“Go Green” is coming up more often in several aspects of our lives. Whether it is about plastic, waste management or energy efficiency, the term is used widely and vividly.
On all front, there is one thing that we can all agree on; that switching to a green lifestyle starts right within your home. The greener, eco-friendly sustainable dwellings, is not just a fad or a trend to follow. Taking such steps could contribute tremendously to cutting your bills, being healthier, and above all to do what little we can to save our planet earth.
Of course, there are many questions that come to your mind concerning the same. How effective is it, how easy it is to maintain and more importantly, how expensive building such houses could be.
Before we get to the how-to part, it is necessary to make it clear what sustainability really is. There are many misconceptions around the idea which makes it difficult to understand.
What is Sustainability in Buildings?
A sustainable or green building is the one that has minimal impact on the environment. Right from the construction to how the building functions, the entire lifecycle of the building is intended to cause a minimal threat to the surroundings. To put in simple words, such a house would not create any severe impact on depleting water resources, uses less energy to run and in the long term, works well with its environment.
So let us take this article to go over these doubts and how to practically address such prominent issues.
1. Be Upfront with your Team
If you are convinced from the beginning that you need a sustainable house, then you need to stress it with your architect and the builder. The work has to start right from the planning stage. Any aspect including the planning, the materials, the wall thickness, etc. would all be influenced by the concept.
Moreover, not all architects and builders are equipped or experienced to do sustainable buildings. Teams are focusing on providing advice for sustainable homes, and you need to approach them from the start itself.
1. Use the Right Materials
The key element to making any home sustainable has to start from its materials. Because, if you make a house out of concrete, then regardless of how much work you put into it, it is still going to consume energy excessively.
Materials that are lightweight and durable including prefabricated products like cross-laminated timber not only speeds up construction but also adds thermal benefits to the building. Another one innovative material is the Hempcrete, made from hemp and lime. It is both fire and termite resistant and biocomposite that also offers superior insulation and soundproofing while keeping the damp and mould away. Day by day, there are more materials coming in the market with many energy efficient properties.
Such materials could reduce your energy consumption by providing insulation and thermal resistance. This is what would make the most difference that you don’t always need your heater or cooler running to stay comfortable.
2. Use the Nature to its Best
Sustainable buildings are also called green buildings because of the apparent reason. The more you welcome nature into the house, the more sustainable it becomes.
It does not just mean you should have a lot of plants inside the house, the creativity that goes beyond simplicity ensures a job well done. Utilising benefits such as Spider plants which are known for its air purification properties could also act as a positive gain when designing your home as these plants loom brilliantly when hung in spaces like the bathroom while keeping it freshly scented.
If you take advantage of natural light, you will make a massive difference to your house. Also, houses with less ventilation take up more energy in all seasons. Hiring good patio builders Brisbane has available to integrate the beauty of the outdoors into a flowy design will add aesthetics and value to your home.
3. Use Recycled Materials
For the eco house plans Australia has, using recyclable materials in many ways could help the environment. Today, you can recycle almost anything. Right from floorings, wall materials, countertops for kitchen design, and joinery, many elements are now available prefabricated from recycled materials.
You could also recycle or DIY a few old furniture pieces to your own style. Instead of buying new furniture.
4. Use Renewable Resources
The main concept of sustainability resonates with the fact that nature has given us plenty to survive on, so why are we working against it. While it is almost impossible today to survive without electricity and purified water, there are ways to reduce how we can reduce the pressure on our surroundings.
Installing solar energy is an excellent option to reduce your electricity bill. If installed and integrated into house designs right from the floor planning stage, this could be even your prime energy resource in the house. It would obviously depend on your climate and location. However, whatever small difference it could make would be significant in the long haul.
Another way to use the natural resource is to harvest the rainwater. With a good rainwater tank and a proper purification system, the water could be used for all domestic purposes. Wastewater like grey water could also be treated right to use for gardening instead of wasting it.
5. A few Extra Steps
Apart from construction methods, there are a few things you could do yourself to have a sustainable home. Buying energy efficient appliances, choosing local materials and local plant life for landscaping, using eco products could all contribute to the big difference in the end.
You could make compost for your organic waste and use that for manure. You could also redirect a roof drain to water the plants. Such minor steps might take extra effort, but that way of living with dedication, you will come to enjoy it.
6. Cost Concerns
In most cases, it all comes down to this one factor. The cost of building a sustainable house will depend a lot on its location. If you use local materials and use natural products, it might, in fact, reduce the cost to an extent. There are many custom builders Brisbane has, who are specialised in eco houses to get you a correct estimate.
However, it is true that the energy systems like solar panel could turn out to be an additional expense.
But when you factor in how much you would save in the future, even though you spend a little at the construction stage, it is worth balancing it out.
In the end, go back to the reason why you wanted a sustainable house in the first place. Your values and concern about our materialistic approaches could make a huge difference in building your dream home for the right reasons.
Start by finding the right builder Brisbane has for your project at TrustCo.