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Going Green

Contributor:
Mark Tregoweth
Mark Tregoweth

Caring for the environment and creating a healthy home go hand in hand whether you are building or renovating a home.

Incorporating good design doesn’t need to result in increased costs and a major mortgage.

A common myth is that sustainable building is a more expensive than other forms of construction but fortunately this isn’t always the case.

For most people about to embark on a building project it is possible to incorporate design, style and eco friendly elements into a cost effective, energy efficient sustainable building.

Important initial steps start with taking advantage of the location where you plan to build or renovate a home; opt to use building materials that are kind on the environment, either in sustainable materials or items that have been recycled.

In the planning stage of a home allow for water efficiency to be built into a budget to reduce the risk of costly water bills when water meters become mandatory and for grey water systems that can reuse waste water.

Maximise your properties location by harnessing natural daylight. Position windows, solar panels and skylights carefully so they can harness the suns rays and reduce the need for additional home heating.

Effective ventilation is another important facet of a healthy home as high moisture levels are often linked to a variety of health conditions.

Invest in your future and the value of your home by having windows double glazed as this will reduce outside noise and help to retain heat in a home.

Cut power costs by installing quality insulation under floors, in walls and in the ceiling as this will help a home retain warmth in winter and remain cool in summer.

Minimise waste during building by exploring options for items to be recycled, reused or reinvented instead of being dumped.

Going ‘green’ or adopting ‘eco-friendly’ ideas doesn’t have to mean increased costs and budgets blow outs. By following straightforward steps and solutions the homes we create today can increase energy efficiency and make minimal impact on our environment tomorrow.

Easy ways to go green

  • Choosing sustainable and recyclable building materials that do not deplete the environment.
  • Include passive solar energy in the design of a home to harness the rays of the sun and minimise heating costs
  • Select paints with low volatile organic compounds to protect air quality.
  • Investigate ways to improve a homes airflow to lower the need for mechanical forms of ventilation.
  • Install tanks to collect rainwater for use with flushing toilets and for garden irrigation.
  • Install a grey water recycling systems to reuse waster water.

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