Lower energy and water bills.....
By installing energy efficient items in your home such as LED lighting, solar panels and solar hot water as well as choosing the right types of heating and cooling, your electricity and gas bills can be substantially lower than if you don’t give consideration to the cost of running your home, during the pre-build stages. Of course the choice of each item is entirely up to you, but to achieve optimal energy efficiency it is important to give consideration to each of these factors to determine the best options to suit your regions' climate.
Reducing your water consumption is also a good way to have a home which is more eco friendly. Water tanks of various sizes can be installed and can be as simple as just being used to flush your toilets, or can be as elaborate as using grey water for the gardens and storing fresh water for drinking and almost eliminating the need for town water. Your plumbing fixtures will also play a big role in reducing water consumption, so planning to include items with the highest WELS star rating particularly for showers and toilets will help reduce your usage.
A cleaner environment.....
By designing your home correctly, you will actually have very little requirement to use heaters and air-conditioners which of course all add negatively to our environment, using up fuels, drying out the air and just making your home environment less natural.
When designing your home you can consider the rules of “reduce, re-use and recycle”. Whilst homes over the years have become larger in size, people are actually beginning to see the overall benefit of downsizing their home. Reducing the size will help to use less energy and less building materials meaning an overall cost reduction both now and in the future. Re-using existing materials perhaps from a second hand supplier will help the environment as well as using recycled items rather than them going to landfill. If you prefer not to re-use or recycle you can choose from a range of new building products which have been designed with the environment in mind. Sustainable building materials are manufactured by using up waste materials which reduces the quantity of new raw materials required and also reduces the amount of waste which would have otherwise been landfill.
When we build homes we are conscious of our impact on the environment and use our best efforts to sort waste materials so that they can be recycled. Bricks, concrete, plaster, cardboard, styrofoam, steel and glass are all separated in our waste process and sent to the appropriate recycle centre.
Comfortable living and better health.....
When your home is built with energy efficiency and the environment in mind, it can be an absolute sanctuary. You can enjoy passive heating by sitting in your sun filled lounge room on a Winters’ day (this is my favourite thing about passive heating, it’s the best place in the home on a sunny Winter afternoon).
During Summer your home is naturally cooled by the evening breeze and when built with energy efficiency in mind, you can be assured it won’t heat up again until late in the afternoon (if at all), eliminating the need for running the air conditioner. (I do find the exception to this is when we have a consecutive bout of say 3 or more days at 40 degrees c, where the overnight temperature also remains high – unfortunately the need for air-conditioning is generally required during this period of time. In our local climate, this only happens a few times a year).
You can choose building materials with low chemical emissions such as low VOC paints, floor coverings, joinery and furnishings. Again, the choice is yours as to how extreme you want or need to be when designing your home with energy efficiency and eco friendly building practices in mind.
As you can see many factors can be considered when designing how energy efficient and eco friendly you would like your home to be.
Our next Blog will cover the basic planning process of things to consider when wanting to build an energy efficient home.