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by nat stevens

How can I make the home I’m building more sustainable?

Top 10 sustainability tips

I don’t think any conversation had about homes today would be complete if it didn’t touch on sustainability. Covering it in depth is currently outside the scope of this topic, but I have it in mind for a future addition.   However, there are a number of basic energy-efficient sustainable principles that are readily available and can be implemented today. The best time to consider your options is now, in the early planning stages of building your new home.

Here's ten simple ways you can employ sustainable principles in your new home that will reduce your energy consumption and save you money.

1. floorplan

Ensure your floorplan maximises ‘daylighting design aspects’, which reduces the need for electric light during the day.

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2. glazing

Double-glaze all windows to retain heat in winter and keep the heat out in summer for more energy-efficient heating and cooling.

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3. insulation

Use quality insulation with high ‘resistance to heat’ flow (thickness) and ensure it is installed in floor, walls and roof for better heating and cooling energy efficiency.

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4. general appliances

Ensure all new appliances have high energy-efficiency star ratings.

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5. water appliances

Ensure all new water-consuming appliances have a high Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) rating. Especially with showers, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers.

Here's ten simple ways you can employ sustainable principles in your new home that will reduce your energy consumption and save you money.

6. solar

If suitable, install solar energy when you build, as the costs to do it later are considerable.

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7. thermal mass

If you live in a cool area, explore options to maximise external thermal mass for radiating heat throughout the home. If living in a hot climate, consider internal thermal mass that’s protected from the sun to keep the inside cool. Thermal mass structures for walls or floors could be natural stone, concrete, brick walls or rammed earth.

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8. landscaping

Planting low-maintenance native vegetation that is drought resistant and reduces water requirements.

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9. rainwater harvesting

Installing a rain harvesting tank not only saves you water, but also money. In many areas a rainwater harvesting tank is required for a satisfactory energy report.

Installing a rain harvesting tank not only saves you water, but also money. In many areas a rainwater harvesting tank is required for a satisfactory energy report.

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10. greywater recycling

Greywater is the term used for the recycling of water that has been used in the home. For example, treated greywater that’s come from the laundry, showers and taps can be used in the toilet.

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for more info

For further information on sustainable building practices, view the Australian guide to environmentally sustainable homes at yourhome.gov.au.

in summary

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Basic sustainability principles cost little more to implement if they are considered during the planning phase of building your new home.

 

quote

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A little environmental mindfulness goes a long way

- Natalie Stevens

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