If you do wish to build an energy-efficient house it is fundamental to have a good plan laid down, this is why if you want your home to be environmentally and energy friendly you should consult a professional.
You can discuss all your requirements with an architect and stress the importance of wanting a green home that will also be energy-efficient. Together you can choose just the right designs that suit your requirements.
Consider that if you have a two by six exterior wall plan this will be ideal to install as much insulation as possible. You may have to increase the size of your foundation of several feet but it will be worthwhile for saving energy.
For your insulation you can consider using a spray system, which is easier to implement and will fill all the spaces efficiently. There are various foam types from which to choose, the best being the ones with a higher R value that seals all holes and cracks. For your exterior walls opt for panels such as R-Max, which are radiant barrier types of insulation. For your roof you will need the double sided radiant barrier, this is the most effective insulation for external surfaces.
Once you have straightened this construction points you will need to plan your home and consider how you will heat and cool it to maximize energy efficiency. When choosing your heating appliances opt for those with a highest seasonally Adjusted Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) heat pump or furnace. You can also opt for zoned HVAC systems that are used in larger homes as a cooling system, specifically for the second floors that are usually hotter than the downstairs area. You should try and avoid high ceilings or vaults that add more surface area to cool or heat. It is also a good idea to add ceiling fans that will allow for better ventilation and move the warm or cool air around the house.
The orientation of the windows and walls of a house is also essential. You should plan your house and decide how you are going to place it on your land. If you live in a colder climate the best window orientation is from southeast to southwest, in order to allow the maximum sunlight to penetrate into the house even during the winter months. The sun, which is oriented further south during the winter will shine directly into the rooms that are oriented towards the south keeping them warm even when the outside temperatures are low. This kind of heating system is known as passive solar heating and can be very effective saving a lot on heating bills.
If you live in hot climates then the best orientation for your house will be to avoid that your larger windows face towards the east and west. You can add solar screens or blinds on those facing the West and plant trees on the west and east side of your house, these will offer shade and protect you from the suns rays.
By following these few simple tips you can conceive an excellent energy-efficient house plan.