When people talk about sustainable housing, you may instantly think about new builds and how they can be made sustainable.
But the truth is you can make sure that any work that you do on a property can be made to be sustainable, whether it is a kitchen refit or a conservatory extension. They all offer you the ability to complete the build in a sustainable way.
In this article we will go over some of the best ways to carry out your next building or renovation work in a sustainable way.
Insulation of walls and floor
It has long been known that insulation is one of the easiest ways to make a home renovations / work eco-friendly, as the initial ecological hit of the creation of the materials is offset over the years of use and the ability to utilise heating and cooling in a better and more economical way.
During the winter insulation allows you to use less heating, this means that your consumption of gas or electricity to heat your home is cut by a fairly considerable amount and in the summer it keeps the house cooler so you have to use less energy cooling the house by the use of fans or AC (Air Conditioning) there are many different types of insulation available depending on what effect you want to get from it.
It may sound simple and obvious, but double or triple glazing is an amazing way to keep your energy footprint down, it acts as insulation for your windows (Which are the largest escape of heat and energy within a house)
You can also reduce the ecological impact by using a local company that either produces their products on site or locally compared to some of the national glazing firms.
Using local materials allows you to reduce the overall ecological impact of the work that you are carrying out, this is usually down to the ecological impact that transporting the materials (which are usually large and unwieldely requiring large transport requirements) the use of a locally sourced timber or tiles can bring the whole ecological foot print of the building work down by a large margin, you may end up paying a little bit more but when you are looking at using local artisan materials this is expected although you can offset this with a product such as a bridging loan.
With local and national government incentives to install reusable and sustainable energy production methods such as solar panels and wind turbines, this is one of the biggest and long-term investments you can make when adding either size or levels to your current home.
But do your research in regards to products and grants that you could be entitled to under local and national government regulations.
Using rain water collectors for specific parts of the water system can be a really ecological way of bringing the builds footprint right down to an almost eco neutral way of making that big build a sustainable development.
One of the biggest issues isn’t necessarily within the build itself but the usage of the installed products, but some very clever boffins within the final fit companies have created items such as self-locking taps, these turn themselves off after a set amount of time or quantity of water that has passed through them, this can be great if like me you live in a household where over half the living residents are under the age of 12
Eco paints and final finishes
Using paints that are eco friendly (namely not using chemicals or products that are inherently eco unfriendly) as a core those that don’t use oil are a big win, you can really lower the eco footprint of the build or renovation by a massive margin by using these decorating materials in all of your future renovation plans.
Skylights and windows
Although this may sound counter productive adding in more windows or skylights the actual comparative energy use of a good double / triple glazed window will offset against the energy you would of other wised of used lighting the room is pretty large, when you look at a typical English summer / winter lighting you are from March / April to August / September you get roughly 14-18 hours of sunlight and so can lower your electrical footprint to a very lower level for over 6 months of the year
A lot of people have realised that purified air in a room can actually really improve their quality of living, but rather than spending hundreds on air purifiers the natural and ecological way of doing this is using spider plants or plants of a similar genus to purify the air in the new rooms that you have built or renovated
There are a lot of ways of decreasing the ecological footprint that your new build can impose on the local ecological system or even the wider world ecological system, but these are just some ideas there are a lot more you can look at doing and implementing.
For more information have a look around the website, google as always is your friend in these situations.