Building Better Homes for the Future
We’ve come along way over the years in being more aware and accountable for the earth we inhabit. We have embraced recycling and filling our ‘green’ bins with our leftovers to be made into beautiful organic compost. But as a society we are still building too many houses that work against the environment and not with it. So how do we build better homes for our future? Read on.
Instead of just taking the approach of ‘bigger is better’ when building our homes we should be concentrating on the home being comfortable to live in. We should be thinking about window placement and taking advantage of natural lighting. We should be taking into consideration the materials we are putting on the walls that will receive the unbearable summer afternoon sun. Or how a we can draw it in on a cold winter morning.
By putting a lot more thought into the environment that we live in when at the planning stage, we can have a home that will not only use less energy and produce less greenhouse gas emissions but it will be a more comfortable and healthy place to live and in turn make us more relaxed and happy. Sounds fantastic doesn’t it!?! We’ve broken it down to 5 goals to building better homes for the future.
Energy prices have risen greatly over the last few years and we have all become very conscious of the need to embrace a more energy efficient lifestyle but that’s not enough. We need to be thinking of the future of the environment we live in and the impact of creating the energy we use. Australian households are responsible for about 20% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. The average household’s energy use generates over 7 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from its premises. So how do we reduce this impact? Firstly, by designing our homes to use less energy for cooling, heating and lighting by orientating windows correctly, window placement and materials use.
Reduced water consumption According to yourhome.gov.au the shower is typically the biggest indoor water user (34% of indoor water use in the average Australian home), followed by the toilet (26%) and laundry (23%). Therefore, effective strategies include choosing water efficient showerheads, toilets, appliances and taps. Outdoors, strategies include choosing local indigenous plants that are adapted for local growing conditions, mulching, and using water efficient irrigation systems. The national Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme requires certain products sold in Australia to be registered, rated and labelled for their water efficiency. Look for the WELS label as a guide for choosing showerheads, toilets, washing machines, dishwashers and taps.
Using sustainable materials
Every building material comes with an environmental cost of some sort. However, some principles can help guide your choice of sustainable materials and construction systems. Careful selection of materials and the way they are combined can yield significant improvements in the comfort and cost effectiveness of your home, and greatly reduce its environmental impact. Eco-product selection databases such as Ecospecifier enable you to access information on the sustainability credentials of a broad range of materials and products.
Better Air Quality & Ventilation
Poor air quality can greatly impact our health and our sleep so a well designed home that promotes cross ventilation and optimizes natural heating and cooling opportunities is extremely important. Through correct orientation of the home and placement of windows and openings we can draw fresh air through the home and push out pollutants and eliminate odours to provide clean air for our families to breathe.
Approximately 20 million tonnes of building and demolition waste was generated in Australia in 2014-15 of which 35% went to landfill.
Through better planning in the design stages we can reduce the consumption of resources, minimise waste and implement recycling strategies.
At Greenmark Homes we approach every new home build with a customised solution. Get a free, no obligation consultation with our team of experts who can custom design a home that suits your needs and the way YOU live. Contact us here or fill out our questionnaire and we will be in touch!