Building an Eco-Friendly Home
All new homes today, have to satisfy a certain Eco Rating, but if in the long term you want lower power and utility bills there are some extra steps that can be incorporated into your new home build.
Any new home automatically includes basic ‘eco saving measures’ such as dual flush (water saving) toilets, insulation to the roof and walls, water saving taps, roof sarking and depending on the location, solar hot water and/or a water tank.
Some eco design principles are quite simple and will be automatically considered when planning your build, for example it is now well known that a home facing North will receive more sunshine and therefore more light during the day. Windows and skylights on your home need to be positioned to take full advantage of light and natural breezes and your external eaves need to be of a sufficient size to provide shade and rain protection. These are all eco measures that are not costly at the time of your build.
Choosing your building materials may be based more on a finished design style, but bricks, concrete and Hebel have superior insulation qualities over weatherboard or large areas of glass. If your heart is set on a weatherboard finish, extra insulation can be installed to improve the eco-rating. Likewise, double glazing will greatly improve the eco-rating that would be normally applied to single glaze windows.
The choice of appliances for your home can also lead to energy savings. Although all appliances on the market today come with energy ratings, some are superior to others. Your choice of heating and cooling systems will enable further energy savings. (eg. Evaporative Cooling versus Air Conditioning) Another choice you may select is to install solar panels at the time of your build, so that your home is powered directly from the sun during daylight hours (you will need to calculate your usage of electricity and the number and type of panels for optimum performance). A Solar battery pack would also decrease your reliability on the grid for power during non-sunlight hours.
The current trend of for many people, these are not areas that they are prepared to compromise. The style of living that you want for your family is one of the biggest priorities for building a new home and eco savings can be made in other areas that are more open to compromise.
Adding effective blinds and curtains can make your home cooler in Summer and warmer in Winter. As a final thought, the planting in your garden could increase shade to your home. Less lawn area and the use of native plants can reduce water usage while still creating a pleasant outdoor living space.
It doesn’t matter if you are a card-carrying Greenie or just prepared to take tokenistic measures, all homes today have the potential to create energy saving measures that will decrease your power and utility bills for the future and reduce the size of your family’s ecological footprint on the world. Just ask the questions of our Design Team at Braewood Homes and they can design your unique home to be as ‘eco-friendly’ as you require.