Eco-Friendly Homes: Design Choices That Minimize Our Carbon Footprint

By Rick Rutstein, Professional Design and Drafting

There’s a saying: “It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.” With over thirty years experience in home design and drafting, I’ve noticed how much we do put our hearts into our homes. From family photos hanging on the walls to our favorite colors splashed throughout the house to our experiences, our homes become our sanctuaries; they reflect our lives. Our homes are like our little footprint on the earth. Luckily, however, our homes no longer have to be our carbon footprint on the earth.

Coastal Living

offers several eco-friendly home design options that allow us to create our dream homes without endangering the planet:

Non-toxic paints:

Typical household paints contain thousands of chemicals and hundreds of toxins, some that have been linked to cancer. Some of the most harmful chemicals found in paint are volatile organic compounds


or VOCs


Today, there are low-VOC


no-VOC paints, which are widely available and sold by most major paint manufacturers.

Sustainable and repurposed materials:

Today, we have the option to use wood that has been either sustainable harvested or repurposes. Sustainably harvested wood has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. We can also use building materials that have been recycled, such as old barn doors or cork made from salvaged by-products of wine cork manufacturing.


Did you know you could save trees and money spent on your energy bill at the same time? If you are building your dream house from scratch, you can plan your design around existing trees and use them to provide shade to keep your house cool.


Angled windows with glass panels at the base that open like trapdoors allow breezes to come in and cut down on the need for air-conditioning.


Opting to create a one-room living space is also a way to reduce your carbon footprint as it requires less building materials.


Instead of creating a giant crater in the earth for foundation, you can opt to dig a grid of small holes for pilings to support the house.

At Professional Design and Drafting, we provide all the services you need to design your eco-friendly residential and commercial remodels and/or new construction. For more information on our company, log onto

or call us at 858-750-6669.