Sustainable building choices

NATURAL LIGHT... Selecting sustainable options for your new build or renovation can help save the planet along with your dollars. Photo: Supplied

BUILDING a new home or renovating an existing dwellling is an exciting venture. While many of us put ample thought into the aesthetics of our homes, sometimes the sustainability aspects of our choices can be overlooked or rushed through.

Ensuring you consider the environmental impacts of your selections not only benefits the Earth but also can help you save on running costs long term.

“In the near future the homes that we build may need to meet a 7-star energy rating requirement, so it is worth considering these options during the construction to ensure you can meet these requirements, it will also make your home less expensive to heat and cool in the long run,” Jody Mintern, of Hotondo Homes Shepparton, said.

“If a client asked for advice about making their home more energy efficient, we look at their choice of block and the best way to position the house to help create an energy efficient home. If the block presents a challenge, then we can step through their options.”
Here are just some of the factors to consider when keeping sustainability in mind:

Wall Insulation
Proper insulation is key to keeping your home’s temperature comfortable and avoiding the use of heating and cooling systems where possible. Insulation allows the temperature to remain balanced even in winter or summer and is a great way to help reduce your carbon footprint.

Double-glazed windows
Although costly, double-glazed windows are highly efficient, reducing your heat loss or gain by up to 30 percent when compared to single-glazed windows.

Sun-utilising design elements
Not only do skylights look stunning and allow for natural light to infiltrate your home, they are energy efficient year-round. They can help to light and heat your home during the colder months, as well as keep it cool during the warm days of the year.

Choosing energy efficient appliances
Energy efficient appliances not only reduce the environmental impacts running your home incurs but they also reduce your running costs, meaning in the long run, you’ll see savings on your energy bills.

Energy efficient power options such as solar
Solar panels absorb energy from the sun. This energy is transported to the inverter which converts that energy into usable electricity that is used by the household and the appliances in it. Any electricity that is not used by the household will be transported back into the main electricity grid and a credit will be given to the homeowner on their next electricity bill for this excess power.