incorporated into a net-zero home. Net-Zero Homes and Energy Efficiency You could say that a net-zero or zero-energy home represents the best in energy efficiency. … Continue reading

Green Building Sector in the Middle East: Sustainability Perspectives

Green buildings are no longer a marginal concept but are becoming the standard for sustainable building construction and modernization in the Middle East. Forward thinking organizations can realize the benefits of being environmentally aware of the impact of each and every action undertaken in the present world of development. It is no longer about the financial bottom line and whether we are eco-friendly, it is a fundamental component of sustainability. Institutes and organizations in the Middle East can embrace green building initiatives as a mandate, while educational institutes can embrace it as a good citizen initiative developing the minds of … Continue reading

How to Choose the Right Countertop for Your Modern Kitchen Redesign

Your outdated kitchen is about to be a thing of the past! If you’re ready for a kitchen renovation, you’ve probably given a lot of thought to design and décor. But don’t get too comfortable yet; there’s a lot of materials you’ll need to choose and things you’ll need to do before demolition day. Bringing your kitchen into the 21st century comes with a lot of fun decisions, like what kind of new cabinets, appliances, fixtures and the type of flooring you’ll choose. These are all important elements to consider, however, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make … Continue reading

Eco-friendly Things To Know Before Buying Your First Home

As we humans continue to develop, we use more and more resources and put more and more toxins into the air. It’s our responsibility to do what we can help our earth. The first place to start is right at home. There are a number of things we can do in our households to make the world a little bit greener. Here are 9 eco-friendly things you can do at your house. Use the right lights The light bulbs you use in your home can make a big difference on your carbon imprint (and your wallet). While incandescent light bulbs are … Continue reading

Energy Efficiency Implementation in GCC’s Residential Sector: Actions and Technical Requirements

The huge existing stock of residential units in the GCC region, and the expected growth in residential construction projects, convey different challenges at the time of energy efficiency implementation. New developments require the definition and the enforcement of standards to be included at the design process; while owners and users of existing units require motivation and financial strategies to implement different levels of energy efficiency actions. A set of actions and requirements have been identified to improve energy efficiency in residential buildings, these include core management actions and specific technical requirements; and are defined for new developments and for already … Continue reading

Environmental and Health Impacts of Asbestos

Asbestos is an infamous building and construction material that gained popularity in the 20th century due to its fire-resistant properties. Asbestos’ first commercial mine was opened in 1879 in Quebec province, Canada. It took several years of production and consumption of this material in several parts of the world before its health and environmental hazards were discovered. Australia was one of the heaviest global consumers of asbestos in the 1980s with most of the materials being imported into the country from Canada and South Africa. The use of the material didn’t stop until a national ban was announced on December … Continue reading