Whilst the initial build of your home may incur a higher cost when using sustainable building materials, it’s the long-term value of your property that you must factor in when calculating cost vs benefit.
Are you factoring in your ability to save water, electricity, gas and your environmental footprint when weighing up whether eco-conscious building is for you?
What we haven’t factored into this are the top 10 benefits you gain from choosing an eco-conscious, architecturally built home.
The following options are all smart ways you can start to look at ways to become more eco-conscious during home renovations, home extensions or when building your new dream home. We specialise in working with clients to look at suitable options for their home and location. To get you started here are some simple factors you should be looking into:
FSC timbers are a great way to ensure the timber used in your home or construction comes from a sustainable source. The FSC forest management standards ensure builders and home owners can be guaranteed they are supporting responsible management of our worlds forests. Your builder will be able to supply proof of purchase of certified materials as specified by timber and hardware stores such as Bunnings.
Ensure you request your builder uses sustainable products to support a sustainable future.
Another great way to is to ask your builder to source recycled timbers. There are plenty of recycled timber yards in most major cities and rural areas. Most are more expensive but the timbers are much stronger, beautiful hardwoods that can be used as a feature in your home, such as exposed beams, gorgeous fence posts or a grand entry. Old railway sleepers are an amazing choice for a rustic, bohemian style finish.
The quality and toxicity of paints has come along way in recent years. Gone are the days where months later you still feel like the toxic fumes from your freshly painted home are lurking in the air. Strong odoured paints made it not suitable to paint around children, pregnant women, pets and anyone who was highly sensitive to chemicals or suffered asthma and other breathing conditions. My thoughts are if children and pregnant people shouldn’t be breathing these fumes in… what makes it O.K for you to be?
For these reasons we have become more aware of the toxic chemicals and unnecessary additives used in the paint we expose ourselves to daily in our homes. Here are a list of alternatives that are eco-conscious and will allow you to breathe easy:
With ECOLOUR™, zero VOC means zero worries. The ECOLOUR™ range includes interior and exterior paints as well as timber finishes. It performs like any other premium quality paint, can be tinted to any colour from any paint chart and is scrubbable. ECOLOUR™ paints have been proven in the marketplace for over 10 years and are suitable for residential and commercial applications.
Eco Style by Rockcote
ROCKCOTE EcoStyle paints have been certified by Good Environmental Choice Australia, Australias leading certifier of environmentally preferable goods and services.
Pure Performance Range by Taubmans
Taubmans Pure Performance Interior is a 100% acrylic high performance water based paint formulated for interior surfaces. The unique formula is low in VOC and odour for maximum indoor air quality. It is exclusively engineered with Microban® antibacterial protection which inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, mould, mildew and fungus; enabling a cleaner, fresher and safer home environment.
Volvox Clay Paint
Resene Zylone Sheen VOC FREE
Porters Mineral Paint
Grasscrete is an extremely environmentally friendly system and works to provide an effective solution whilst maintaining the integrity of the surrounding area. Grasscrete self-drains extremely well. So well in fact that drainage rates can be as high as 90% of that of normal grass. Any surface water can be held within the drainage head of the cellular formation, delaying the effect of rainfall being discharged into the natural environment. At times of heavy rainfall this can help to prevent flooding issues downstream.
With garden cities being developed across the world in view of the clean air benefits they offer, Grasscrete can be utilised as an active part of such installations. The system also embraces recycling and is established as being sympathetic in a sustainable eco-system.
Grasscrete compliments the requirements of BASIX tool in NSW in terms of water conservation and re-utilisation of rain water, which after percolation to the sub-base of Grasscrete surface, water can be diverted and collected in a rain water tank! This can be used as a secondary source of water supply in households for toilets, car wash and watering of lawns.
Grasscrete has many advantages, such as:
Storm water management
Greenhouse emissions reduction
SOLAR PANELLED ROOF TILES
Australia has more solar radiation energy available per square metre than anywhere in the world. Unlock your roof’s potential and enjoy the energy savings and clean-living benefits of solar.
Solar energy produces no waste, no noise, no pollution and does not deplete natural resources or fossil fuels. Switching to solar lowers your energy bill and can actually make you money by feeding back to the grid.
Rooftops that receive significant amounts of uninterrupted sunlight are ideal locations for solar panels, but you can still achieve impressive results on partially shaded rooftops. However, it’s important to choose the best type of inverter (that’s the piece of gear that converts the raw power from your panels into useable energy). If portions of your roof are shaded at different times of the day, consider a top-of-the-range inverter called a ‘micro-inverter’, rather than the standard ‘string inverter’. “With a string inverter, the least productive panel determines the output of the other panels. But having micro-inverters can ensure if one panel is shaded, it doesn't affect the output of the other panels on your roof, maximising your output.”
RECYCLED KITCHEN AND BATHROOM TILES
If you’re remodelling a kitchen or bath, or simply replacing worn-out flooring, consider environmentally-friendly recycled tile.
Like other tile products, recycled-content tile will outlast most, if not all, other types of flooring. Tile resists scratching and is fire-resistant. And because it’s so durable, you will save money over the long haul by not having to replace it. (Consider installing a neutral colour that will not become dated.)
Tiles are easy to clean and, if glazed, won’t absorb liquids or release unpleasant odours like carpeting can. Another advantage over carpet is that tile doesn’t harbour potentially harmful mould spores, pollen, dust, or dust mites. Unlike vinyl “linoleum” and many other flooring products — including some “green” options — tile doesn’t contain toxic chemicals and won’t give off fumes (a process known as outgassing).
The use of recycled materials reduces waste shipped to landfills and cuts down on mining of clay and other minerals needed to make conventional tile. Recycling also reduces energy use because making a product from waste material typically requires less energy than fabricating one from raw materials. This, in turn, helps slash fuel use in manufacturing and reduce environmental pollution.
Recycled-content tile can be used for floors, countertops, and walls, and may be made from either recycled glass or wastes from mines or factories. Some manufacturers, such as Crossville, produce tiles that contain 50 percent to 100 percent in-house manufacturing waste — waste that would otherwise have ended up in landfills.
Other products, such as the Debris Series from Fireclay Tile, combine post-industrial and post-consumer recycled wastes.
TileBar offers these gorgeous hexagon recycled glass mosaic tiles. These tiles are sustainable mosaics make for excellent eco-friendly backsplashes and can also be used in kitchens, bathrooms, showers, fireplace surrounds, pools and spas.