What plot to choose when building a “turn-key” energy-saving house?

Energy-saving house means reduced use of energy, e.g. for heating the building, and minimizing its impact on the environment. Choosing a building plot is one of the key elements of building  a “turn-key” low-energy house. Not every location is suitable or economical. Not every place allows to obtain maximum cost efficiency of the building. What should be taken into consideration when buying a plot for a “turn-key” low-energy house?

Location

Proper location of a building plot, with access to main road (directly or using internal road), as well as water and electricity is a key factor to obtain the building permit for a “turn-key” house. If given a choice, it is worth choosing a property already equipped with installations – this would save not only the money, but also time.

Proper choice of a building plot for a “turn-key” energy-saving house is essential in terms of land form features. When choosing a flat building plot, it should be checked whether it is not located on wetland. If the plot is located on a hill, the house should be built on the southern slope, so that the access to sunlight, especially important for a energy efficient house, is not an issue.

Setting

The setting of a low-energy house affects the quality of life and savings the house is to generate. When choosing a building plot it is also worth taking a closer look at the use of the surrounding land. For example, a high hedge or trees planted by the neighbour from the south means the foliage will limit the amount of sunlight reaching our energy efficient house. It is a good idea to plant vegetation on the northern side, as it will shelter the building from cold wind. However, if we are planning to use wind energy on our plot, there should not be any trees there.

When planning to build a “turn-key” energy-saving house, we should consult a Local Spatial Management Plan before choosing the building plot in order to make sure no building that could block the access to sunlight is built in the vicinity.

Spacious garden

Spacious building plot offers vast arrangement opportunities, additionally enhancing the visual effect of a energy efficient house.  For example, the vegetation around the house will protect it from energy losses regardless of the time of year. It is possible to prevent the building from cooling down in winter by planting bushes and trees on the northern side to shelter the house from wind. In turn, bushes and trees on the southern side will provide shade in the summer and once they shed leaves in winter, the sun will warm the house unobstructed.

If the building plot is spacious enough, there might be some room for a small water tank – a pond or a water hole – to increase humidity. In addition, such water supports varied vegetation and helps to replenish groundwater resources. If you are an enthusiast of ecological food, a spacious garden will give you opportunity to grow own vegetables and fruit trees. Another thing worth checking when a building plot for a low-energy house is opportunity to connect to the public drainage system. If there is no such possibility, a spot for ecological sewage tank, or – even better – a household sewage treatment plant.

Although building a “turn-key” energy-saving house in accordance with the newest standards is quite a challenge, it is also a good future investment. There are more parameters to be taken into consideration than in the case of a traditional house. Choosing a building plot is just one aspect, but the essential one if we are to fully enjoy the opportunities the low-energy house provides.

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