More people are becoming more conscious of the impact we, as humans, we have had and continue to have on our environment and many feel compelled to take action; right down to the fundamental core by building sustainable, eco-friendly homes.
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone will save it.”
There are more advantages to building, owning and living in an eco-friendly home than just the basic benefit to the environment. Sustainable homes have social, financial and health benefits too, some of the many reasons why more and more homeowners and builders are looking for ways to create, build and renovate with sustainability in mind.
Sustainable homes have four main components that make them green and set them apart from the more traditional, higher impact homes:
1. The materials used to build them:
Sustainable homes are built using natural materials or materials that have been sourced, managed and harvested in a sustainable way. Sustainable materials may contain embodied energy andarealso known for their durability and insulating properties.
2. They are water efficient:
The aim of going green is to reduce the use of potable water by incorporating water efficient appliances, fittings and water recycling systems. Sustainable homes may include such things as delayed inlet valves, flow restrictors, low-flush toilets and units to collect, treat and store grey-water collected from baths, showers and taps.
3. They are energy efficient and reduce carbon dioxide emissions:
Sustainable homes will be more energy efficient with a focus on reducing the amount of energy used in heating, fixed cooling, hot water and lighting by introducing alternatives. The purpose of increasing the homes overall energy efficiency and reducing carbon dioxide emissions is to improve the homes fabric energy efficiency performance to ensure an overall reduction in emissions for the life of the building.
4. Positive impact on the health of the occupants:
Sustainable homes promote incorporating as much natural light into the build as possible through larger windows and skylights. A home that lets in good, natural light can improve the quality of health of the occupants and reduce the need for additional energy to light up the house. Sustainable materials are also known for their insulating properties, including sound insulation, making the home a quieter, more peaceful environment for those inside.
If you are interested in building a green home but don’t know where to start, the Australian Government has set up a website, Your Home, that will guide you through the process of owning your very own green home whether you want to buy, build or renovate.
Due to the growing demand in the residential housing market for sustainable homes, there are a growing number of reputable builders, designers and architects who are suitably adept in green buildings that meet the legal and regulatory requirements for sustainable buildings.
Environmentally friendly homes are all about lowering carbon emissions, reducing waste and creating something beautiful out of sustainable, eco-friendly materials with the added advantage of offering social and financial advantages. Take the first step and find out how you can go about owning your very own green home.