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How to Design an Eco-Friendly Home

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Time to read: 3 mins

Many of us are starting to think seriously about our homes and living in a way that is kinder to the environment. Whether you call it eco-friendly, green or sustainable, it all means the same thing: that we want a solution to lower our bills, live healthier and enjoy more comfortable living spaces. 

Sustainability, of course, means different things to different people. To an innovative architect it might mean utilising old railway sleepers as a homes support beams, to a handy dad it might mean installing solar panels and to a savvy mum it might mean growing a vegetable garden. For most builders its about far more… 

Taking advantage of thermal mass to keep a home’s temperature stable is key. AS are such choices as breathable wall systems, rainwater tanks and low volatile organic compounds. Whether you’re starting from scratch or renovating your existing home, sustainable design and building practices are intertwined. 

The Right Materials

Layout is important, but so too are the materials that you choose. Lightweight, durable, prefabricated products can speed up construction as well as bring extra thermal benefits to the home. Innovative materials such as Limecrete which absorbs CO2 overtime can be another material consideration – though it is not as strong as traditional concrete.  

Motivations to Go Green

Better energy consumption is a no-brainer if you hate opening the electricity bill. The idea of going off-the-grid and being self-sufficient appeals to more and more home buyers. Reduced ongoing costs are a major appeal to many who have experienced the costs associated with owning a home. 

Sustainable Renovations

A renovation with a sustainable focus can help a more comfortable and functional home. Good design is key. Consider opening space to allow for airflow, but don’t make it too big as then you lose a lot of energy.  

Costs and Other Considerations

The bottom line is what it comes down to, as is often the case. Will a sustainable house or renovation cost you more? And, if it will, can you justify the expense? Honestly, it depends on what you choose. Like any type of build or renovation it is about being smart and savvy. Knowing you budget and not blowing it are keys to a successful build just as they are a successful sustainable build. Don’t overspend and be stuck with a home that cost too much. But remember, a sustainable home has value.  

A potential homebuyer understands the value of a rainwater tank, solar power system, insulation and other cost saving features. So quite simply, be smart about what you spend your money on. Ask for advice, ask for more advice and do your research. 

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