A home building project of any nature is not only exciting but also an ideal opportunity to improve the comfort level, running cost and environmental impact of your home. Remember what ever you do – no matter how big or small – you are contributing to your own health, comfort and lifestyle. You are also contributing to the health and well being of the environment which sustains us now and into the future.
Building a new home
Make sure that your designer shares the same values as you. Take a list of priorities to your designer for discussion including how you would use your home on a typical day. Remember FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION. Once a concept is available imagine living in it on a typical day. Do the rooms flow in the order of your daily activities? Can any improvements be made to help minimise water runs and energy use.
Buying an existing house
Consider the following:
- Do the main living areas face north?
- Are shops, schools and other everyday facilities nearby? This will impact on your cost of living.
- Does it look like it can be passively heated and cooled?
- Is there potential for improvement?
Planning a renovation
Prioritise what you want to achieve – more space, better kitchen, improved sunlight.
Choose suitable materials, appropriate glazing type for each new window, more efficient lighting. All of these things can help reduce the running costs of your home and improve your comfort levels.
Think creatively – do you need to extend or can you achieve the desired outcome by modifying what you already have?
General home improvements – Questions to ask yourself.
- How can I reduce energy bills?
- Are there more efficient lighting options?
- Can inefficient appliances be replaced with better ones?
- Are solar panels an option?
- Is the home well insulated?
- Is there more water wise plants I can use in my garden?
- Can I install a rainwater tank?
Keep an eye on our Blog for more information & tips on achieving a sustainable home.
by Alicia – Ecorate Australia – HIA GreenSmart Professional
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