With climate change an ever greater threat to our way of life, sustainability is a driving force behind all things design and construction.
Residential buildings account for around 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, signalling the importance of sustainability in homes built for the future.
It’s clear the government needs to invest heavily in sustainable housing to meet its net zero targets by 2050.
Reducing the carbon footprint of your new property can be done with careful planning and innovative design. How could you make it more eco-friendly?
Environmental consciousness should start from the very beginning of the design process and your choice of materials reflects this.
Responsibly sourced natural materials can be replenished quicker or at the same speed as they are gathered.
Alternatively, recycled materials are even better because you’re reducing the reliance on new extraction of resources.
Locally sourced and responsibly managed wood is one of the most sustainable new materials to build with. Bamboo is another that grows quickly and is very versatile.
Recycled concrete, steel and plastic are all great options if you want to do something good for the planet.
Energy efficiency is a significant factor in sustainable design. Homes that lose heat easily are more expensive to run and require more energy to maintain.
Proper insulation in walls and roof spaces is key to retaining heat within a building, reducing the need for excessive heating.
Windows are also a prime suspect for heat loss, so opting for double or even triple-glazed windows should help to keep your energy consumption down.
Your choice of heating system also plays a big role in the energy efficiency of your home. Traditional gas boilers are being replaced more widely by sustainable options such as heat pumps and biomass boilers.
The more a property can harness renewable energy, the less it should need to rely on that generated from fossil fuels.
Solar and wind energy are the two most easily accessible for residential properties in the UK, although you can’t yet fully rely on renewable sources.
Every little helps when it comes to energy consumption, so solar panels or wind turbines could be a nice addition to your home.
You can inject eco-friendly elements into your design in the form of finishing touches too.
From LED bulb networks designed with PCB software to low VOC paints and finishes, choosing sustainable products to complete the finer details is a great way to be more environmentally friendly.
In the garden, you could collect rainwater to reduce your reliance on the housing supply. Starting a compost heap can help to give back to the surrounding environment by recycling your organic waste.
All these little touches may seem small, but they’ll save you money over time and help to combat climate change.
What could you do to make your new home more sustainable?
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