When you are building or renovating your home, there are a lot of things to consider. One of those things is how your work is going to affect the environment. Building sustainably is growing in popularity, and rightly so. Why wouldn't you want to save money, save electricity and save the planet at the same time? Because we love sustainability, we have put together a list of our favorite green building tips.
10 Tips for green building
1 Consider location
When choosing a home you want to be mindful of the location that you are building on. Be conscious of where the sun is coming from so that you can best use it for warmth in your home. By using the sun to your advantage, you cut down on the need for heating.
2 Bigger is not always better
A smaller home has a smaller footprint, both on the ground and environmentally. Green building techniques work more efficiently in a smaller space. Larger homes require more energy to heat or cool. But make sure the space is still practical for the size of your family.
Properly insulating your home is one of the most important green building techniques. Heating and cooling usually make up about 50% of your power bill. You can reduce this amount by ensuring warm air is not escaping through gaps in your window frames, and the spaces around doors and ducting. Insulation not only reduces your energy consumption, but it reduces your power costs too.
4 Sustainable building materials
Using eco-friendly building materials will mean that your home (and the process of building it) will have less of an impact environmentally. If you know where to look, you can build every part of your home sustainably - roofing, framing, walls, flooring, cabinets, counters and insulation can all be eco-friendly.
Even better, reuse and recycle pre-loved home parts. Wooden flooring, reclaimed timber, old doors, windows, glass, tile and plastic can all be reused or recycled.
5 Energy efficient appliances
When buying your appliances, check their energy ratings. The better energy star rating an appliance has, the less impact it will have on the environment. They use less energy, but don’t compromise on quality or performance.
6 Harness the power of solar
Solar power is the cleanest and most renewable source of energy in the world. Every day we waste the natural power that beats down around us, the power of the sun. By investing in solar panels, you can utilise this power in your own home, reducing your power bills. If you generate more power than you need, you can feed it back into the local power grid and your power company will actually pay you for it!
7 Double glazing
By using double glazed windows, you not only reduce noise but you also reduce damp and cold in your home. Glass is not at all insulated, so heat flows out of it like a tap. Double glazed windows are created by placing two glass panes together with an air gap between them. The air gap creates great insulation, making a warmer and dryer home.
8 Eco lighting
Standard light bulbs use far more power than their LED counterparts. While LED’s might cost more upfront, they will pay for themselves again and again with reduced power costs. They also last far longer than a standard light bulb.
9 Water conservation
It takes a lot of time, energy and processing to maintain clean drinking water for all homes. So you should do your best to conserve this resource by using low flow taps, toilets and showers. You should also choose water efficient models for your washing machine and dishwasher.
Why waste that rainwater that falls from the sky (especially in Auckland)? Instead, catch it and use it in the garden or when you wash your car.
10 Thoughtful landscaping
Efficient planting can shade your home in summertime, yet let the warmth in during winter. Think about where the sun is coming from when you plant your trees. Choose trees that lose their leaves in autumn so that you have shade in summer, but a pathway for the sun in wintertime.
So there you go, 10 of our best tips for green building. As you can see, you can easily begin your journey to go green without too much effort!
To find out more about sustainable tools for your home, Energywise has a great website with lots of information, just follow this link
As with all our blogs, the information detailed here is general in nature and meant as a preliminary guide only. This should not be substituted for your own investigations or use of your own professional’s. Planning Plus is not liable for any errors or omissions.