Every building must have . . .
its own soul.
– LOUIS KAHN

Do you want to build your own home and make it as green and sustainable as possible?

Learn how to position your home on your property to work with nature and the local climate conditions. Discover the wide variety of organic option for insulation material, and how to provide your home with sustainable energy in the form of wind and solar power. From doors, and windows to natural building techniques, you’ll find everything you need to build a greener home.

This course is your comprehensive guide to making design and construction decisions about your new home that will make it more energy efficient and have minimal impact on the environment.

Building a Green Property

Here are just some of the skills you will gain in this self-paced online course:

  • Be able to assess the factors on a site that can influence where you position your property
  • Understand the importance of working with the features of the natural landscape
  • Discover what makes for a natural building technique
  • Explore the materials and techniques involved in a wide selection of building techniques
  • Understand how insulation works and its effect on a home’s energy efficiency
  • Appreciate the characteristics of a variety of organic insulation materials
  • Assess the relative merits of different window designs and materials
  • Learn how to modify temperatures with shades, awnings and other decorative features
  • Explore design features that affect energy efficiency in a new construction
  • Discover some simple measures that can have a significant impact o the comfort of your home
  • Appreciate how wind turbines work, and how they can provide you with energy – and potentially an income
  • Understand the factors to analyze when considering installing a wind turbine
  • Discover how orientation, angle and position affect the performance of solar panels
  • Learn how solar water heaters function

By studying this course, you’ll have the confidence to make design decisions that mean your new home works in harmony with the landscape it is to sit in, treads lightly on the Earth, and provides a comfortable and welcoming home for you and your family.

The course takes in many aspects of planning and construction, including the assessment of your site to determine the optimum position for your new building, the relative merits of different window and door designs, and the options open to you if your decide to use a natural building technique – one that use organic materials and traditional construction strategies.

• Adobe
• Cob
• Rammed earth
• Earthbags
• Straw bales

The course also surveys the options for building your property actually into the landscape – as an earth-sheltered house.

We will also look at why insulation is one of the key factors in making a home more energy efficient, as well as exploring the characteristics of a range of natural, organic materials that can be used for insulating your property, including:

• Cellulose
• Cotton
• Sheep’s wool
• Rock wool
• Cork

Build your self-sufficiency skills with a self-paced online learning experience

You will discover how incorporating different design features into the plans for your home can have a big impact on the way heat acts within it. For instance, did you know how the judicious use of well-placed vents can harness the natural convection cycles of air to heat or cool the interior of your property? Or that how the drapes hang over your windows can affect how well they keep heat inside?

Alongside the drive to make the position, materials and design features of your new home as energy efficient as possible, there is also the question of how the energy you do use is provided. The course delves into two of the more common forms of sustainable energy generation available to the homeowner – wind turbines and solar panels.

We’ll guide you through the process of assessing your property’s suitability for one or other of these energy systems, and the steps you would need to take to find out what form of system you can put on your site. You’ll understand how each system works, how the location of the system impacts upon its effectiveness, and even how such sustainable energy methods can actually provide you with an income.