A smart home often conjures up visions of a habitat full of internet-enabled devices communicating with each other as well as with a central hub and doing everything you simply tell it to. Smart devices form the backbone of an intelligent and connected space and just how many will make your home smart(er) is largely driven by your personal choice, budget, and the benefits you derive from them.
Smart Homes - A Sustainable way of Life
From multi-themed smart homes, complete with garage doors that open and close using voice assistants like Alexa/Google Assistant or sensors that gauge a vehicle’s proximity to the door, to fridges that tell you what you need to buy because you’ve run out, it’s a buyer’s prerogative. Smart water systems, irrigation systems, and various bathroom products (e.g., shower heads, faucets) reduce water wastage, besides saving energy. But if you’re wondering how to save money on your utility bills, is the so-called ‘smart home’ a sustainable option? Let’s see:
Energy efficiency The superior features of something as mundane as a smart bulb include better brightness, wireless connectivity, and the benefit of remote control using voice commands and apps. But these devices are becoming increasingly popular for another reason - they consume far less energy, significantly reducing electricity bills. With sensor driven technology, these devices can also switch off when no one’s in the room, keeping energy wastage down to a bare minimum.
Energy dashboard In your home design plans try and include a smart energy monitor for your home electrical system that can “tell” you in real time which of your devices is using or wasting energy. Such monitors use data and built-in logic to identify all of your gadgets and pinpoint energy wastage and overuse, which tend to increase your power bills.
All it takes is a few minutes to install the smartphone app that connects to the energy monitor. After that, on a 24/7 basis, you can track your residential energy usage from the comfort of your smartphone. From the comfort of your couch, get to know how much of usable electricity your rooftop solar panels are producing. Ever wondered how much power is lost when charging your electric vehicle? Smart monitors will help you keep tabs on that and lots more.
Consumption analysis Based on energy usage trends tracked down by the smart monitor, you can repair energy-guzzling devices and save money or replace them with smarter options. Smart monitors can give you data, such as kilowatt hours of energy consumed per person per month. You can use the knowledge gained from smart monitoring to make your home greener and more energy efficient.
Phasing out old appliances in favor of newer ones presents potential for energy saving. Some of the new crop of smart devices have a slightly higher price tag, but are worth the price since they don’t add to your home’s energy load. With energy efficient design and high environmental performance scores, they will save you a lot in energy bills over the lifetime of the equipment. This could be anything between 10-15 years in many cases. A crucial caveat here is that many smart gadgets come with programmable options and it’s important to enable them in order to achieve your energy goals.
Over a 25-year term, your household energy savings are going to be significantly high, thanks to smart home design plans. A smart system for an 800 sq. ft. apartment is estimated to pay off in six years, according to one study. Very likely you will save more if your home is one with rainwater harvesting systems, natural lighting and ventilation (which reduces light/fan/AC usage), and recycled water is used to flush toilets.
Positivity and contentment The positive cascading effect of smart devices can help you minimize your dependence on fossil fuels. The Co2 released increases the acid content of our oceans and contaminates fresh water sources as well, in turn, threatening aquatic life. There is a lot of satisfaction to be gained by consuming less energy and contributing your share, no matter how small, to reduce this world’s carbon footprint. It’s a way of life that encourages us to make sustainable choices that have the least possible impact on our planet’s environment.
This is the new "normal lifestyle" that more people are happily settling into. In short, the smart choices you make with respect to the connected home of the future will help you save money, conserve natural resources, and live a more sustainable and happy life. So, “YES!”, making your home smarter is, indeed, a sustainable solution.
Smart home design interiors represent an important chip in this energy-saving game. Expert professionals in the construction industry, like ours at JSW One Homes, can help make your home smart and sustainable. Our professionals will work with you every step of the way to configure the smart home of your dreams, one brick at a time. Get in touch with us today by making an appointment and let us show you just how sustainable a smart home can be.
Here’s how solar panels can save you money
In recent years, the cost of electricity around the country has increased significantly. In a developing country such as India, there is an urgency to have a power supply that is efficient and regular to support the citizens and businesses of its growing economy. So, making a switch to more dependable and cost-saving methods of producing energy is a priority.
Indians are generally highly driven by the price that they need to pay for a service or commodity, which makes solar panels the most ideal alternative to traditional ways of producing electricity. Of the myriad benefits provided by home solar panels, the most important benefit is cost saving.
To elaborate further, solar panels for homes help you save costs because of the following factors.
1. Price of electricity
The price of electricity is increasing with each passing day with an increase in usage. Installing home solar panels will enable you to generate your own electricity and minimise the power you eventually consume from the grid, thus reducing or even eliminating power bills. Moreover, there is constant fluctuation in electricity costs, which makes planning your expenditure a real challenge. With home solar panels installed, you can plan your expenditure in an easier manner because the costs remain almost constant.
2. Low maintenance
Solar panels in homes need a heavy investment initially, which is aided by the government to a certain extent. That said, the subsequent costs regarding maintenance and service are quite low for solar panels. They offer a service life of nearly 25 years, when maintained properly.
3. Power storage
You can easily store the power that is generated by solar panels when not needed and use it for future purposes, especially when electricity costs skyrocket.
4. Property value
Solar panels at home will surely help you save and earn back installation costs by significantly adding to the market value of a property. Most buyers will not make a fuss when it comes to paying more when they truly know that they will be saving on their electricity bills in the long run.
5. Government subsidies
To promote the use of solar power, the Government of India helps install solar panels by offering subsidies and deductions to both residents as well as businesses.
A 5-kW (kilowatt) rooftop solar panel can help you save nearly 600 units of electricity every month. This will successfully reduce your electricity bills by approximately INR 5,500 every month.
We have broken down the numbers for you.
Making an assumption that a 1-kW system can generate four units (kWh) each day on an average, a 5-kW system can generate nearly 20 kWh (kilowatt-hour) per day or approximately 600 units every month. Considering a basic tariff per unit of INR 5.50/kWh, solar panels will be capable of generating electricity that amounts to nearly INR 3,300 per month. This amount can be substantially higher if the tariff in your region exceeds INR 5.50 per kWh.
If your electricity bills are approximately INR 3,000 each month, your subsequent power bills will amount to zero through the installation of a 5-kW solar system. Moreover, if your monthly power bill hovers around INR 7000 per month, then post-installation of the solar panels will reduce your bills to a mere INR 4,000 per month. Further, if your monthly bill is approximately INR 1500 each month, you could be earning as much as INR 1,800 each month from the distribution licensee.
The last word
If your average monthly power bill is extremely high, and if you are living in a region with high energy rates, then it is highly worthwhile to install solar panels in your home, with the 26% tax break in place. Homes with solar panels will benefit not only your wallet but also the environment.
Seven ways to monsoon-proof your house
The arrival of the monsoons offers a pleasant break from the oppressive heat of the summer. However, as the temperatures begin to dip off due to the monsoon showers, this also signals that it is time for homeowners to start weather-proofing their houses to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road.
Here are the seven essentials that you should look after.
1. Check for leaks: Leakage extends beyond a dripping faucet and is among individuals' most frequent concerns during the rainy season. Check your walls and roof for any seepage or leaks. Leaks can cause long-term damage and create an unpleasant and moist atmosphere. Therefore, it is crucial to resolve the situation before the showers become more intense. Make sure to complete the leak repairs long before the onset of the heavy rains because the adhesives or plaster you employ require time to dry.
2. Look after the doors and windows: The seals on your windows and doors may begin to deteriorate with time, allowing cold air and rain from the outside to enter. You should hire a professional to re-seal your windows and doors to be monsoon-proof before the rains start. Get the windows and doors inspected for rot and fix them if necessary. Wooden doors can swell during the monsoon. You can fix this by applying oil to the sides of the doors or by sanding the sticky area. On the other hand, windows are exposed to the most rain, and if they aren't maintained, they may begin to leak. For the best results, choose to paint the doors and windows, and if necessary, replace them with wind- and water-resistant alternatives. The preferred option today for weather-proofing your home is uPVC windows and doors.
3. Get a fresh coat of paint - Choosing waterproof paint is an excellent strategy to prevent damage to your walls before the monsoon arrives. Make sure to choose paints with thick finishes to keep water off your walls. It's not only a smart idea to take preventative measures before the monsoons; it will also keep your home appearing clean and fresh. Make sure to finish the painting well in advance of the monsoon season.
4. Fix the wiring - This must be done before the monsoon season begins. If the wiring and switchboards in your home need to be checked regularly, get it done as soon as possible. If exposed or unsupervised cables are exposed, you should tighten any loose contacts and replace any worn-out wiring before it starts to rain. Your electrician may sell you some silica gel pockets to place around large electrical appliances. The gel would take in moisture from the air to prevent condensation from accumulating on your electronics.
5. Get the drains unclogged - The water that runs off when it rains needs somewhere to go. For this reason, downspouts, gutters, and drains are standard in every home. If these are blocked, rainwater and other debris will clog your pipes and roof. This could then result in significant leaks. Additionally, stagnant water serves as a breeding ground for parasites and diseases. Because of this, it's crucial to have all your drains examined, cleaned, and cleared of any obstructions. Deal with any standing water and patch up any fractures you notice.
6. Protect your furniture from moisture - Wooden objects often react poorly to moisture and humidity, typical of the rainy season. These conditions would expose your valuable pieces of furniture to termites and bugs, causing them to lose shape and form. Follow the below tips to prevent damage to your furniture during the monsoon season:-
To stop the wood from swelling, reapply varnish or lacquer.
Maintain a few inches between the wooden furniture and the wall.
Purchase a dehumidifier to control the humidity and temperature.
Don't use a moist cloth to clean the furniture.
7. Rainproof the open spaces - Consider providing a temporary or permanent shade from above for your terrace or open balcony if you have one. It will protect your landscaping and outdoor furniture and create a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the cool breeze when it's not raining. Additionally, it's crucial to make sure the rainwater drains quickly. Making sure your roof or terrace is clean, and that water does not collect when it rains is the first step in waterproofing it.
Follow these tips and tricks to make your home ready for this monsoon.
Why Smart Homes are the future of India
One of the main reasons smart homes are gaining popularity in India is the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the increasing availability of affordable and reliable technology. The IoT refers to the network of devices connected to the internet that can communicate with each other, creating a seamless and automated experience. Smart homes rely on IoT devices to automate household tasks and provide homeowners with remote access to their homes.
As technology advances, our lives are becoming more connected and automated, and nowhere is this more evident than in the home. Smart homes, equipped with internet-connected devices, allow for the automation of various household tasks, making life easier and more convenient.
This blog will discuss why smart homes are the future in India.
1. Convenience - Smart homes offer an unparalleled level of convenience. Imagine being able to control your home appliances, lighting, and air conditioning from your smartphone or tablet, without leaving your bed. With a smart home, you can easily automate routine tasks, such as turning on/off lights, setting the temperature of your air conditioner, or locking/unlocking doors, with just a few clicks. This automation can save time, reduce energy consumption and even make your home safer by providing remote access to surveillance cameras and sensors.
2. Monetary Savings - Smart homes can save you money in the long run. For example, you can automate your thermostat to turn off your air conditioning when no one is at home, saving energy and reducing your electricity bill. Similarly, you can turn off lights and appliances that are not in use, saving on electricity consumption. Additionally, smart homes can help reduce maintenance costs by detecting potential appliance problems and alerting homeowners to the need for repairs.
3. Security and Safety - Smart homes can enhance security and safety. With internet-connected cameras and sensors, you can monitor your home remotely from anywhere in the world. You can receive alerts when someone enters or leaves your home or when there is unexpected movement or noise. You can also automate your locks, so you never have to worry about forgetting to lock the door. This can give you peace of mind, knowing your home is safe and secure, even when you are not there.
4. Property value - Smart homes can increase the value of your property. As the market for smart homes grows, more and more homebuyers are looking for homes that are equipped with the latest technology. By installing smart devices in your home, you can increase its resale value and make it more attractive to potential buyers. This can be especially important in a competitive real estate market, where every advantage counts.
However, as with any new technology, there are also potential risks associated with smart homes. One concern is privacy and security. With so many devices connected to the internet, there is a risk that personal data could be compromised or stolen. Homeowners need to take steps to secure their smart homes by using strong passwords and regularly updating their security software.
Another concern is that smart homes could exacerbate societal inequalities as they become more prevalent. Those who cannot afford to upgrade their homes with smart devices may be left behind, unable to access the benefits that come with automation and remote access.
Despite these challenges, the benefits of smart homes in India are clear. They offer convenience, energy efficiency, security and can even improve the quality of life for those with disabilities or chronic health conditions. As the market for smart homes continues to grow, homeowners need to educate themselves about the potential risks and take steps to mitigate them. With proper planning and investment, smart homes have the potential to transform the way we live, work, and play in India.
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5 Smart home appliances you will want in 2022
Smart home appliances have become extremely common. This is largely thanks to IoT’s (Internet of Things) impact on boosting competition in the home automation market and the disruptive innovations that have been speedily adopted thanks to their light price tags. This and aspirational consumers are keeping the sector buoyant. Smart appliances are convenient, easy to use and, more importantly, there is the unequivocal luxury of controlling these devices with, quite literally, a word or from the tip of your finger. Perfect for every dream home design.
From fridges that open at a voice command to a washing machine capable of remembering your preferred settings, and lights that come on as soon as you enter your door, there is a wide selection out there. In fact, consumers are spoiled for choices. Here are five smart home appliances that would fit in with all modern home design interiors and even answer the question of how to save money on home bills. Smart fridge This is a fridge, virtual assistant, grocery shopper, recipe book, kitchen entertainment unit and more. It is designed to learn grocery consumption patterns and how often one would need, say, ice cubes . The fridge takes care of temperature preferences and assists with food inventory.
It also takes charge of its own health - using a smart diagnosis feature the appliance identifies operational issues and sends out alerts. It can also contact the manufacturer and report the problem, without bothering you. Adding things to a grocery list is as simple as telling the fridge to do just that ! Those that feature large touchscreen interfaces can be used to videos, get the latest news and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Wash tower The change in nomenclature implies this appliance is a cut above the more mundane automatic washing machine. It uses AI to detect fabric textures and load size and recommends the appropriate wash cycle and dryer settings. All settings are stored in the appliance’s memory for easy access. The wash tower discerns the level of dirt in the clothes and responds by increasing the wash time or quantity of detergent to ensure a spotless wash. What’s more, you can control the wash tower remotely while watching your favorite sitcom. Want to know how to save money on the water bill? A smart washing machine, aka Wash Tower, is the answer.
Dishwasher Load dirty dishes into the machine and go back to the party as your intelligent dishwasher handles the clean up. The unassuming device settles down to business and calibrates the temperature and washing speed based on your load. A gentle energy-saving wash might do the trick if your dishes are not too soiled. If not, the device will switch to more powerful washing modes. Like a 360-degree wash using powerful water jets to dislodge the most stubborn food stains. In addition, the dish might be rinsed at 60-70 degrees to prevent germs from spreading. Cleaning robots The Roomba range of products include self-driven vacuum cleaners and floor mops that require minimal inputs from a consumer. Since it is compact, these cleaners can get under your furniture to access those hard-to-reach spots. The layout of your home is fed into their memory, so they know how to work around obstacles. Multiple brushes can be used to scrub any kind of floor surface and leave it looking beautiful. Once the cleaning is over, the robot empties the dirt into a receptacle and returns to it’s charging station. These can be controlled via an app, via home AIs like Alexa or Google Nest and are also capable of functioning on set routines. Automated Security Systems A smart home is only half done without a home security system to put everyone at ease. From finger-print-based door locks that could also have number pads or HID car keys for entry to in-built alarms, all are designed to make a home highly secure. Video door phones that call a smartphone provides the comfort of knowing who’s at the door, if no one's home and even communicate with the individual to give instructions . These same systems can also be set up to record interactions and automatically start recording the moment someone is in range. With sophisticated night vision, proximity alerts that distinguish humans from animals, and wider field of view give homeowners peace of mind.
This is a small list, one that is already quite long and will continue to grow exponentially as technology progresses. The comforting thing about incorporating smart home appliances into a current or new home is that JSW One Homes makes it simple and easy. Work with our home automation experts to get a grasp on how to save money on your bills through smart home appliances and features so your dream home design provides the best value. Connect with our home automation specialists and book an appointment today to build your sustainable dream home with JSW One Homes.
5 things to make your home really smart
About a decade ago, middle-class buyers in India considered the “smart home” a privilege of the elite, a dream home design. Today - smart homes are within everyone’s reach. Improvements in home automation technology are nothing short of remarkable and these “smart components” that run a smart home are now significantly more affordable. Increased internet speeds and penetration are also major factors driving smart home development. With the availability and price factor playing a vital role, converting your existing home into a Smart Home is as easy as installing a bulb in a socket.
Here are six components you can buy and install to upgrade your home into a more automated and functional space:
1. Smart fans
Indeed, with smart fans, you can do much more than just switching it on or off or controlling the speed from anywhere. Some feature built-in sensors that measure ambient temperature and adjust the speed without being commanded to. These fans can be controlled via your home Wi-Fi network, a smartphone app and can also be integrated with smart home devices (Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit), so you can operate it with voice commands. Besides it’s functionality, smart fans can also save energy by adjusting the speed automatically and switching off when the room is empty.
2. Smart bulbs
With 16 million colour combinations, the smart bulb can light up and change the look of an entire room. Using either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, an app or voice command can turn a bulb or batten (tube light) on or off, set a timer and even change the mood setting or colour. These too can use timed routines that will be beneficial for power consumption and motion control features will keep the bulb on as long as someone is in the room and switch it off when it's empty.
3. Smart water heater
Smart water heaters add the next level in comfort and efficiency to bathing and take the monotony out of a daily routine. The device’s LED displays water temperature in real time and the smarter features adjust the temperature, set schedules, and turn the heater on/off remotely via your app or home AI. Using an inefficient analog water heater is very often like burning hard-earned money. With a smart water heater, you can monitor energy consumption more efficiently and reduce your home energy bills.
4. Voice-Activated home automation
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is fast becoming a viable home solution for automation. While functioning as a speaker, these devices dually serve as “butlers” to operate a smart home. Set the AC to operate at 20º, a fan to run at Speed 3, saying “Good night” to switch off all devices in a room, the possibilities are endless. They connect with a user’s email account and smartphone to read or send messages, make or take calls and provide updates for appointments, deliveries, etc.
5. Smart switchboards/ integrated panels/ Switches
Modern home designs can have smart technology components built in from the get go. A construction company can easily integrate modules into a space or install smart panels where required. These can also be retrofitted. Smart switches are essentially plugs with built-in Wi-Fi sensors to control whatever is connected to them, remotely. When building homes, today’s developers need to create smart home opportunities for homeowners, at their discretion or the owner’s. The collaborate model lets buyers become proactively involved in the process of creating their smart home designs to appeal to their aesthetic appeals, lifestyles, as well as functionality requirements. Which is why our experts at JSW One Homes, will work closely with you to ensure your home is as automated as you need/want it to be. The team will help build your smart home using the latest innovative technology that includes the most relevant of home automation features. At JSW One Homes, we believe in transparency and will also help you whittle down your wish list of smart devices and functions to ensure you get the best value from your budget. So, if you’re worried about budget overruns while building your smart home, allow us to put your mind at ease.
How to keep your house naturally cool in summers
Summer is a fantastic time of the year: beaches, suntans, watermelon coolers, and pool dips. But there are days when that harsh summer sun isn't quite so fun, and turning up the air conditioning at home is your only choice. All you would want to do then is turn your house into a freezer and forget the electricity bills that drain your pockets. However, it is also essential to understand that this is not just impacting your budget but also the environment.
Fortunately, there are smarter hacks to keep your house cool without burning a hole in the pocket or racking up massive carbon footprints.
You can read about them below.
Block the heat - Spending less on cooling is possible if you can prevent heat from entering your home in the first place. Use external coverings, such as shades, or sizable potted plants, to provide shade for windows and walls. Plant deciduous trees that provide summer shade for your home yet allow winter sun to stream. Invest in window tinting to help you retain heat in the winter.
2. Install an awning - Awnings are an excellent replacement for trees. They come in handy if you don't have enough space for trees or don't want to wait for them to grow. Awnings are generally installed over windows to shade your house from the sun. As a result, your home will absorb less light, keeping it cooler throughout the summer.
3. Close doors and seal gaps – Close the doors of the rooms you are not using to keep cool air where you need it the most. Use draught excluders and seal holes around doors and wind to ensure the cool air doesn't escape. Opening windows and doors will improve airflow around the house and make evaporative air conditioners more effective.
4. Better Insulation – Insulation is often associated with retaining heat inside homes. Similarly, it also works to keep the heat out and cool air in. So, adding insulation to your attic and walls will significantly improve your home's climate, even in the warmer months. It also cuts back on cooling and heating costs. Insulation is also a pretty inexpensive and simple solution, and you can also try DIY insulation for further savings.
5. Cross-ventilate - Open your windows strategically towards the ends of your house to allow cross circulation to create a breeze within. Although cross-ventilation is a well-known phenomenon, few people know that time is also a significant factor. The best time to open the windows during the summer is from 5:00 am to 8:00 am and from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm when the air is still pleasantly cool.
6. Hack your windows - Approximately 76% of the light that reaches windows enters the house and turns into heat. Reflective window films may filter up to 99% of UV rays and up to 78% of solar heat. While too much sunlight merely serves to warm your home, UV rays harm your health and furniture. These window films are therefore necessary for keeping your skin and furnishings safe in addition to being a summer need. Window films are a simple DIY job, and there are umpteen options available to choose from.
7. Invest in a dehumidifier – Dry heat is a nightmare, and moist heat is even worse. Summer's recommended indoor humidity range is between 40% and 50%. Even in hot weather, dehumidifiers improve indoor comfort by removing extra moisture from the air. Most dehumidifiers are equipped with sensors that turn them off when the desired humidity level is reached.
Keeping your home cool in summer is crucial for your well-being and comfort. While air conditioners are the go-to solution for scorching summer days, simple home upgrades, like adding insulation or changing your lightbulbs, can significantly affect your home temperature. There are several ways to keep your house cool in the summer without using an air conditioner. Follow these tips and thank us later!
Types of roofing options available for your home
India's diverse climatic conditions, which include intense summers, heavy monsoons, and in some regions, cold winters, demand roofing that can withstand these variations. Roofing plays a pivotal role in protecting modern home design from external elements while also defining the architectural aesthetics of our properties. When you think of a roof, shingles might be the first thing that comes to mind, but in reality, roofing materials are vast and diverse. Let’s explore some of the most popular roofing options available for homeowners today.
1. Asphalt shingles:
Asphalt shingles are cost-effective, easy to install when you build a new house, and come in a variety of colours and styles. Typically, they last between 20 to 30 years after home construction. There are two primary types of asphalt shingles:
3-tab shingles: These are flat and come in a single tab shape.
Architectural shingles: Multi-layered, offering a dimensional appearance, and tend to last longer.
2. Wood shingles and shakes:
For those aiming for a more natural and rustic look in modern home design, wood shingles and shakes are excellent choices. Shingles are machine-cut and have a more uniform appearance, while shakes are hand-split, giving them a rougher look. Cedar, redwood, and pine are the most commonly used materials in home construction. While they offer natural insulation and a unique aesthetic, they require regular maintenance.
3. Metal roofing:
Growing in popularity, metal roofs are durable, environmentally friendly, and can last up to 70 years. Materials commonly used include aluminium, copper, zinc, and steel. They are particularly advantageous in areas that receive heavy snowfall in Northern India, as snow slides off metal roofs easily. With a variety of styles, like panels and shingles, metal roofing can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing when you build a new house.
4. Clay and concrete tiles:
Inspiring images of Mediterranean, Spanish, and southwestern modern home design, clay and concrete tiles are heavy, durable, and non-combustible. They can last for several decades, but their weight demands a sturdy roof framing in home construction. They are excellent for hot climates as they reflect heat.
5. Slate roofing:
Synonymous with luxury and longevity, slate roofing tiles are made from natural stone. They can last over a century if properly maintained, making them an eco-friendly choice. Available in varying sizes and thicknesses, slate tiles provide an elegant and timeless look. However, they are heavy, expensive, and require expert installation.
6. Rubber slate:
A more modern home design innovation, rubber slate is made from synthetic materials but mimics the appearance of natural slate. It can be cut with a knife to fit intricate rooflines and lasts up to 40 years after home construction. While it's more lightweight than natural slate, it still requires a professional to install.
7. Green roofs:
A living roof, or green roof, is not just a roofing material but an ecological statement when you build a new house. It involves growing plants on the rooftop, providing excellent insulation and helping manage rainwater. Green roofs can improve air quality and reduce urban heat islands but require a robust structural foundation and proper waterproofing.
8. Built-up roofing (bur):
Ideal for flat or very low-pitched roofs, bur consists of layers of tar and gravel. It's a durable option that provides excellent UV protection and waterproofing, though it can be heavy and may require periodic maintenance.
9. Solar tiles:
For those looking to harness the power of the sun, solar tiles can seamlessly integrate with existing shingles, ensuring the aesthetic of the house remains intact. They are especially advantageous in sunny regions and for homeowners who wish to reduce their carbon footprint and electricity bills.
10. Membrane roofing:
Primarily for flat roofs, membrane roofing materials include EPDM (rubber) and PVC. They are durable, resistant to UV rays, and can efficiently manage water, making them a popular choice for commercial buildings and some modern homes.
Selecting the right roofing material is crucial not only for the aesthetic appeal of your home but also for its longevity and functionality. Factors like climate, budget, and personal preference play a role in the decision-making process. Given this backdrop, concrete and clay tiles emerge as a favourable choice for many homeowners. These tiles reflect heat, making them suitable for the sweltering Indian summer, and their robust nature ensures durability during heavy monsoons. While they might have a higher initial cost compared to asphalt shingles, their longevity and low maintenance, combined with the aesthetic appeal reminiscent of traditional Indian architecture, make them a cost-effective choice in the long run. Moreover, for those on a tighter budget, corrugated metal roofing is gaining traction in India due to its durability, heat-reflecting properties, and affordability. It's also easily installable and offers a good balance between price and efficacy for the Indian climate.
How to make your home green and sustainable
We're all growing more conscious of the need to be environmentally friendly, and nowadays, many of us follow the same minimum guidelines, like recycling trash, without giving it much thought. Looking at the bigger picture, there are a variety of approaches, some huge and some small, that can help us all become more knowledgeable about our local environment and promote a more sustainable way of living.
Dive into these easy ideas for making your home green and sustainable: -
1. Smart meters - It's elementary to leave the heating on longer than you need, especially during the winter. As homeowners or renters, one of the primary energy consumers in our homes is our boilers and heating systems. One of the most fantastic solutions is to consider installing a smart meter in your home. These clever appliances can be set up to only turn on at specific times of the day, so they might be used to warm the house up before you arrive home from work or turn on briefly in the morning during the winter.
2. Energy-efficient light bulbs – Despite the fact that energy-efficient light bulbs have been around for a while, it has only been within the last few years that the general public has begun to learn more about their usefulness and the money they can be saved in the home. There have previously been concerns that they simply don't provide enough light or that it takes a while for them to adequately light a room. The time to switch is now more than ever because of the constant advancements in their technology. They not only use less electricity, but they also don't require replacement nearly as frequently as conventional, older light bulbs did.
3. Solar panel installation - Solar panels are necessary for any home that wants to be truly environmentally friendly. Although there will be an initial outlay of funds, they are a long-term investment, and there is a chance that you will ultimately save more money than you spend. Some people are fortunate enough to discover that solar power can provide enough electricity to live entirely off the grid.
4. Insulation - When you actually need to warm your living space, it will use less energy because a well-insulated home retains heat properly. It's one of the best methods for money management. The walls of your home and the roof are good places to start. Another suggestion is to consider your windows as insulation as well. We'll go over this in more detail later on, but for now, consider double-glazing any windows that aren't already done so.
5. Water-based paints - Choose water-based paints with natural pigments while decorating. The majority of paints used today for home décor are oil-based and aren't as environmentally friendly as they may be. Additionally, some people think water-based paints have a nicer colour palette and are more aesthetically beautiful.
6. Buy recycled furniture - Don't visit a big-name furniture store to purchase the newest and hottest items! The industry is seeing an increase in furniture constructed from recycled wood or other materials, which can be more environmentally friendly than buying brand-new. While you are still receiving a brand-new item, it has been created with care from materials that may have otherwise been thrown away or dumped in a landfill. For larger pieces of furniture that you need to buy, search auction sites or auction houses to keep with the motif. Older, pre-owned products frequently just require minor upkeep and can often give a family year more of good wear. Additionally, searching for antiques is much more enjoyable than navigating a large mall.
Your sustainable home is a money saver, here’s how
Our conversations on sustainability are generally framed around doing good for the earth and feeling good about it. And as important as it is to reduce our carbon footprint, we tend to forget about the cost benefits that flow out of sustainable home designs.
Green buildings, for instance, are increasingly fetching higher resale value and selling faster in many property markets. Green features are important for the new crop of homebuyers, not to speak of civic authorities as even governments are extending tax credits to energy efficient homes. Moreover, green homes free of toxins mean reduced health hazards for occupants and lowered medical debts.
Here’s looking at some of the other ways in which sustainable home designing can trim your monthly costs and, by doing so, elevate your living standards.
Lower your energy bills
Solar panels reduce your home’s dependence on the power grid. Solar panels generate power by day that also gets stored away in a battery for when it’s dark. This can also be released in case of a grid outage and keep your appliances running.
Closed-cell spray foam, a tight insulation material, is another great energy-saver. It seals holes and cracks in your home, keeping out air, water, moisture, and heat. Using it doesn’t hurt your wallet and, on average, it provides energy savings of up to 50% .
Low-emission windows are another good buy. These come coated with thin and invisible metallic oxide layers. Such windows admit visible light but reflect heat back on the inside during winter, keeping your indoors warm. In summer, it does just the opposite so you can avoid using your AC for as much as possible. Great options for future home design plans.
A heat pump is an energy-efficient alternative to an AC. Much like a fridge, a heat pump moves heat from indoors and transfers it outdoors and in winter it works the other way round. It does use some amount of electricity, of course. Strictly speaking, a heat pump does not use renewal technology, but it can still help significantly lessen your impact on the environment from using a conventional AC.
Moreover, in tropical locations, solar thermal collectors can be hooked to heat pumps to feed the latter’s evaporator coil, which, in turn, converts the refrigerant liquid into gas, thus cooling the surrounding air. Thermal collectors can also serve to heat the domestic water in your home. Solar-powered water heating systems instead of traditional natural gas and electric heaters are also great solutions.
Go for appliances with “high energy efficiency” stickers (e.g., Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) star-ratings of the Government of India) on them. A higher star rating in a certain product subcategory (e.g., window AC) suggests it is more energy-efficient, which means a lower electricity bill for you. A star-certified appliance often comes with a higher price tag, but it’s still worth it since you end up paying less by way of operating costs over the lifespan of the appliance.
Nothing can ever be as clean and green as natural lighting, so make sure to maximise its usage in your dream home. Tall, big, reflecting windows and large doors, skylights, etc. will let in that bright sunlight minus the heat and create an inspiring living and working space. Small windows lining the top of halls and along stairways, skylights, roof windows, sun tubes, and reflective piping are newer ways to admit more light into your living space.
Some countries have already banned regular incandescent bulbs since these are energy guzzlers. It's important that you embrace more cost-efficient alternatives like LEDs and CFLs in your home design plans. Consider the smart options that can be set on timers to avoid over-using power, when unnecessary.
Save water costs
Sustainable homes are as much about efficient energy usage as keeping water usage down to a minimum. Efficient plumbing fixtures use less water and lower your water bill. In water-scarce areas, low-flow toilets are best suited. They are as clean as traditional toilets and perform just as well, but use 20% less water than standard models. A dual flush toilet is another water-saving solution to consider.
Urban households end up spending nearly a third of their water on landscape irrigation. Just so much as leak-free valves, pipes, and tubes can cut your water bills in an appreciable way, use high-efficiency nozzles to apply water evenly across your landscape. It also pays to replace traditional watering systems with micro-irrigation systems to deliver water to your plant beds and roots in a gentle, tiny stream to minimise wastage.
At JSW One Homes, we will help design and build your dream home. Our experts can help you incorporate all of these energy saving solutions into modern day smart home designs for the dream home you have in mind. Our professionals are here to assist you every step of the way. More importantly, everything is done within the timelines and within your budget.
9 ways sustainable design can elevate your home style
When it comes to the design industry, one of the fastest-growing segments is the successful incorporation of green or sustainable interior design. From the use of rainwater harvesting and supplementing wastewater needs to the usage of sustainable raw materials, innovation is extremely high regarding designing spaces that score high on sustainability.
Sustainability has become the core of most designers’ approaches, from reducing environmental impact to ensuring energy efficiency.
Mentioned below are 9 ways how sustainable design can phenomenally elevate your home style.
1. Maximising The Efficient Usage Of Space
Efficiently used interior spaces will ensure that the size of the building stays to a minimum. Micro-housing projects or apodments serve as viable alternatives in cities with rapidly growing populations. Typically, they are 300 square feet or less and feature several built-in amenities. Some of these developments are LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Maximising efficient use of space will translate to bespoke and custom home design plans.
2. Using Energy-Wise Construction And Design Materials
Sustainability comes to the forefront when designers work with doors and windows that maximise energy savings, wooden flooring that originates from rapidly renewable sources (such as bamboo), toilets that score high in water conservation, and several other environmentally friendly materials including something as crucial as cement. When looking for eco-friendly cement you can explore JSW Cement as we are strongly committed to innovation in sustainability and technology to offer eco-friendly solutions when it comes to building and construction.
Besides sustainability, with such environment-friendly materials you are also redefining contemporary home style and modern home designs.
3. Using Materials Manufactured In A Socially Responsible Way
Furniture obtained from sources that ensure safe manufacturing processes as well as socially just business practices, can go a long way in ensuring sustainability. This will ensure a mesmerising home style.
4. Reducing Waste Through Usage Of Reclaimed And Recycled Materials
Vintage and traditional designs can be explored for sustainable interior designing. Antique furniture as well as other decorative items can be refurbished, refinished, or repurposed to offer them a new life, offering a win-win situation to both sustainability and stylish homes. Those who are truly conscious of their impact on the environment may opt for carpets, tiles, fabrics, counters, and even sinks that are produced from recycled raw materials.
5. Choosing Energy-Efficient Lighting
Clever interior design will successfully incorporate windows and skylights to maximise usage of natural light and minimise artificial light. Whenever there is a requirement for artificial lighting, halogens, LEDs, and compact fluorescent light bulbs help in the conservation of energy besides lasting longer.
6. Using Non-Polluting And Non-Toxic Products
To take sustainable design to the next level, you can make use of an increasing variety of chemical-free and safe products that are available, right from hypoallergenic, organic paint to woods and fibres that have not been treated with any pesticides. This will also ensure captivating and enthralling homestyle interiors.
7. Practising Minimalism To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Minimalism is a technique in designing that can be surely applied to any design style. By choosing to declutter, organise, and simplify, you are creating not only a more mindful and ergonomic setting but also a sustainable home. The requirement of fewer things means that fewer things need to be manufactured, which minimises the negative impact on our ecosystem.
8. Going Green With Rustic Design
The incorporation of eco-friendly strategies into rustic homes can be easily executed. For example, reclaimed wood is a wonderful option when it comes to flooring because it recycles trees, which is a non-renewable resource. Thus, you are in no way contributing to depleting forests, while simultaneously ensuring that your house is replete with a chic and stylish home design.
9. Save The Environment With Scandinavian Décor
Some of the hallmarks of Scandinavian décor include the focus on the “raw” aspect of earthy and organic materials. This form of design is also marked by open spaces and a mindset of owning bare essentials, thus limiting the number of items in your home that are constructed from non-renewable resources. In this way, a modern home design gets a much-needed twist.
The Final Word:
Sustainable designs are concerned with the use of bespoke strategies and aesthetic principles that offer benefits at a global level. A shift in mindset is needed to make eco-friendly designing a popular phenomenon.
Why a garden is the best thing to happen to your dream home
The smallest garden that comes to mind is probably a money plant growing in a water bottle. You don’t need to pay a lot of attention to it - change the water every week, get rid of damaged leaves before the fungus can get to it. Maybe add a spoonful of fertiliser once a month and place it at a sunny window. That’s all the tending it demands. Do-it-yourself small garden ideas are aplenty for your outdoors and indoors alike. There’s one that suits every home design. A tiny herb garden mounted on a window sill, or on a repurposed old and small, yet still graceful, Walnut finish table, or a small selection of potted plants mounted on pallets in the roofless inner courtyard.
The idea of hanging trailing succulent plants from wall hooks in your interiors is not new, but it still remains as popular as ever as a space-saving “small garden” idea. Again, there’s nothing stopping you from making your garden an extension of your indoor space, complete with some light-weight seating. Come to think of it, why settle for anything less than a full-fledged garden? With vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, and small trees set out in neat layers to evoke a sense of abundance even with less foliage. No matter the size - small or medium, every modern home should certainly have one.
There are plenty of reasons why, but here are the top 5:
Plants are natural air-conditioners
Vehicles, factories, fuel burning, dense population, and heat emission by buildings and other structures are making cities hotter than nearby rural areas. Urban landscapes tend to have limited greenery, and this is gradually turning them into “heat islands.” Position trees and vegetation at the right spots around buildings and you’ll actively cool your home. Trees can serve to shade your rooftops and windows. Green roofs covered with plants also keep your indoor temperature fairly low. So, you don’t need to run fans and ACs continuously, which means you save money on electric bills.
They are cleaning agents
This might sound a bit like school-grade biology revisited but it’s probably worth the reminder. Plants rid the ambient air of many toxic compounds and harmful bacteria. The collection of CO2 and other pollutants around the earth causes the planet to get hotter and threatens to alter weather patterns. Green plants can help by drawing CO2, a leading pollutant, from the air to synthesise their food. Besides, microorganisms around plant roots help break down contaminants in the soil to improve both soil health and clean groundwater.
Plants and trees help conserve soil fertility
The outermost layers of soil, which are rich in fertile and organic matter, are most likely to be washed away by rain and wind, and this adversely affects crop growth. It is estimated that at least one half of the earth’s topsoil has already been lost to the forces of erosion in the last 150 years. The above-ground portion of your garden plants and trees - blooming flowers, soft fruits, and fresh green leaves, give you happiness and pleasure. At the same time, unseen and without your knowledge, the roots of these flora are also toiling hard. They hold the soil layers together and prevent it from being washed away.
A vegetable garden will help reduce carbon footprint
Fruits, vegetables, and herbs you grow not only look good but have a more pleasant and distinct flavour than supermarket produce, since they are plucked at peak ripeness, never prematurely. Farm produce needs to cover a lot of ground before reaching your table, and this diminishes their taste and nutritional value. Many commercial farms use chemicals to control pests and boost crop yield. Some of these have adverse health effects on humans in the long run, apart from degrading soil and groundwater. So, kick off your home garden with a few easy vegetables, herbs, and fruits. Each time you savour them, you have reason to pat yourself on the back.
There is more to a garden than just plants and trees
This is just as important as everything else discussed so far. On a broader view, a garden can be a lot more than just flora. If you can turn it into a very inviting space, you will soon find small warbling birds, floating butterflies, and various beneficial insects (e.g., mantises, ladybugs, soldier beetles) settling in. Many of these birds and insects act as organic pest controllers by devouring mosquitos, roaches, bugs, and beetle larvae. They are also superefficient pollinators, meaning they are natural ‘midwives’ who assist plants to reproduce.
You can fit a garden of any magnitude neatly into your home design plans with assistance from experts at JSW One Homes. You can do that and lots more with no hassles and at any stage of construction. With JSW One Homes, you work with experts who are with you every step of the way, managing timelines, contractors, and, most notably, within your budget. To learn more about how we can help you with your new home design, request a meeting with our team. We’d love to hear from you.
How to install a rainwater harvesting system in your house
You might wonder why we still use an age-old tradition of collecting rainwater. That is because of the numerous benefits it continues to offer even in contemporary times. Rainwater is one of the purest forms of water available on our planet. Rainwater harvesting is accepted as the long-term solution to the water crisis in rural and urban areas worldwide. In fact, the demand for the rainwater harvesting system has increased due to the shrinking groundwater level and erratic water supply from the municipalities. The system entails gathering and storing rainwater from surfaces where it falls so that it can be used later. Generally, the intended use of rainwater harvesting includes watering the garden, filling up the pool, washing cars, etc. The essential components of this system involve catchment, conveyance, and storage.
Steps for building a rainwater harvesting system:
Step 1 – Determine the rainwater harvesting potential of your house
The potential for rainwater collecting is the amount of precipitation that could be captured in a particular location. It is calculated by multiplying your available surface area for collecting rainwater by the amount of rainfall that falls each year. The catchment of a rainwater collecting system is the area that directly absorbs rainfall. It could be an open area that is paved or unpaved, a terrace, or a courtyard. Therefore, the catchment is the region that supplies rainwater to the harvesting system.
Step 2 – Determining the layout.
The tank's layout and the placement of its pipelines are planned to maximise the usage of its collection surfaces. You can use a spread-out or clustered tank to do this.
Step 3 – Setting up the storage
The rainwater collection from the roof of the house is directed to a storage tank. This storage tank has to be designed keeping in mind the water requirements, rainfall, and availability of the catchment. The collecting system should have the following-
A first flush (sometimes referred to as a roof washer) device that will direct the first flow of water away from the tank and a mesh filter at the mouth.
A filtering system
An air gap to avert stormwater backflow
Excess water overflow system
Storage determination generally depends on the location and the intended usage of the rainwater
Step 4 – Finalise the features in the system
First flush diverters - The first flush is used to evacuate the water from the initial shower. To prevent the potential contaminants from the atmosphere and the catchment roof from contaminating the storable/rechargeable water, the first rain shower must be rinsed off. It will also assist in clearing away the silt and other debris that dry seasons leave on the roof. At the end of each drainpipe, initial rain separators should be installed.
Filter - To effectively remove turbidity, colour, and microbes from water, filters are essential. Water should pass through filters after the initial downpour. On top of the storage tank, filters made of gravel and sand are constructed and installed. It keeps organic debris like leaves, silt, dust, and other particles out of the storage tank. Daily cleaning of the filters is needed following each rainfall. Clogged filters may overflow because rainwater cannot quickly enter the storage tank.
Limit sources of contamination - Ensure that your roof's surface materials are suitable for capturing water of the right quality and trimming any overhanging vegetation. Install gutter mesh to stop debris like leaves from clogging gutters and pipes.
Additional features – You can consider other features like a UV filter, gravity feed, groundwater aquifers, automated irrigation system, etc.
Step 5 – Installing the pipes and tank
Pipes - To install the pipes, you will have to have the necessary permissions from the authorities. You can begin digging the trenches if they are laid underground, or you can connect using connectors. To prevent sediment from accumulating in areas that are difficult to clean, it is best to have the pipe as a single fall. It is advisable to get enough head between the collector location and the tank to handle sudden, heavy downpours.
Tank - Follow the below steps to install a tank –
Create a tank stand that fits the area.
When the tanks are empty, place them on the stand and watch that they don't blow away.
Connect them so that they operate as a single volume. Put a valve on each tank, primarily for maintenance purposes.
To prevent the most contaminated rainwater from entering your rainwater tank, use first flush diverters.
Connect a drainage system of some kind. If the tanks are in a sump, there must be plenty of drainages and an overflow system. Pumps will flood if the overflow is undersized.
Finalise the connections between the tanks and PVC collector pipes.
Install a tank gauge to routinely keep an eye on your water level and usage.
Water conservation unquestionably impacts a sustainable environment as the need to combat climate change becomes more urgent. Groundwater is the principal source of freshwater for the nation's expanding household, agricultural, and industrial sectors. It has been noted over time that the requirement to utilise groundwater resources for varied daily purposes, such as urination, bathing, cleaning, agriculture, drinking water, industry, and ever-changing lifestyle, is resulting in significant water waste. Although numerous technical solutions are being created to reduce water waste, the impact will be more significant if each individual helps conserve water by reducing or optimising the groundwater for daily activities. One simplest and most effective ways to conserve water is to implement rainwater collection and groundwater recharge. This procedure can be effectively used in place of the traditional water sources currently in danger of running dry.
7 ways to improve energy efficiency at home
Energy-efficient homes are becoming increasingly popular as homeowners become more interested in sustainability and living environmentally friendly lifestyles. Whether it's constructing a new house, renovating an existing one, or purchasing a pre-built energy-efficient home, specific critical design aspects are vital for creating a genuinely green home.
What is an energy-efficient home?
An energy-efficient home employs design techniques and technologies to reduce energy consumption while maintaining the same level of safety, comfort, convenience, and visual attractiveness as traditional homes.
One straightforward example of energy efficiency in households would be the replacement of conventional light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Although both types of bulbs provide illumination, compact fluorescent and LED bulbs require less energy.
How to build an energy-efficient home?
Your home construction partner may suggest you to take several crucial steps to ensure that new homes are as energy-efficient as possible, focusing on using sustainable materials to minimize the home's environmental impact. Lets u look at some of them
1. Select sustainable building materials – Opt for sustainable materials like natural stone or reclaimed wood to minimize the environmental impact of the construction process. Other energy-efficient building materials include recycled steel, non-fibreglass spray foam insulation, concrete, and bamboo.
2. Insulation - Having sufficient insulation is important for maintaining a comfortable temperature in the house throughout the year. Ensure adequate insulation in the walls, attic, and floors to prevent heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. You can also use double or triple-pane windows, which provide natural light without compromising the insulation of the walls.
3.Install efficient appliances and fixtures - Energy-efficient appliances can help reduce high energy bills caused by standard appliances. You can also incorporate eco-friendly systems, such as LED bulbs or low-flow fixtures and toilets, saving you significant money.
4. Solar panels - Solar panels can be a beneficial investment, allowing homeowners to produce electricity and reduce energy costs. They can be installed on rooftops and are becoming increasingly popular as more people embrace sustainable living. Solar panels may not be a suitable option for everyone, but they are considered cost-effective and can help support the green movement.
5. Use compact fluorescent bulbs - Using older light bulbs in your home may result in higher energy consumption than necessary. Many people are switching to fluorescent bulbs to save money despite the higher upfront cost. These bulbs can last up to 12 times longer than incandescent bulbs, and even using a mix of fluorescent and incandescent bulbs can significantly reduce energy usage.
6. Install Programmable Thermostat - Installing a programmable thermostat is a cost-effective way to reduce energy consumption in your home. You can save on energy costs by adjusting the temperature to a higher level during warm weather and a lower level in cooler months when you are away. The initial cost of purchasing a programmable thermostat is minimal, and the energy savings can quickly offset the investment.
7.Tune up your HVAC system - An annual maintenance check on your heating and cooling system can help you save money every month by ensuring that your furnace and air conditioning are running efficiently. This check-up can help you avoid costly replacements of your furnace or AC, which can be quite expensive. Your home's heating and cooling system can operate efficiently by ensuring that connections are tight, parts are lubricated, and coils are cleaned.
As you can see, creating an energy-efficient home is relatively easy. You can achieve this goal by taking a few easy steps, and it doesn't have to be done all at once. It is a good idea to make a few changes every now and then to work towards it so that you don't overwhelm yourself.